Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP)
JEP is a practical, integrated and project based programme that merges many areas of the school curriculum. It provides children with the opportunity to develop skills in literacy, presentation, numeracy, listening, creative thinking, problem solving, technology and working collaboratively as part of a team in a real- life and meaningful way. JEP encourages children to make decisions, negotiate, resolve conflicts and engage with the wider community.
Firstly, the children must brainstorm ideas for an entrepreneurial project. They must then pitch these ideas to a panel of local entrepreneurs and convince them that their idea is the best one to go with (Meet the Dragons). This part of the process really brings out the creative side and encourages critical thinking in the children.
After this, the project that will be undertaken is chosen. For us the idea that was selected was an amalgamation of two opposing teams. We decided to sell dry mix and cooking instructions in a jar for cookies and homemade scented candles, coloured using old crayons.
While carrying out the project work the children assess their skills and work in many different areas including finance, marketing, design, production and sales.
To help with the project and to gain insight into what it is like to be an entrepreneur, a local business person visits the classroom to speak to the children, They can engage with this person and ask questions that may help them in their own entrepreneurial journey. In our case, William Kinsella, owner of the Wildflower Café, came to visit us. He provided the children with much food for thought and encouragement to work hard to make their project a success.
When all the hard work was completed, we held our showcase day. It was a great way to celebrate the children’s success.
The school provided the initial funding to the children to carry out the project and after the showcase day, the children returned the money to the BOM and also received their own share of the profits.
JEP provides real world education and the experience will benefit children long after the project is finished.