Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Horace Moses, founder of Strathmore Paper Company, Theodore Vail, Chairman of AT&T, and with the support of Murray Crane, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. The original purpose of JA was to help teenagers moving from rural America to the industrial cities gain the skills they would need to be successful adults. It all started with the JA Company Programme, an after-school programme to teach 15-19 years-old about starting their company with the help of business advisors from the local community. Today, Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organisation dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and professional choices.
“JA is celebrating 100 years of its flagship programme, the JA Company Programme, an innovative way for students to create real companies that offer real products or services. Students find a market need, develop a business that addresses that need, create the product or service, market it, and learn financial skills while generating revenue. In the end, JA students not only get the experience of being entrepreneurs, but also develop critical work skills that make them valuable employees in any industry. That’s the real value of entrepreneurship education.” – Asheesh Advani, CEO of JA Worldwide.
The JA network in Europe reached more than 4 million young people across 40 countries with the support of 140,000 business volunteers and 130,000 teachers/educators. As part of the JA Centennial Celebration, several events are planned around the world throughout 2019. The culmination of this celebration in Europe will take place in Lille on 4 July, gathering more than 3000 students from across Europe, business representatives, educators, policy-makers and JA staff.