Ghana’s youth are largely being educated for jobs that do not exist or that they will not find upon graduation. The world of work in Africa is changing rapidly, yet, only a few schools provide youth with entrepreneurship education as an alternative to traditional employment, whereas it holds great potential to diversify youth options for the world of work and create an alternative pathway to job and wealth creation. JA attempts to address this problem through its flagship program, the JA Company Program.
The JA Company Program® provides an introductory and hands-on and experiential entrepreneurship education for high school students. It gives students the opportunity to organize and operate an actual business in school. The JA Company Program also gives them the tools to be successful either as entrepreneurs, creating jobs for themselves and others or as employees, creating values for their employers. Young people are exposed to the adult world of work and given tangible options to pursue as they consider their careers.
Over the course of the academic year, students collaborate to develop a product or idea, sell shares, establish Boards of Directors, recruit and select management, create products, market products and hopefully make profits. They, not only learn how businesses function, they also learn and apply soft skills that are instrumental to success, such as brainstorming, consensus building, critical thinking, gathering and organizing information, group and self-assessment, interpreting production inventory, oral and written communication.
Accomplished professionals from the business community are assigned to schools as volunteers to support teachers to deliver key sessions such as;