JA Company Program provides high school students with a low-risk, first-hand experience in business and entrepreneurship. The after-school version of Company Program takes place over 18 weekly sessions, starting in October/November each school year.

JA Company Program can also be facilitated in-school in partnership with teachers.   


Student Registration for CP After-School:

Teacher Information for CP In-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

Company Program Overview and FAQs


In consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the continued uncertainty surrounding in-person gathering limits and access to public and private/corporate spaces, JA South Western Ontario will be continuing to offer the after-school Company Program as a fully virtual experience for the 2021/2022 school year. This will allow us to move forward with confidence that we can deliver a comprehensive Company Program experience without interruption or risk of cancellation. 

The goal for the JA Company Program is to engage high school students in an experiential learning opportunity where they can develop critical life skills and gain valuable knowledge and insight into entrepreneurship. Through JA Company Program, students have access to: 

1. Mentorship

2. Experiential hands-on learning

3. Opportunity to collaborate

4. Opportunity to develop networking skills and network with the JA community

5. Company Program events

Program Structure and Benefits

For the 2021-2022 school year, JA Company Program will be available to students in a virtual model. 

Company Program Element2021-2022 Virtual FormatBenefits to Students
MeetingsOnline meetings scheduled for 2 hours each week. Once the company is established, recommended weekly meeting times will be 1 to 1.5 hours for full team meetings plus additional time for smaller group mentoring and working sessions. ▲Greater flexibility in time commitment and scheduling. 
▲Shorter full team meetings
▲Smaller group mentoring and working sessions can be scheduled throughout the week when convenient for students and mentors. 
LocationNo physical location▲No need to travel or commute. Students can participate in any program without needing to travel to a physical meeting location. 
Product/Service  Students will be encouraged to work on a digital product/service or utilize drop shipping (see FAQ section below for more details)▲Getting a head start in learning about digital business and entrepreneurship
▲Students will have the opportunity to develop their digital proficiency and the critical skills needed in the new ‘virtual business world’. 
Timing18 weeks, from early November to March▲Program breaks for holidays and exam periods.
CP EventsStudents will have access to virtual CP events throughout the year, such as Management Training, Pitch Competition/ Trade Show and Celebration of Excellence Awards ▲More students are able to participate in and benefit from these virtual events with no restrictions to venue capacities or geographic challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can students register for the program?

Pre-registration is available until September when registration opens for the next program year. There is no fee to register. Registration is completed online and is first-come, first-serve. Students can pre-register via our website HERE.

​Share the opportunity with your friends and sign up to participate together!

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.

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.

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.   

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!

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.

I am uncertain and anxious about creating a virtual 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. JA provides additional resources to students and mentors through our resource portal and through webinars throughout the year to support the Company Program. These additional resources may include webinars around brainstorming digital products, how to set up an e-commerce site, and how to attract customers online.

This is a unique opportunity for students to take on a relevant and current challenge and develop their digital proficiency skills while learning about entrepreneurship.

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:

  • App/Website
  • 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

Karen Chafe at kchafe@jaswo.org or 519-439-4201 x.225

I will use this information to better build the fundamentals of my future company.

– JA Student