Fostering Innovation driven Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

28 April 2016

JA Europe and Monsanto have launched a new partnership in 6 European countries that seeks to equip 900 students with the skills they need to get a job or start a business in the agriculture industry. Through the initiative, students aged 15-18 have the opportunity to try their hand at entrepreneurship with the mentorship of Monsanto business volunteers from across Europe. 

We are delighted to partner with Junior Achievement to help young Europeans develop their business skills,” said Leticia Gonçalves, EME Lead for Monsanto and Monsanto Fund. “As a leader in delivering cutting-edge technology to farmers, we bring a unique perspective on helping them produce better harvests with less waste.

Currently running in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey, the year-long programme gives young people the opportunity to experience running an agricultural business from top to bottom. Teachers employ learning-by-doing methods and help students build their very own mini-companies – turning ideas into action. Furthermore named as a best practice by the European Commission, mini-companies offer students a practical entrepreneurial experience as well as generate tangible outcomes. Key to the success of the initiative however, are the Monsanto volunteers who share their professional expertise and guidance by mentoring the students. 

Students, Lazăr Ana Maria and Aura Spiridon from Romania shared their experience by saying, “We were pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in this programme. Our Monsanto volunteers were extremely helpful in shaping our business concept and giving us new self-confidence in our abilities.

Together, JA Europe and Monsanto are working to inspire young Europeans to develop innovative ideas and business concepts in the field of agriculture. Initially targeting 900 students, 18 schools and 20 Monsanto volunteers, interim project results show that these goals have already been surpassed. So far, the programme has engaged 1,381 students, 62 schools and 51 Monsanto volunteers, creating 86 mini-companies. 

We see agriculture as an industry with tremendous opportunities for young people. It demands a combination of technical, scientific and innovation skills along with entrepreneurial acumen. Together with Monsanto we are bringing this message to young people well before they leave school, giving them a real taste of the challenges industry faces and a chance to experience running an enterprise for themselves.” – Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe


About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. In 2015 we equipped 3.5 million students in 39 countries with the knowledge, skills and attitude they require to start a business or get a job. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at


For inquiries, please contact:
JA Europe Communications 
+32 2 735 97 20


Bridget Badiou, PA Specialist Monsanto Fund 
+33 4 72 144134

Brian Carroll, Internal Communications Manager, EMEA Monsanto
+32 2 776 7601

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