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We inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

We believe in the boundless potential of young people. We share their passion for excellence, respect their talents and creativity, celebrate their honesty and integrity, harness their desire for collaboration, and create opportunities for hands-on learning.

JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®

We believe that we must do everything we can to help young people move successfully into the economy.

— Jo Deblaere, Chairman, JA Europe, COO, Accenture

Addressing youth unemployment depends on how many young people have access to entrepreneurship education and on the quality of cooperation between the education and business communities.

— Caroline Jenner, CEO, JA Europe

Our Reach

  • countries
  • schools
  • teachers
  • volunteers
  • 39 countries
  • 72,838 schools
  • 146,826 teachers
  • 165,622 volunteers
students participating
3,212,288 students participating


“Europeans need the skills, awareness and spirit to succeed as entrepreneurs. I congratulate JA for continuing to provide them with it.”

— Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Helping entrepreneurs to stimulate our economy
As President of the European Commission, I am determined to work to deliver jobs, growth and investment. The kind of growth that won't be built on a pile of debt for the next generation to pay off; but based on the "virtuous triangle" of investment, structural reform and fiscal responsibility.

I know that – in practice – it is often young, innovative enterprises that create jobs: the smaller businesses who are the backbone of our economy. And I want to support you.

Entrepreneurs in Europe already benefit from the EU single market—offering the freedom to travel or operate across borders. They also benefit from specific programmes like Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. But I want to do more.

The online world — the source of much of today's innovation and entrepreneurialism —still faces many barriers, from copyright rules to roaming charges: I want to bring down those barriers for a Digital Single Market. I want to see a Migration Policy that means Europe can meet shortages of skilled workers, and attract global talent. I want a Capital Markets Union that means entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes can benefit from more diverse funding – like venture capital and private equity. And I am committed to delivering an Investment Plan worth €315 billion, focused on the infrastructure that European citizens and businesses need for their future.

I believe these will make Europe a better place to innovate, invest and grow a business: so Europe returns to strong and sustainable growth, as a continent that is competitive and creating jobs. But I also know that Europeans need the skills, awareness and spirit to succeed as entrepreneurs. I congratulate JA for continuing to provide them with it.

“Through personal experience, I can attest that JA programmes grow enterprising youth. It is an organisation that truly inspires and prepares its students to succeed.”

— Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia

JA programmes prepare for success
As an alumnus I know from first-hand experience the benefits of Junior Achievement (JA)entrepreneurship programmes. In the mid-nineties I participated in the programme with mytwo classmates.

It was valuable experience, which probably played its part, that after finishing Tallinn Secondary Science School I went on to study economic sciences in University of Tartu. Moreover, two of my former JA Company Programme business partners have also gone on to fruitful careers.

One is now a successful lawyer in London, UK, and the other is the founder and CEO of a highly prosperous Estonian enterprise. Therefore I can attest, through personal experience that JA programmes grow enterprising youth. It is an organisation that truly inspires and prepares its students to succeed.

Our Network



  • Petr Andrýsek

    Founder and CEO, Socialsharks
    JA Company Programme 2006-2007, Czech Republic

    JA is an epic experience. It is a must try. JA helped me to find my way while still in school, understand what I am capable of. JA showed me the real enterprising world.

    Today I am running a social media agency which employs 15 people full time. 6 years after my Company Programme experience, I volunteer for JA and I recruit my team mainly from JA alumni.

  • Ida Backlund

    Founder and CEO, Rapunzel of Sweden
    JA Company Programme 2004-2005, Sweden

    In high school I ran a mini company in Umeå, up north in Sweden. Together with my classmates, we had a travel company, arranging ski trips. That year with the mini company was awakening for me. I realised that I could accomplish things on my own.

    This is what gave me the courage to start my own company at age of 23. At first I had the stock in my living room, packing the orders on the kitchen table. Today, six years later, we export to over 60 countries, we employ 50 people in Umeå, Sweden and we will this year reach a turnover well over EUR 11 000 000.

  • Sebastien Deletaille

    CEO and Founder, Real Impact Analytics
    JA Company Programme 2001-2002, Belgium

    The JA experience is a concentrate of entrepreneurial candy: once you start, you can’t stop. Whether during my young enterprise or during the entrepreneurial club, I got the opportunity to test myself in a risk-free environment. I learnt how much easier it is to sell when you have a great product, how talent will attract talent and how you only actually become a leader if you manage to inspire your team. Without any doubt, JA was the most defining programme I have had the chance to participate in.

    Sébastien is the co-founder and CEO at Real Impact Analytics. He drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth as it transforms telecom data into action. Sébastien’s leadership is taking a great team of 80+ exceptional achievers to 30+ countries.

  • Karoli Hindriks

    Founder of
    JA Company Programme 2002-2003, Estonia

    Karoli is the Founder and CEO of Jobbatical is where techies and creatives meet employers across the globe who want to borrow their skills. She has previously founded three and managed five companies in television and marketing field. She was nominated for JA Young Entrepreneur Award in 2008.

    Having founded a student company with JA at the age of 16, Karoli became the youngest inventor of Estonia after registering a patent for soft pedestrian reflector. Thousands of her products have been and are still sold in Northern Europe. In total she has two registered patents, three registered design solutions and two international trademarks in her name.

  • Kim Kristian Humborstad

    CEO and founder of Zwipe AS
    JA Start Up Programme 2008-2009, Norway

    The JA programme added value to my studies in a way that it gave me a chance to see the theory in university in a more practical light. This also gave me the necessary understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary innovation processes. The JA Start Up Programme gave me a nice insight into the entrepreneurial world and the project that I started with is currently my company, Zwipe.

    Zwipe developed the slimmest, fastest and most energy efficient fingerprint algorithm in the world. We are able to collect all the energy required to perform a verification of fingerprints from standard infrastructure on everything from credit cards to smart phones without power. In October 2014 Zwipe and MasterCard launched the world's first contactless payment with built fingerprint sensor.

  • Boris Kolev

    Founder and CEO, JT International
    JA Company Programme 2004-2005

    "JA gave me the amazing opportunity to learn by making great mistakes when I was still a student and had nothing to loose in business. Now I can truly say that most of my success and motivation to go forward is coming from what I experienced and learned back then in school. Thank you JA!"

    Boris founded his first company at the age of 18. Today he manages a group of companies and NGOs with more than 25 people staff. His most recent enterprise is a mobile solutions agency, DigiMark. He was awarded from BusinessWeek with 2nd place for "Best Young Entrepreneur of Europe" in 2008.

  • David Mata

    Founder and CEO of PYNK Systems
    JA Start Up Programme 2014, Spain

    “If I have to think about the greatest thing that I learnt in the JA programme, it has to be the confidence in my own intuition and hard work. Before the programme, I had great doubts about our capability to build a stable company and generate profit. Now, I am aware of the difficulty of the challenge, but feel confident about our capacity to achieve success.”

    David is a young entrepreneur with background in architecture and design. He develops the ERGON DESK, an ergonomic smart desk designed for collaborative office work, a product that matches technology and design and is oriented towards the improvement of health and productivity conditions in office environments. The start-up has been awarded with “AmCham EU Youth Entrepeneurship Award 2014” and “Hyundai Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs”. They also joined the Innovator Under 35 (Spain) MIT 2014 Program.

  • Karl Paadam

    Founder and CEO, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal Estonia
    JA Company Programme 200-2001, Estonia

    “The student company programme was one of the most valuable lessons I learned from school. I have always found entrepreneurship appealing. The JA programme gave me valuable skills and experience on how to start and run my own company. Plus it was one of the most fun things I did in school. JA has of course gave me valuable practical skills about starting and running my own company but even more important is that it encouraged me not to play it safe and settle with a job but challenge myself and become an entrepreneur.”

    Karl founded PwC Legal Estonia in 2012. The company offers legal services focusing on business law and consulting and employs staff of 10 people.

  • Philip Perera

    Creative Director and Co-founder at The Box of T

    JA Start Up Programme 2013, UK

    “The JA Start-Up Programme was really amazing. It guided our journey to become entrepreneurial. It made it clear that you had to work for yourself and it helped me to make decisions about my future. My team was recognized as the best JA Start-Up company in the UK. We also took home Hyundai Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs award which was very valuable. It was the biggest and best achievement we had. Suddenly we had the money and mentoring support to actually do what we wanted to.”

    Following the success with JA programmes, Philip appeared on Dragons’ Den where together with his business partner Omar they impressed the venture capitalists on the jury enough for all three business stars to put bids on the table.

  • Claudia Suhov

    Co-founder and Creative Director of
    JA Start Up Programme 2011, Romania

    “As a female entrepreneur, I believe that support and information are one of the most important gifts someone can receive when they start on the business journey. JA offered both, putting me on an amazing and international path where I learned life-long lessons and to fully live my dreams.”

    Four years ago Claudia started her first company which provided educational courses, camps and events for children aged 5 to 13. She is currently the founder and creative director of Kidster, a company that offers educational programs for children, with activities in Bucharest and Pitesti.

    She also founded her second start up,, an online cake shop. In March 2014 Claudia was included in the Top Forbes Romania “30 under 30".

  • Christina Vaeting Nergaard

    Co-founder and CEO, JobbUnder18
    JA Company Programme 2010-2011, Norway

    In 2010, I was picked to be a part of a start-up in school. The idea was to help Norwegian youth under the age of majority to get their first work experience. We build a website,, where employers could post advertisements. The project did very good our first and second year, and won 11 different prices in the regional and national competitions for start-ups. Today we have 15 full time employees and additional 15 summer interns.

    The JA programme was probably the most important and also the most exciting part of my high school education. I got to work with challenges and solutions within different parts of society, where other topics as physics and mathematics came in handy. The programme taught me how to build a successful business and to always believe in my own talents.

  • Thomas van Durme

    Co-founder and Owner, ThinkNexT
    JA Start Up Programme 2010, Belgium

    “Participating in a JA programme was a great opportunity, it opened my mind. Every teenager should be part of it. It gave me a lot of entrepreneurial insights that I wouldn’t have had in the regular university programmes. The most important thing that JA thought me is that if I have a good idea, I should go for it. And I should build a strong team around it.”

    The story of ThinkNexT starts in 2005 when co-founders Thomas Van Durme and Jelle Van Gompel met at university and began experimenting with all kinds of software technology. They developed the online multi-player game Cities of Faith which won the Best Online Application award in ING’s Start Academy competition (powered by JA Belgium, Vlajo).

The studentexperience

Our programmes and activities welcome students of all ages, from primary school to higher education. The synergy of entrepreneurial teachers, motivated business volunteers and high-quality content are the key success factors to the JA student experience. We think that the more entrepreneurial experiences a student has, the more knowledgeable they will be.

The knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the JA learning path impact three main areas: entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy.

entrepreneurshipeducation ecosystem

“Every young person should have a practical entrepreneurial experience before leaving compulsory education”

— European Commission


Featuring more than 125 tools and methods in multiple languages to support educators as they apply entrepreneurial learning in the classroom.


A multi-stakeholder initiative brining together experts from government, business, research and education to recommend policies that will promote greater uptake of entrepreneurship education.


Field trials in 5 countries analysing the multiple impacts of entrepreneurship education.

“Without the JA experience I would be working for someone else instead of following my dream and working on my own business.”

— JA Alumnus from Spain

JA in action

  • Our Community

    The Our Community programme is a fun and interactive series of 5 lessons presented by a business volunteer in school to a whole class. Pupils aged 8-10 are led through a discovery of how people and businesses operate within a community. They assess the needs and wants of communities and learn about taking responsibility for a community they have designed through voting in a decision-making activity.

  • Europe and Me

    Europe and Me is an interactive classroom programme for students aged 10 to 12 which explores the relationship between the natural, human, and capital resources found in different countries and explores European businesses that produce goods and services for consumers. Using hands-on activities students are guided through their learning by volunteers from the business world.

  • It’s My Business

    It’s My Business helps students aged 13 to 15 learn about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship while providing a strong focus on social studies, reading, and writing skills. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking to learn entrepreneurial skills that support positive attitudes as they explore and enhance their career aspirations. Through six interactive lessons and the completion of an enterprise projects, students underpin the business concepts they learn with games and activities.

  • Economics for Success

    Economics for Success explores personal finance and students’ education and career options based on their skills, interests, and values. It also demonstrates the economic benefits of staying in school. Through a series of six interactive lessons, presented by a business volunteer, students aged 13 to 15 gain an understanding of their role in the society and the economy as consumers, employees, taxpayers, investors and borrowers.

  • Company Programme

    Since its launch in 1919, the Company Programme has been teaching students aged 15-19 how to take a business idea from concept to reality. They form their own real enterprise and discover 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.

  • Enterprise without Borders®

    Enterprise without Borders (EwB) is designed to give students running mini-companies the opportunity to create cross-border international partnerships as part of their JA experience. Through a website, teachers and schools can register for participation and students can upload their company profiles and enter an entrepreneurial "dating game".

  • Start Up Programme

    The Start Up Programme gives post-secondary students (aged 19 to 30) the opportunity to experience running their own company as part of their university course. The Start Up Programme students gain real experience of the world of business: coming up with a concept for a business, creating and researching a business plan, taking responsibility and being accountable to their shareholders for the running of the company.

  • The European Entrepreneurship Education Network

    The European Entrepreneurship Education NETwork (EE-HUB) is a network of experts committed to entrepreneurial learning. The network aims to promote entrepreneurship education in Europe. EE-HUB will have a strong focus on stimulating further developments and make policy recommendations that that will help increase the uptake of entrepreneurship education across Europe, all in line with proposals included in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.

  • The Entrepreneurial School

    The Virtual Guide to Entrepreneurial Learning (TES Guide) is a practical and useful resource for teachers in primary, secondary and vocational schools. With more than 125 entrepreneurial tools and methods in several languages, as well as good practice examples and self-assessment tools, the TES Guide offers educators material to help apply entrepreneurial learning in any subject area and for any age group. We are currently building a community of more than 4,000 teachers in 22 European

  • Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education

    The main objective of the Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE) is to analyse the impact of entrepreneurship education and understand what is needed to reach the European goal, every young person should have a practical entrepreneurial experience before leaving school. The consortium will test what the scenario looks like at 50% penetration among students between 15 and 20 years old and carry out 27-month field trial using mini-companies in twenty schools across the five countries.

  • Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP)

    The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) is a unique qualification that certifies that students have completed a real entrepreneurship experience through a full-year in-school mini-company experience and that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and competences to start a business or be successfully employed.

  • Global Enterprise Project ®

    The European Round Table of Industrialists, JA Europe and European Schoolnet are partnering to promote greater understanding and awareness among young people about globalisation, entrepreneurship and the skills they need to succeed in the global economy. During the 3-year initiative, 40,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 18 have the opportunity to try their hand at enterprise, learn valuable entrepreneurial skills and apply their knowledge in new ways.

  • Leaders for a Day

    Leaders for a Day provides young people with the opportunity to learn from a high level executive by shadowing him/her for one day. Leaders for a Day’s goal is to enable young people to make better informed career choices, enlarge their network and improve their career opportunities. This experience inspires young people to be entrepreneurial by introducing them to innovative and creative solutions in the workplace. In 2014 the initiative was part of the eSkills for Jobs campaign and was held in 8 countries where 85 business executives and digital entrepreneurs were followed by a JA alum.

  • Sci-Tech Challenge

    The Sci-Tech Challenge is designed to motivate students, aged 15-18, to consider science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-oriented careers, raise their awareness of how they can be applied in enterprising ways to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. In 3 years the programme has given close to 10,000 students and 180 teachers in nine European countries the opportunity to participate in the Sci-Tech Challenge. Over 200 employees from ExxonMobil participate as

  • Skills for the Future

    JA Europe partners with Hyundai Motor Europe to promote greater understanding and awareness among young people about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills, entrepreneurship and skills for their future employability. In 3 year the initiative has involved 10,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 18, in 15 European countries. With support from their teachers, they are be exposed to a variety of learning-by-doing approaches and work with over 400 Hyundai business volunteers from all over

  • Social Enterprise Programme

    Social enterprise is a leap beyond responsible business to new, innovative social solutions. Moreover, young people like the idea of applying business skills and ingenuity to solve social problems in sustainable ways. JA Social Enterprise Programme inspires and recognises young social entrepreneurs. Its aim is to increase the pool of potential social entrepreneurs by providing access to education in social enterprise to young people aged 15-18 across Europe.

  • Social Innovation Relay

    Reaching over 43,000 in 18 countries in 2014, the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) is the largest global educational initiative based on a blend of virtual and face-to-face mentoring, providing young people with hands-on skills and entrepreneurial expertise to compete in the 21st century workforce. Mentors from HP help the final teams develop and refine their concepts via online and face-to-face mentoring which they present in national and then a global final.

In Partnership with Business

“Investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return on investments Europe can make”

— European Commission.


Together providing students with skills for life, growing creativity, confidence, initiative, teamwork, resourcefulness, perseverance and responsibility.


Business volunteers impact students by bringing the real world into the classroom, mentoring them while they run a real business and acting as experts-partners-facilitators-judges in different activities.


JA programmes equip young people with the relevant skills to get a job or start a business.

Business and education have the power to collaborate in different ways and The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) is a perfect example. ESP certifies young people have the skills to start a business or get a job. Today, schools in 18 countries are participating and over 50 private sector partners are supporting. European networks and the EU are acting to make this a truly international qualification.

Our Leadership

  • Sonja Bata

    Bata Shoe Organisation
  • Jo Deblaere

    COO, Accenture
  • Michel De Wolf

    CPA, Managing Partner DGST Reviseurs d’entreprises
  • Mark Torfs

    Senior Advisor Deloitte
  • Johan H Andresen

    Owner and Chairman FERD
  • Ariel Eckstein

    Managing Director EMEA LinkedIn
  • Melissa Fogarty

    Partner Clifford Chance LLP
  • Bengt Gunnarsson

    Senior Advisor Bata Group
  • Pamela Hartigan

    Director Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Guenther Juenger

    Director Corporate Affairs Group Intel GmbH
  • Christophe Leclercq

  • Trudy Norris-Grey

    MD for Public Sector in Central and Eastern Europe Microsoft
  • Lars Petter Ørving

    MD EMEA North & East Region Manpower AS
  • Stephan Reimelt

    President & CEO, Europe & CEO Germany GE
  • Jennifer Roach

    Head of EMEA Communications SAP
  • Martin Spurling

    Group GM and Head of Retail Banking & Wealth Management HSBC EMEA
  • Thomas Tindemans

    CEO Hill + Knowlton Strategies
  • Dorothee van Vredenburch

    CCO, Management Board NN Group NN Group
  • Francesco Vanni D'Archirafi

    CEO Citi Holdings
  • Gabriele Zedlmayer

    VP and CPO Corporate Affairs Hewlett Packard Company
  • Michael Mercieca

    CEO Young Enterprise UK
  • Caroline Jenner

    CEO JA Europe

At our best

Model Organisations

The Model Organisations Award recognises the leadership and operations quality of the JA organisations. It takes into account their impact and programmes at all ages levels and their contribution to the overall success of the JA Europe network.

  • Austria
  • Belgium FL
  • Finland
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Leadership Award

Leadership Awards are presented to exceptional board members whose contribution to the organisation has been more than outstanding, whose work has had an impact at both the national and European level and who have demonstrated a level of personal commitment and dedication that goes beyond expectation.

In 2014 the award was received by Yves Servotte, Chair, Vlajo Belgium.

TJ BATA Quality Award

The Thomas J Bata Quality Award recognises a JA member organisation for demonstrating the highest standard of excellence.

The winner in 2014 is Ung Företagsamhet (JA Sweden).


Collectively by the JA network
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  • 953 Staff
  • 463 National Board Members
  • 79,561,803 Volunteers Contact Hours