An interactive classroom programme, launched in 1919, Company Programme offers an opportunity for older students to learn how to take a business idea from concept to reality. It's the perfect preparation for working life!
Purpose and process
The aim of the JA-YE Company Programme is to enable students to form their own real enterprise and discover at first hand how a company functions. They elect a board of directors from amongst their peers, raise share capital, and market and finance a product or service of their own choice.
At the end of the programme they present a report and accounts to their shareholders.
Students learn to:
- Raise real finance by selling shares
- Open and use their own company bank account
- Carry out market research
- Work together to create their business plan
- Develop their own product or service
- Market and promote their product or service
- Trade with the public
- Manage the company finances
- Take part in trade fairs
- Compete with other schools in 'company of the year' competitions.
Students can develop enterprising skills, attitudes and behaviours, including:
- Creative thinking and problem solving
- Communication and presentation skills
- Confidence and a can-do attitude
- Teamwork and leadership
- Negotiation and decision making
- Setting goals and time management
- Managing risk.
Curricular or thematic relevance
Standalone enterprise activity or could be linked to: Business Studies; Economics; Citizenship; PSHE; Careers Education. It also has potential for linking to a specific vocational subject such as Travel and Tourism.The programme is accredited by most European Education Authorities as suitable for teaching within the school curiculum.
How to organise:
Can be used within timetabled lessons or in other contexts such as suspended timetable events or extra-curricular time.
Assessment and evaluation approaches
Fully integrated within the programme itself via ongoing teacher-led, self- and peer-assessment, formal presentation/evaluation of results and successful completion of the enterprise ventures.
The programme is supported by volunteer advisers from the business world who are on hand to guide and mentor the companies. The teacher's role is to organise the running of the programme, arrange resources as required, support the business volunteer and follow up the project with the class.
Brochure is available for download here: http://archive.ja-ye.org/Download/TES/company-programme.pdf. Teachers are also encouraged to go on the related training programmes provided by Junior Achievement.
Files for download:company-programme.pdf / 4011kB
Profile of the tool and method
This Company Programme meets the needs of young students leaving Secondary High School and approaching the working world.
Teachers' sharing goals and its integration within the curricular programme are the most interesting features.
Having been involved for some years in the Company Programme as a link teacher, I can attest to the benefits gained by students taking part.
In terms of the curriculum, this programme lends itself to Business Studies. The students can apply their theory based understanding and gain a working knowledge of the realityof working in/running a business.
In terms of self enhancement, the students develop a range of personal and practical skills - all of which are valued by (potential) employers.
We used to hear about entrepreneurship in the business world. The message that I would like to leave is that the Company Program is an opportunity to realize a more entrepreneurial attitude towards life.
I wish that my students realize that having or not a business we can have an entrepreneurial attitude in various situations of our lives. As students or professionals. Employers or employees. Creative people, full of initiative, self-motivated, with a thirst for learning and willing to do anything to achieve their dreams, but who are employed, activists of social causes, executives, students with no intention of starting a business can be very enterprising people. The matter is, in business, entrepreneurial attitudes lead more easily to success.
With this program I’m helping my students to gain enterprising skills and attitudes and behaviours as creative thinking and problem solving. With this kind of challenge my students develop communication and presentation skills, confidence and a can-do attitude. At the same time the students learn how to work together setting goals and time management.
My experience with the Company Programme as someone who works in JA Serbia and monitors implementation of the programme in the field is that teachers and students find it as a best way of learning about entrepreneurship and gaininig entrepreneurial skills. This programme is from its essence totally about bridging the gap between the educational system and the reality of the business world.
This is a very interesting method. It is good test and challenge for the students to show their entrepreneurial abilities, team working skills and creativity. This method can give a good understanding of the student’s characteristics and potential. It can give important notification of whether the student is more of entrepreneurial type or employee.
The Company Programme proves to be a very useful working tool, especially for students since it helps them to be prepared to access the labor market. In a world increasingly competitive, students must demonstrate personal and academic skills (such as showing teamwork capacity, meetting strict deadlines, communicating, leading) that this programme allows them to develop.
Since we startet the entrepreneurship education programme in our school, we have used company programme as a working tool the second year (17-18 years old students). I find it very useful in many ways: the students develop entrepreneurial skills (creativity, innovation, collaboration, problem solving, risk taking, self confidence etc.), they are prepared for working in "real life" enterprises, and the students find it both useful and meaningful and put a lot of effort into it. In a country (Norway) where the government and school leaders largely focuses on the curriculum and reaching goals, it is also good to see that the students reach their curriculum goals through practical learning.
I think that's the best tool we have as they create a real company. They improve lots of skills they will need in real life!!
Our students’ potential for performance in entrepreneurship is immense because it requires a lot of creativity, and imagination pushes logical thinking to construct.
With this capital of creativity of our students we started out the YES project.
During the classes dedicated to the project, our students have understood that playing the game of “business environment” is the bridge between theory and practice, between school and career.
I hope that working at the company will ease for them the process of important decision-making regarding their professional future, now that they are in their last year of high school; and to decide whether they will be entrepreneurs, managers or employees.
Great programme! Very useful for young people! I hope that more schools and teachers will guide students to participate in the Company Programme