Junior Achievement Finland
The non-profit organization Junior Achievement Finland (JA Finland) is a leader in entrepreneurial education in Finland. We offer programs supporting entrepreneurial attitudes, work-life skills, and financial education among children and youths. The programs are organized at schools as part of the education they provide. Our free programs reach 35% of Finnish schools and educational institutions.
Our ambitious goal is to introduce our long-term programs in all schools by 2025 through a more sustainable financial support, even more expansive corporate and working life networks, and cooperation with municipalities, teachers, and schools.
This work is supported by our strengthening regional network that we began to build in 2019. Junior Achievement Finland has 10 regional offices that provide support for teaching personnel in their work throughout Finland. The goal of our regional activities is to bring entrepreneurial education tools closer to the teacher, thus responding to the increased demand, varying regional requirements, and deterioration of the economic and employment situations. JA Finland aims to ensure that children and youths are provided the skills required in the future equally throughout Finland.
Our work is boosted by the global Junior Achievement (JA) network operating in 115 countries, whose international expertise and one hundred years of history support the activities.
In Finland the JA acivities commenced in 1995 when the first shools started to participate in the Company program. At the beginning the activities were part of Svenska Handelshögskolan’s (Hanken) entrepreneurial education project. Hanken was a natural place to kick off the project as the corresponding association in Sweden had been active since 1980. Inspired by the activities in Sweden, the concept was put in use in Finland.
The actual JA Finland organisation was founded in late 2002 and started working in early 2003. Founding the organisation enabled acquiring partners and provided good growth opportunities for the Company program.
During the first year of 2003 came along the first business partners and with their contributions the planning and realizing of new programs was initiated. On the same occasion the Company program‘s name became Company program and the former name Nuori Yrittäjyys was taken as the name of the organisation.
In 2004 the Personal economics program was published and from 2005 to 2011 the program array was extended to reach every age group from elementary schools to universities. The funding of private businesses, the European social fund and the national board of education enabled the program development and national distribution of the program.
During the years 2004-2019 the Company program participation count has risen from 500 to 4500 youths. Today the program is available to upper comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools and universities. The program is in use in 180 different teaching establishments all around Finland.
Now JA Finland is one of the most recognized educator of entrepreneurial and worklife-related skills in Finland.
We are the leading entrepreneurial educator in Finland. All the different educational institutions from preschool to university use our programs. The youth have success in their lives.
We help educational organizers to execute entrepreneurial, worklife and economical education by implementing our learning programs.
We trust in the aptitude of the youth.
We respect different skills, points of view and creativity
We believe in the significance of education and experimental learning.
We appreciate collaboration and collective acts.
We do our work passionately.
Our work is meaningful.
Versatile entrepreneurship education programs for various levels of education
Junior Achievement Finland offers inspiring and practical programs that are intended to support the teaching of working life capacities, personal financial management, and entrepreneurial attitudes from preschool to higher education. All our programs are based on phenomenon-based learning and learning by doing where the participants are encouraged to apply the skills they learn widely at school and on their own time.
JA offers inclusive learning materials for the programs that support the objectives of the curricula on all levels of education. The teachers can also receive support for using the materials and the implementation of the programs.
Each year, we organize dozens of training sessions where teachers can also network with colleagues whose work contributes to entrepreneurial education. All programs and the related materials and training sessions for teachers are provided free of charge.
Junior Achievement Finland encourages schools to open their doors to the surrounding society. The JA programs include elements that support the reinforcement of cooperation between schools and businesses, such as corporate visits and roles for voluntary corporate representatives as lecturers, competition judges, or sparring partners for practice companies.
JA Finland is part of the international Junior Achievement network
Junior Achievement is the largest network offering entrepreneurial and consumer education to youths in the world. The network reaches more than ten million students in 115 countries annually. The European JA Europe network reaches more than three million students in 40 countries annually.
Each year, JA Europe, the umbrella organization of Junior Achievement Finland, recognizes high-quality activities offered to various age groups and contributions to the success of the JA Europe network with the Model Organisation Award. Junior Achievement Finland has received this recognition on numerous occasions, most recently in 2021.
Board of the organization
The Board of JA Finland comprises prominent and influential working life and business representatives. In 2021 The Board includes:
- Christina Dahlblom (Chair)
- Mika Aho, Yksityisyrittäjäin säätiö
- Leena Pöntynen, Technology Industries of Finland
- Jussi Karhunen, Finance Finland
- Mari Kokko, Suomen Yrittäjät ry
- Camilla Laitinen, SEB
- Jyri Lindén, Nordic Business Forum
- Aki Puustinen, Muuramen lukio
- Sirkku Soini, Me-säätiö
JA Alumni activities
All those who have participated in JA programs are invited to take part in the JA alumni activities. JA Alumni Finland ry is a non-profit independent alumni association managed by active youths. Networking with other entrepreneurially-minded youths and business representatives is an essential element of the work of the association.