The Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) is an entrepreneurial education programme for primary school pupils. This innovative programme opens the minds of primary school pupils to the joy of entrepreneurship at a time in their lives when they are full of imagination and open to new possibilities. The programme helps participating pupils to develop a number of skills including literacy, writing, presentation, drawing, technology, research skills, numeracy, financial, consumer awareness, storytelling, listening skills, creative thinking, problem solving, team building and collaboration skills.The programme has a significant personal development impact on participating pupils, building confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem, and an appreciation of individual skills and talents.
The Junior Entrepreneur Programme or JEP as it’s known, was created to allow primary school pupils in Ireland the opportunity to embrace entrepreneurship as part of their formative education. Children use their creativity to come up with individual business ideas, they come together as a class to choose one idea and then work to turn this idea into reality over a 10- 16week period. They’ve got to do the hard work – researching what customers really want, working out their costs and how much to charge for it. They figure out what they’re good at and try to use those skills to play their part in a team. All along the way, they’ve got the support of their classmates, teachers and family. Entrepreneurship isn’t on the national curriculum, but almost everything that’s included in the JEP Programme is.
Here in St. Attractas NS, we are in our third year of Junior Entrepreneur Programme involvement. Over the past few years we have witnessed our students thrive through the challenges of setting up and running their own businesses in school. Student investment, planning, management and assessment have been integral areas of development for the students which will allow for lifelong learning opportunities.