JA Launches Program Aimed at Introducing Teens to Idea of Business Ownership

For the fourth year in a row, Junior Achievement (JA) and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) will connect entrepreneurs with high school students across the country during November, National Entrepreneurship Month, to share their experience with teens and to encourage them to consider business ownership as a career option. The initiative, known as JA Launch Lesson, has traditionally involved entrepreneurs acting as mentors in the classroom. But given the “new normal” this school year, Junior Achievement is offering virtual and remote options. Over the past four years, JA and EY have reached more than 210,000 high school students with this learning experience.

“We all know that small business has been disproportionally affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “Despite the immediate challenges facing business owners, entrepreneurship is still one of the most effective ways to drive innovation, overcome economic disparity, and grow communities. Through this collaboration with EY, we are committed to helping more young people understand the challenges and benefits of becoming an entrepreneur.”

JA Launch Lesson is a 50-minute educational experience built around the theme of entrepreneurship that creates a point of entry for students, volunteers and educators. It is delivered locally by entrepreneurs virtually, in classrooms and other student venues around the United States during National Entrepreneurship Month. Entrepreneurs are provided a guide by Junior Achievement that gives them the opportunity to connect with students, provide relevant information about their company and entrepreneurial journey, and share advice and next steps for students who are interested in starting their own business.

“We are honored to continue our tradition of fostering entrepreneurship at EY,” said Marna Ricker, Junior Achievement USA board member and EY’s Vice Chair of Tax Services. “This collaborative initiative empowers thousands of EY volunteers to help shape the next-generation workforce and deliver on our purpose of building a better working world.”