One of our favorite questions to ask children and young people as a part of our work is: What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘entrepreneur’?
- An entrepreneur thinks of an idea and turns it into reality.
- An entrepreneur works hard and is persistent.
- An entrepreneur is someone who establishes a shop.
Entrepreneurship ran into difficulties last school year in many industries, but this hardly slowed down the activities in JA Finland programs for children and the youth. The pandemic challenged our young participants to come up with even more innovative solutions for reaching customers and selling and marketing online and laying down internal ground rules for the team members of their companies.
In spite of the exceptional circumstances, more than 4 000 students took part in the year-long JA Company Program. The majority of them were 14–24
years of age. In the feedback from participants, 73% stated that they had understood the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset. No less than 14% of the respondents said that they intend to start a company of their own after the program and up to 30% of the participants felt that the program clarified their job and career plans.
We welcomed new partners this year to sponsor the promotion of entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy skills. Together with our existing and new partners, we took a big leap towards our ambitious goal for 2025 of providing equal opportunities for all children and youngsters in Finland to learn future skills in the popular programs of JA Finland.
“An entrepreneurial mindset is useful in all work”
Entrepreneurship helps solve both Finnish and global issues and creates wellbeing and jobs across Finland.
Not everyone has to become an entrepreneur, but taking initiative and being self-directed, active, and creative are skills that are needed throughout life. An entrepreneurial mindset is useful in all work. Thanks to practicing entrepreneurship, it is possible to learn to understand the perspectives and challenges of entrepreneurs and employers slightly better, and there is no harm in that – not even if you end up pursuing a career in the private or public sector.
According to Sitra, the Lifelong Learning team of the Finnish Innovation Fund, Finland has the best preconditions in the world for network-based learning together, improvement of competence, and creation of innovations.
Meta-skills that promote change management will be increasingly important in the future. These skills include problem-solving, self-direction, learning ability, the development and management of personal competence, and information assessment skills.
Together with our wide network of experts in entrepreneurship education, we at JA Finland want to play a key role in strengthening self-efficacy in children and young people and improving regional vitality and attractiveness by building forums between the working life of today and the talents of tomorrow.
A warm thank you to all our partners, stakeholders, and the superstars of our team for the past year!
We will now work toward our ambitious goal together, and we will need to put all of the good ideas into practice in order to achieve it.
The text has previously been released in Junior Achievement Finland’s Annual report 2020–2021.