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Influence the makers of tomorrow!

JA Company Mentor’s guide


Welcome to help young entrepreneurs in getting started! As a JA Company mentor, you have the exceptional chance to peak into the world of young entrepreneurs, share your own knowledge with them, and learn yourself while doing it all. This guide is a collection of tips for JA Company mentors. We will introduce the mentor’s role and other notable details about working with young people. In addition, inside the guide, agendas for four meetings between the JA Entrepreneurs and the mentors are provided. The schedule of the JA Company Program is also discussed. From the schedule you can see the progression of the program throughout the year and the stage in which the JA Company should be.

A JA Company Mentor: listens, encourages, inquires, and cheers on helps and steers in the right direction shares his/her experiences, knowledge, and networks meets the JA Entrepreneurs at least four times during the Company Program arranges meeting times together with the JA Entrepreneurs agrees to cooperate and keep in contact with the JA Entrepreneurs is a grown up working life representative, who gives constructive feedback on the idea, its presentation, and opinions on the work done

Good luck!

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The suggested times in this guide are examples of when and at what point it is beneficial to meet the JA Entrepreneurs. Schools go through the Company Program according to their own schedules, so it is good to agree on meeting times with the entrepreneurs beforehand.


6 Facts about JA Entrepreneurs:

1.

JA Entrepreneurs are 15-19 year old students of which some are 9th graders and some study in upper secondary school or in vocational school.

2.

The JA Company Program is a school course beginning usually in August. The program consists of founding and running a company during the school year with real money.

3.

The aim during the year is to learn teamwork, working life skills, and money management.

4. 5.

Every member of the company invests 10-40 euros in the company.

6.

The JA Company is not an official company and is not officially formed or disbanded. The members of the company are however taxed on income they receive from their company. There is a turnover limit of 8 500 euros for the company to avoid having to pay value added tax. Junior Achievement Finland has liability insurance on the products and operations of all JA Companies.

For more information, visit nyvuosiyrittajana.fi.

3 tips: Inexperience The adolescent JA Entrepreneurs do not yet have much work experience. For this reason meeting new people or asking for help may be unfamiliar to them. The company members may not be the most active side of your relationship, so be a role model for them in this. Keep in contact with them and show them how you truly want to help them. Emphasize already in your first meeting with them that they can turn to you for help if they have any inquiries.

Time management Time management is one key obstacle of working life. The company members are practicing this with their JA Company. Agree beforehand on the duration and agenda of your meetings with them. It is good to discuss about projects that the JA Company is engaging in. If you give the team someone to contact ask in the next meeting how it has progressed.

Team work Time management and teamwork are a key pair. The mentor is in a key role in explaining how distributing the tasks at hand among different people will make time management easier and help the team progress towards their goals. In the beginning, everyone is usually motivated, but as time progresses some members of the team might end up doing more work than others, which may result in conflicts among the group. The time each group member spends on the company may also differ causing issues. Personal stories about the relative importance of things and scheduling of work helps the company members understand time management and distribution of work better.

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JA Company Mentor’s Trail: The following two pages commensurate the JA Company Program into six steps and contain the suggested meeting times and agendas between the mentor and the company. This serves as a path for the mentor to follow. The suggested agendas are to help you guide the student company You may discuss other topics and/or meet more than four times with the company if you feel. The meetings are planned to last about an hour. We recommend agreeing on meeting places and times with the student company already at the beginning of the JA Company Program.

From group to a company own strengths innovation, creativity, cooperation r business idea be

Step

tem

p Se

3

Planning and founding

Step

1

company name, business plan, risk evaluation roles and responsibilities contacting advisors / business volunteers

Step

2

St

ep

so

f

JA the

Co

a mp

o Pr ny

gr

am

Starting the business funds, monetary transactions, accounting manufacturing products / services internationality and social responsibility

1st meeting, September-October The JA students already have a planned business idea. Get to know each other, their business idea, and their goals. Ask them to introduce their business idea and introduce yourself and your career history. Remember that the stars of the show are the entrepreneurs, so let them express themselves and focus on the development of their company.

Agenda: the viability of the business idea of the company in the time span of the school year the know how to execute the idea the level of commitment of the team and the different roles within the team goals of the company members regarding the company SWOT analysis of the company (strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats) the level of need of help by the company members and where you could help them how to develop and execute the business idea from here on? concrete action proposals and midterm goals to be discussed during the next meeting the time and place of the next meeting how to keep in contact: by phone or by email? 4

2nd meeting, December In this stage the JA Company has been running for some time already and the challenge is usually either the execution of marketing or production. During the winter and beginning of spring, there are several local trade fairs organized by JA Finland where it is possible for the JA Companies to sell their products and show what they have learned. Selling and sales pitches are important in this stage. Ask the students to pitch to you or invite them to your work place to pitch to your colleagues. At these trade fairs some companies are selected to participate in the “NY Uskalla Yrittää” final competition. Encourage the students to participate in the trade fairs and visit the fair yourself to cheer them on. Do you happen to know someone who the students could benefit from? Draw the students into your own network. You are in a key position to open doors for the students.

Agenda: target customer segment pricing of the product marketing and sales of the company: where, when and how? ideas from the students in their own marketing, sales and production accounting, cash flow, ROI (return on investment) practicing the sales pitch and feedback inviting the company to your workplace to pitch their company sharing your network with the company and guiding them to the right people concrete actions for the next meeting The times of the local trade fairs and the final will be announced later at the Company Program website: nyvuosiyrittajana.fi and in the social media @NuoriYrittajyys.


Sales and competitions

Closing down and experiences

regional expos, networking, presentation skills sales and marketing polishing business ideas

Step

5

Step

4

summary of the year final report experiences

Ma

y

Step

6

3rd meeting, February The operations of the JA Companies continue. Some of the companies are preparing for the “Uskalla Yrittää” final competition and are planning the actions related to this. Usually the students need cheering on in this stage to make it through the whole year.

What happens next? What now when the Company Program has ended?

Agenda: plans for the future the company members have summerjobs (note that the Company Program lasts until the start of the summer usually) enhancing sales and marketing product development concrete actions for the next meeting

4th meeting, April Usually the JA Companies are dissolved in April or May. Discuss experiences from the year: What went well? What could have been done better? What have you learned? Also, talk about the future. Will the students continue by starting a real company? Can the students stay in contact with you in the future? Please note that a JA Company can only be run for the duration of one year. If the students wish to continue their business operations they have to either found a real company or become part of a cooperative. Some schools have their own cooperatives for the students to join.

Agenda: exchanging experiences things learned throughout the year what would the students want to do differently will the business operations continue? keeping in contact in the future

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The main partners

Partners

Founder members

Supporting foundations • The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries • Riitta and Jorma J. Takanen Foundation

Junior Achievement Finland is dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. JA Finland serves as a bridge between education and business life. Participation in the program provides learning opportunities for youths and prospective future employees for companies. The programs emphasize entrepreneurial skills and increase pro-activity. Working life skills, financial literacy, and functioning in society are important learning objectives.

JA Finland is a nonprofit NGO and has been operating since 1995. JA Finland is a Finnish branch of JA Worldwide, which has activities in more than 120 countries and offers unique international opportunities. info@nuoriyrittajyys.fi nuoriyrittajyys.fi facebook.com/nuoriyrittajyys

JA Company Mentor´s guide  

This guide is a collection of tips for JA Company mentors. We will introduce the mentor´s role and the other notable details about working w...

JA Company Mentor´s guide  

This guide is a collection of tips for JA Company mentors. We will introduce the mentor´s role and the other notable details about working w...