Entrepreneurship can offer opportunities to young people from challenging backgrounds for several reasons:
- Self-determination: entrepreneurship allows individuals to take control of their own destiny. Instead of relying on traditional career paths or job opportunities, young people from difficult backgrounds can create their own ventures and define their own success.
- Economic empowerment: This can help break the cycle of poverty and provide financial stability.
- Entrepreneurship allows to develop transverse skills like identifying gaps in the market and creating innovative solutions, problem-solving, leadership, and resilience which are highly valued in the professional world.
- Start to create a network: the entrepreneurial journey offers opportunities to connect with mentors and advisors. With the help of Junior Achievement, the young can start to create first established connections
- Social impact: Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool for social change. Young entrepreneurs from difficult backgrounds often have firsthand experiences of the challenges faced by their communities. They can make a positive impact, contribute to community development, and inspire others.
Junior Achievement offers a range of programs that provide practical entrepreneurship education to young people. They specifically focus on job readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
With the support of Think Human Foundation, they started the 3-year project in 7 different countries to impact over 1500 students who have limited opportunities.
Let’s focus on some achievements of Junior Achievements:
Junior Achievement Estonia
This project in Estonia involves Ukrainian students in entrepreneurial activities with a join Estonia-Ukranian Innovation camp. Together, they participated in a 48-hour hackathon on 17-19 June in Tallinn, 59 students from 19 schools (17 of them were Ukrainian refugees). They brainstormed their student company idea, designed their business model, learned financials and marketing, created the company’s identity and pitched their ideas in front of other participants and jury. They also had team exercises, market research activities and bowling.
Junior Achievement Lithuania
Young people with limited opportunities are the beneficiaries of this project. In Lithuania, the focus is on the Ukrainian youth who were forced to leave their country with their mothers or other female relatives.
Social-emotional learning: the target group was traumatized from the scene of war and had little trust in others. Hence, the project’s activities were aiming to encourage self-development, teamwork and goal achievement as this creates trusting relations with the trainers, mentors and team members.
Digital literacy: digital tools were used to encourage participants’ teamwork ideas.
Total number of beneficiaries for this project is 327.
Junior Achievement Poland
JA Poland focuses on three pillars: financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness. They provide children and youth with social and economic knowledge, transversal skills and entrepreneurial attitudes that will help them succeed in the future. The alumni have the mindset and skillset to build thriving communities. They learn how to manage personal finances in a reasonable way, learn about the economy, and have a chance to run their own companies and other projects both socially and entrepreneurially. They learn to be self-sufficient and to take initiative.
A total of 714 young people benefited from this project.
Junior Achievement Romania
In Romania, JA supported the Ukrainian youth and children that came on Romanian territory to help them fit into their new schooling system. The program is called Youth Empowerment for Future Success. The project supports 500 beneficiaries.