Founded in 1919 in the United States, JA is operational in 118 countries globally. The organisation was established in South Africa in 1979 and for the past 38 years JA South Africa has been providing experiential business, entrepreneurial and life skills to young people aged between 8 and 35 years nationwide in both rural and urban environments.
Although entrepreneurial activity is considered to be an important mechanism to address the massive challenge of youth unemployment, the current South African school curriculum does not provide for practical skills development in the understanding and management of economics, business, entrepreneurship and personal finances, leaving little scope for school leavers to shape a future for themselves through the establishment of a business.
For the past 38 years, JA South Africa, a non-governmental organisation supported by Junior Achievement Worldwide, has been providing these essential business and entrepreneurial skills to young people of all ages, across the country, in both rural and urban environments. Children as young as 10 years of age are exposed to entrepreneurial and business activities in a fun and interactive manner. The core programme is one for young people between the ages of 16 to 25, where under the guidance of highly trained facilitators, participants are introduced to key business concepts, after which they launch and manage a real small business.