Formation of entrepreneurial skills through junior enterprises

Organisation and country where the good practice has been implemented: Kauno technikos profesinio mokymo centras/ Kaunas technical vocational education centre

Title: Formation of entrepreneurial skills through junior enterprises (Junior Achievement program)

Main Theme/Area of intervention: Entrepreneurship

Main objectives: Practical entrepreneurship training in organizing a junior enterprise.

Target groups addressed: A real joint stock company is organized. Students become shareholders and employees of a real company. Teachers are consultants and shareholders.

Main activities necessary for its realisation: At Kaunas Technical Vocational Education Center (KTVEC), entrepreneurship skills training is integrated into all training programmes. In practice, entrepreneurial skills are developed through Junior Company (JC) activities under the Junior Achievement program. A training joint stock company is established (usually operates for 10 months, but other cases are possible). Shares are sold (price per share is 2.5 Eur). According to the requirements of the training company, one shareholder can acquire a maximum of 2 shares. This forms the share capital for the company to operate. JC Pinokis usually distributes 50 shares.

During the meeting of shareholders, the president of the company is elected, vice presidents for production, personnel, marketing and finance are appointed, and the business idea is discussed. Shares are sold to members of the company and the school community (students, teachers, parents of students). The company manufactures and sells products, organizes, tenders, training, etc. JC usually has two advisors, a teacher and a business consultant (entrepreneur). At the end of the operating season, financial statements are prepared, dividends are paid to shareholders, and the company is officially liquidated. Next year, it all starts again: attracting new members, setting up a company, etc. In this way, students are taught the basics of business organization. The company manufactures and sells wooden toys and small products. Wood or other types of waste remaining in workshops after vocational training of carpenters and joiners are used to manufacture products.

JC Pinokis activities are closely related to practical vocational training in the Wood Processing Department and the Business and Services Department: products are manufactured in Wood Practical Workshops (high-end equipment, consultations of teachers), while product sales are organized by Business and Services Department students. Since raw materials cost almost nothing (only accessories are purchased), school equipment is used, and the low cost of JC Pinokis products is maintained. They can be sold at lower prices than competitors’ and a good profit can be made. JC Pinokis products are sold at fairs. These are fairs organized at schools, other vocational training institutions, fairs organized by LMA (Lithuanian Junior Achievement), public city events (Hansa Days, Kaunas Days, etc.). Sales are also held at school. Success factors – students’ management, finance, communication skills.

Results achieved: The company has 7 to 11 members. At the end of the company’s activities, the company members are certified with Junior Achievement certificates; all shareholders receive dividends if the company is successful. Members of the company gain entrepreneurial, communication and financial skills.

Innovation: Junior companies operate in accordance with the requirements of the Junior Achievement program. Their activities cover various areas of business according to the possibilities of students. Kaunas Technical Vocational Education Center is an innovative institution and focuses on practical vocational training, the part of which is JC Pinokis activities. The products are manufactured in the training workshops of the woodworking department and the trade is organized by the students of the business and services department.

Transferability: The Junior Achievement program in teaching economics and entrepreneurship operates in European and U.S. educational institutions. There are about 400 training companies in Lithuania. The activities of training companies regulated under the Junior Achievement program can be adapted to the development of entrepreneurial skills for different age groups. Junior companies can be organized in basic schools, gymnasiums or vocational training institutions. Sharing experiences is possible through Junior Achievement events (seminars, trainings, competitions, fairs), during which good practice, innovation of ideas, and success of activities are disseminated.

Impact: Organisation

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