Experience entrepreneurship and learn by doing!
Participants of the JA Company Program offered by JA Finland establish, on their own or as part of a team, a JA company that operates using real money. Running a company develops entrepreneurship, working life, and financial skills in a fun and practical manner.
Whether or not you already have a potential business idea, you can take part in the JA Company Program. Ask your teacher for more information.
Learning Outcomes of the Program
- The student recognizes the requirements of entrepreneurship and is able to evaluate their own strengths and areas that require development
- The student develops their entrepreneurship skills, which include sales, teamwork, problem solution, communication, and public speaking, among others
- The student builds cooperation networks that can further their business operations
- The student recognizes and evaluates their operation within the company as part of a team
- The student is able to plan the business operation of the company
- The student is able to use tools related to the planning of business operations and to draw up the documents related to establishing a company
- The student can create a business model and plan to support their idea, as well as develop them during the operation
- The student understands the basic principles of business and develops the operation of the company
Extracts from the program’s primary and secondary feedback survey averages from 2013 to 2018 (N: 2962).
Uskalla Yrittää is the Finnish Championship for the companies in the JA Company Program organized by JA Finland. Each year, the best Finnish JA companies from the regional semi-finals are invited to participate in the final. The Uskalla Yrittää final is the largest entrepreneurship competition for young people in Finland, and the winners get the chance to represent their country in the European Championship. The website for the Uskalla Yrittää competition can be found at www.uskallayrittaa.fi.
“We bag people’s groceries and help carry heavy bags to the customer’s car. Avot NY exemplifies Finnish customer service at its best.”
“We produce home decor products from concrete and wood. Some of the materials we use come as surplus from construction sites.”
”We want to create a detour from the self-destructive textile industry to more conscious consuming. We offer customers high-end design products that are made from new sustainable material innovations.”
Companies that began their operation in the JA Company Program
Noted JA Company Program alumni in Finland and around the world
Jyri Lindén: The founder of the Nordic Business Forum
Sanni Kurkisuo: Singer, songwriter, musician
Enni Rukajärvi: Snowboarder
Mark Cuban: Investor, the founder of Broadcast.com, the owner of Dallas Mavericks
Frederick A. Deluca: The founder and CEO of Subway
Christina Aguilera: Singer, songwriter, actor
Gene Simmons: Musician and lead figure of the rock group Kiss, actor, businessman
Some comments on the JA Company Program
“I just wish that something like this had existed when I was at that age.”
– Ilkka Paananen, Supercell
“This is the reason I became a teacher.
To see young people succeed and surpass themselves.”
– Heini Pennanen, Gradia, Jyväskylä
“I have probably learned most about the financial side.
I have learned to present and challenge myself more. Now I am better prepared to act in these situations.
– Milla Tölli, student, Nivala upper secondary school
“Today, entrepreneurship education is included in all degrees, at all levels of education, at least to some extent. But is it sufficient? Not necessarily, it could always be increased and improved. This [JA Company Program] is just one good example and method that should be spread throughout the country.”
– Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education
Below, we have gathered answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the practical implementation of the program.
What is the JA Company Program?
The JA Company Program is an entrepreneurship education program intended for pupils in upper comprehensive school and students in upper secondary and higher education. In the program, the participants establish JA companies that operate using real money, and run them for a semester, a school year, a calendar year or a period of 12 months.
The program is always made part of the education provided by the school and the teacher is in charge of its practical implementation.
Who is the program intended for? At which levels of education can the program be completed?
The program is available to upper comprehensive schools, secondary education establishments, and higher education institutions. The program can be completed at any time if it is offered by the school.
How can I participate in the program?
The program is part of the teaching provided by your educational establishment, which means that you have to take part in the JA Company Program course offered by your school. If your school does not yet offer the course, you can request it from your teacher.
JA companies cannot be established on your own time.
Does the income received from a JA company affect financial aid?
Income from a JA company is included in your personal annual income. If you receive revenue from your JA company, it must be accounted for in your annual income. The income from a JA company may affect the amount of financial aid you receive. Check the income limits on the Kela website.
Can I establish a JA company on my own?
Yes. We recommend that each JA company has 2–8 members, but if you wish, it is also possible to establish a JA company alone.
Can I take part in the program more than once?
Generally, the program can only be participated in once during comprehensive school, upper secondary school, vocational education or higher education.
However, JA Finland does allow participants to take part in the program again with a new business idea, which is demonstrably different from the previous idea. In addition, the name of the JA company must be different than the name used previously. In its instructions, the Finnish Tax Administration states that the operating period of a JA company is limited to a maximum of 12 months.
The final decision regarding participation in the program is made by the educational institution, as the JA activities must be part of the education provided by said institution.
Can I join the program with an already existing company?
No. The business idea or field of business of a JA company cannot be the same as those of an existing company. The business idea of a JA company cannot be related to a field, which an actual existing company has reported as their line of business in the Trade Register. Additionally, the name of a JA company cannot be the name of an already existing company.
What type of companies are the JA companies?
The JA companies are not officially considered companies, and therefore do not have business IDs. The operation of the JA company is not considered an economic activity. If the JA company sells products or services during the program, the generated income is considered personal to the participants.
Are the JA companies registered into official business registers?
The JA companies are not officially considered companies. Thus, the JA companies are not registered with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) and are instead only registered into the register maintained by the program.
How are the JA companies taxed?
The JA company in itself does not pay taxes, and instead the revenue generated by the company is divided amongst the members of the company as the operation is wound down. The divided revenue constitutes taxable income for the members, which must be reported on the personal tax return under other income. Additional information is available in the toolbox.
Is there a limit for the turnover of a JA company?
The turnover of a JA company is limited to 10,000 euros. If turnover exceeds 10,000 euros, the JA company is liable to pay VAT on the entire amount, which means that the operation of a JA company must be wound down if approaching the limit.
Are the JA companies taxable for VAT purposes?
If the turnover of a company remains below 10,000 euros for the year, it is not liable to pay VAT.
The JA companies are not allowed to make VAT deductions, which means that they cannot, for example, deduct the VAT of any purchased materials. The prices with which products or services of JA companies are sold to customers do not include VAT.
What is the initial equity of a JA company?
The initial equity of a JA company consists of the money invested by the founders of the company. Each founder is allowed to invest 10–100 euros in the company. The maximum initial equity of a JA company is limited to 1000 euros.
Do the JA companies have insurance coverage?
During registration, JA Finland acquires a liability insurance policy for each JA company from Keskinäinen Vakuutusyhtiö Fennia, which includes coverage for both business and product liability. The liability insurance applies throughout the operation of the JA company.
These policies provide cover for personal injury and property damage to third parties during the course of business, for which the company is legally liable. The deductible for the policies is either 600 euros or 1,000 euros. More information about the insurance policies is available in the toolbox.
JA Finland provides programs that support the objectives of curriculums for reinforcing the entrepreneurial attitudes, working life skills, and personal financial management of children and young people from pre-primary to higher education – learning by doing. www.nuoriyrittajyys.fi.