Survey among 7000 students confirms: If you want to increase job creation, offer the JA company programme in schools
Students who have had 100 hours or more of the JA Company Programme report better business skills and prefer to be self-employed. This is one of the outcomes of a survey carried out among 7000 students in five European countries.
There is considerable agreement on the importance of promoting entrepreneurship in order to stimulate economic development and job creation. Entrepreneurship education is seen as a key instrument in increasing the proportion of young people with a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Setting up a ‘mini-company’ is regarded as one of the most effective entrepreneurial experiences available for schools.
The Innovation Clusters for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE) is a three-year research project/policy experiment in 25 European schools. ICEE uses the JA Company Programme (CP) to measure the impact of entrepreneurship education in several areas. New research from five countries indicates that a higher proportion of those with medium/high CP-activity (100 hours or more) reported that they had the business skills required to set up a company, that they preferred self-employment, and that they were capable of setting up and running a company. These findings are important, since previous studies have shown positive correlations between the desire to start a company and the perception that one is capable of starting a business in youth, and engaging in entrepreneurial activity later in life.
In the CP, students form enterprises under the guidance of a teacher and volunteer business advisers. In the course of the programme, students sell stock, elect officers, produce and market products or services, keep records, conduct stockholders’ meetings and finally, liquidate. The programme provides a real experience of business, with the enterprises participating in National and European Competitions and Trade Fairs at the end of the school year. Previous short-term studies have concluded that CP stimulates start-up intentions, while a few long-term studies detect a positive correlation between participation in CP and later start-up activity.