JA Company Program®

  • Program Overview

    JA Company Program analyzes and explores personal opportunities and responsibilities within a student-led company.

    Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

    • Apply their business and entrepreneurial skills to education, career, and service pursuits.

    • Recognize the significance of personal responsibility and financial literacy in making positive
      life decisions.

    Meeting Overviews and Objectives

    Meeting One

    Students work together to establish an effective and efficient team environment, while outlining specific leadership roles for the future company. Students create values and standards for the company and explore its vision, mission,
    and goals.


    Students will be able to:

    • Determine how fundamental leadership principles create an effective
      company environment.

    • Identify the company’s departmental structure and associated leadership roles.

    • Discuss the company’s values.

    • Consider a company name.

    • Discuss the company’s capitalization plan.

    Meeting Two

    Working as a company, students conduct officer elections and learn about each department’s specific responsibilities during the Operation and Liquidation Phases.


    Students will be able to:

    • Classify the components of a
      business opportunity.

    • Identify department responsibilities.

    • Approve the company charter application and bylaws.

    • Initiate a company capitalization plan.

    Meeting Three

    The company enters the Context Phase of the program. During this phase, students use tools, such as market surveys and cost-benefit analysis, to determine potential products for their
    target market.


    Students will be able to:

    • Conduct market research to isolate a
      target market.

    • Develop a market survey.

    • Analyze product options.

    • Generate questions regarding each department’s business plan.

    Meeting Overviews and Objectives

    Meeting Four

    The company enters the Deal Phase of the program. During this phase, students select the top two or three product options for cost-benefit analysis.


    Students will be able to:

    • Complete the product evaluation form.

    • Create sales goals for the company
      and individuals.

    • Finalize and submit department
      business plans.

    • Select a JA company product.

    Meeting Five

    The company enters the Business Opportunity Phase of the program. Students host a Board of Directors meeting to approve the company’s business plan, review implementation strategies, and accept the company charter.


    Students will be able to:

    • Initiate the organization and/or production of the product.

    • Maintain accurate, organized department records of all transactions.

    Meeting Six

    Materials needed for product production are ordered, and the company business plan is implemented. Students may take part in an Extended Learning Opportunity.


    Students will be able to:

    • Initiate purchasing materials for production.

    • Prepare records needed for
      company operations.

    • Identify the sales order forms and the product sales process.

    Meeting Seven

    Students continue to operate the company.


    Students will be able to:

    • Refine and implement all aspects of the company business plan.

    • Prepare to sell the product to the defined target market.

    • Continue production.

    • Maintain accurate, organized records of all transactions.

    Meeting Eight

    Students continue to produce and sell their product. They learn about specific sales techniques that will assist them in reaching their sales goals.


    • Students will be able to:

    • Identify effective sales techniques
      and strategies.

    • Recognize ineffective production strategies and adjust accordingly.

    Meeting Nine

    Students hold department meetings to share best practices and propose changes to current
    company operations.


    Students will be able to:

    • Continue sales and production of product.

    • Refine departmental strategies.

    Meeting Overviews and Objectives

    Meeting Ten

    Students begin to finalize production, assess excess inventory, and prepare for the Board of Directors liquidation meeting.


    Students will be able to:

    • Identify and evaluate production and inventory needs for the final product sales.

    • Begin to prepare all liquidation forms and records needed for the annual report.

    Meeting Eleven

    Students explore next steps and learn how to apply what they have learned as a company to personal entrepreneurial pursuits.


    Students will be able to:

    • Explore the JA Student Center and JA Career Assessment tools.

    • Create a personal action plan.

    • Complete all liquidation reports.

    • Compile the annual report.

    Meeting Twelve

    Students will conduct the final Board of Directors liquidation meeting and approve the

    Annual Report.


    Students will be able to:

    • Distribute stockholder dividends.

    • Celebrate their company’s success.

    Program Basics

    • Includes a series of twelve meetings recommended for high school students.
    • Average time for each meeting is 90-120 minutes.
    • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 24 students.
    • Introduces students to the key elements involved in organizing and operating a business.
    • Meeting-specific, student-friendly materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
    • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and mathematics.

    Program Concepts and Skills

    JA Company Program enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

    ConceptsBusiness, Choices, Competition, Division of labor, Entrepreneur, Expenses, Fixed costs, Goods, Incentive, Income, Liquidation, Management, Marketing, Parliamentary procedure, Price, Productivity, Profit, Production, Research and Development, Services, Stock, Variable costs

    SkillsAssembling products, Analyzing and interpreting information, Brainstorming, Consensus building, Critical reading, Gathering and organizing information, Group and self-assessment, Interpreting production inventory, Oral and written communication, Making observations, Product analysis, Public speaking, Research, Synthesizing and evaluating information, Selling,
    Working in groups