Offaly schools invited to enter Junior Entrepreneur Programme

Charlie Flynn

Reporter:

Charlie Flynn

Offaly schools invited to enter Junior Entrepreneur Programme

Offaly schools invited to enter Junior Entrepreneur Programme

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP)  has launched its 2019 recruitment programme, inviting primary schools from Offaly and across the island to participate in its entrepreneurship programme.

The programme centres around primary schoolchildren in 5th and 6th class learning about entrepreneurship and launching classroom businesses. The businesses range from clocks to games to books and solutions for everyday problems.

JEP has given more than 50,000 primary school pupils on the island of Ireland the opportunity to experience practical, real-life business learning as part of their formative education, since it was founded in 2010.

In 2018 the 12,000 children across 480 classes whom each invested a few euros each in their businesses achieved sales of €220,000 and net profit of €140,000. The funds belong to the children and the use of those funds is set by the children themselves. It’s usually a combination of returning investment and profit to the children, charitable contributions and class treats.

"JEP gives children an extra chance to learn about the real world before they've got to make decisions about what to study in second level. It gives children the opportunity to do something for themselves, to invest their money and get back profit they’ve made themselves. Along the way they learn the importance of entrepreneurs in their community and find out what they're good at" explained Jerry Kennelly Chairman of JEP and founder of Tweak.com which underwrites the JEP programme.

Running over a 12 to 16 week period during the school year, JEP nurtures creativity, independence and problem-solving among pupils of all abilities, with every aspect of the Programme seamlessly blending into the primary school curriculum.

Local entrepreneurs are invited to visit the JEP classrooms and tell the story of their business. Children reflect on this experience and document  it as part of their project. Every child produces a business idea and Entrepreneurs are invited to participate in a Dragons session where they are helped with selecting one final idea for the class to pursue.

Under their teacher’s guidance, children discover their strengths as individuals and as part of a team. Together, they’ll choose, invest in and produce their own product or service from scratch, all the way to making it available for sale at a school-hosted JEP Showcase Day - and enjoying the profits at the end.

Classes who participate in JEP will get a chance to showcase their classroom business at the spectacular JEP All Ireland Showcase Day at RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin on May 20th 2019.

Class sign up for JEP 2019 is open now to primary schools 5th & 6th class in the republic and P6 P7 in Northern Ireland and is open until Friday September 28. Parents should speak to their teachers to discuss participation in the programme or learn more at www.juniorentrepreneur.ie