Start your future! Young people in grade 9-12 gain skills, connections, and confidence through the JA Company Program. High school students experience business and entrepreneurship by starting their own business as a team.
The after-school version of Company Program takes place over 18 weekly sessions, starting in October/November each school year. A number of In-Person and Virtual options are available!
JA Company Program can also be facilitated in-school in partnership with teachers.
Company Program After-School
Company Program After-School
JA Company Program After-School
JA Company Program provides high school students with a low-risk, first-hand experience in business and entrepreneurship. Over 18 weekly sessions, students have the opportunity to create and operate a real business in a team of 12-15 students and with the guidance of mentors from the local business community.
JA Company Program is FREE for our students thanks to local sponsors who support the program. There is usually a small cost associated with launching and investing in your JA Company (usually $10, max $20). Students are a part of the team determining these corporate costs and often make their investment back and have the potential to earn profits as well!
Company Program Information and Resources
Register for the After-School Company Program
Registration is now closed for 2023-24. Registration for the 2024-25 program year will begin in May 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can register as a student?
Any student enrolled in high school in the JA South Western Ontario region will be eligible to participate in the program. JA South Western Ontario covers the following areas: Windsor-Essex, Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent, London-Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Grey, Bruce, Waterloo Region, Guelph-Wellington, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Hamilton, and Niagara.
What is the time commitment required for students to participate?
Students are expected to dedicate 3-4 hours each week from November to April. This includes:
- 2.5-3 hours weekly for program meetings (at a set day/time each week)
- 30 min to 1 hour to work on your business outside of meetings (will vary by week)
- Students must commit to attending a minimum of 80% of the 18 weekly meetings.
Will the program be running in-person or virtually?
We plan to have both in-person and virtual options available for students. In-person locations offered will be dependent on availability of space and volunteers to facilitate the program.
Is the program only for students with an interest/ background in business?
JA Company Program is a well-rounded program where students from all areas of interests and skills can participate and benefit. While many of our students do come from business related classes, we have had students from a wide range of interest and areas (including arts, science, etc.) participate. We encourage students from all interests to take part as the skills you learn and the experiences you will have go far beyond the business world.
Will I be working on my own or in a team?
Students registered in JA Company Program will be placed in a team of and run one business collaboratively over the 18 weeks.
How are teams formed? How many students will be in a team?
All student registrants will be randomly assigned to a team of approximately 15 students. Students may request to be in a team with one other friend at registration. While we will try to accommodate requests wherever possible, being in a team with your friend is not guaranteed. Teams are formed in this way to ensure all programs have an equitable number of students with a range of backgrounds to support the program experience and tasks/roles. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and develop your teamwork skills!
I am uncertain and anxious about creating a business as I don’t have any experience and/or skills in this area. What resources will be available?
Rest assured, no special knowledge or previous experience is needed to be successful with the JA Company Program. Volunteer mentors work with each team and provide guidance and advice and JA provides additional resources to students and mentors throughout the experience. You’ll learn everything you need to know by trying things for yourself!
What is the cost to participate?
There is no cost to participating in the JA Company Program, thanks to our generous corporate partners, donors, and volunteers. There is typically a small amount ($5-$20) to invest in your company once you and your team have selected a product or service and determined your capital investment needs. The hope is that you will break-even or make a profit in your venture and receive a return on your investment by the end of the year.
Note: Students you are unable to invest in a $5-20 share in their JA Company are invited to contact JA in confidence for support. You will not be turned away from participating!
Virtual Company Program FAQs
What tech requirements are needed to participate virtually? What if a student does not have access to these tech requirements?
Students will need access to a stable internet connection and laptop/tablet to be able to participate in the program as the meetings will be held virtually each week. If a student does not have access to these tech requirements, please get in touch with the JA Company Program team in advance and we will support you in finding a solution.
What virtual meeting platform will teams use?
Weekly Company Program meetings take place online via Zoom. Details with the meeting links will be communicated to all students prior to the beginning of the program. This will be a free meeting platform for all students to use.
What are the guidelines for selecting a product/service?
We will be providing additional guidelines to teams regarding product/service selection. Companies will need to consider that meeting in-person for production and sales may not be viable with the virtual model of Company Program.
Recommendations would be to consider products/services that can be produced virtually and be sold on an ecommerce platform. Some product/service options might include:
- Virtual Event
- Drop Shipping
It is always exciting to see what creative ideas student teams will come up with!
What are some ways to make money through a digital product or service?
There are many ways to make money through a digital product or service! Some examples include:
Selling a fee-based online service through a website or app
Selling a digital product (i.e. e-book) through a website
Selling a membership or subscription fee for an app or website
Selling ads or sponsorships for an app, website, or virtual event
Selling tickets for a virtual event
Selling a product you design using drop shipping
There are so many possibilities and opportunities; you just have to be creative and think outside the box! And you will need to do some brainstorming and research; just like with any product or service, you can only sell what people need and are willing to pay for.
What if I still have questions or need more information?
For more information, contact
Zoe Burness at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-439-4201 x.223
I will use this information to better build the fundamentals of my future company.
– JA Student