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JA Company Program

Junior Achievement is a national program focused on providing young people with entrepreneurial and financial programs that develop knowledge and skills for future economic success. We will be using their JA Company Program as our main curriculum throughout the semester.

business meeting

Module 1 - Start a Business

The Assignment

Create a vision wall using these instructions.

Design Thinking E.D.I.P.T. - Define

Using the design thinking method, we need to define problems that our company can solve. In class, we'll look at some example products and talk about the problems they solve. 

With a partner, find three innovative or creative products and add them to this collaborative page. We'll talk about these as a group. 

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris talks about finding a niche market by first focusing on the groups you belong to. We'll look at a small section of his book in class and group up to create a list of problems. 


In your groups (based on similar interests in ....) you will generate list of problems our company can solve. As a class, our goal is to have a list of 100 or more problems. The group that generates the biggest list of legitimate problems will earn a reward. Create a Google Doc for your list that can be shared with the group. "And may the odds be ever in your favor." 

Add your list of company problems to this collaborative page.


Module 2 - Fill a Need

Business Ideas Image - We will refine this in class

Needs vs Wants

How do we know if our product fills a want or a need? We'll discuss some ideas in class and look at some suggestions from Tim Ferris. 

The Assignment

You will break up into small groups and each will be assigned one of the top business ideas from class. Your mission is to prove there is a need/want for that business idea.

Module 3 Vet the Venture

Use the document below to begin researching and vetting your business ideas. Besides what is listed on the document, include the following:
  • Target market
  • Product relevance
  • Profitability
  • Competition
  • Cost
  • Market strategy
  • Practicality
  • Usability
  • Demand

The Assignment

You will need to contact an industry expert relevant to your product idea. Use them as a resource to complete your research and see that the ideas are viable. Create a report that includes your research and summarizes why we should invest or divest in that product idea. 

Design Thinking E.D.I.P.T. - Prototype

concept car
We've brainstormed ideas and researched their viability. Using the design thinking method, now is the time to prototype. 

We'll look at this article on how to create a prototype. For our class, the prototype might be something as simple as a sketch or drawing to something more concrete like a 3D model.

The Assignment

Prototype your business ideas. If you are using illustrations, there should be more than one 'mock up' for each idea. 

Module 4 Create a Structure 

In module four and five you will work on building the structure and business plan that will guide your company.

In class, we will look at module four deeper dive which talks about continuous innovation and lean startups. 

The Assignment

Complete the business team task list and Snapshot Bussiness Plan and send them to me on Schoology.

Module 5 Launch the Business 

We will look through the module five deeper diver presentation in class and talk about preparing your presentation to pitch your business idea to an investor. 

The Assignment

Your company will pitch your business idea and plan to an investor. Each business team will create and present a section. You will be graded on the following requirements:
  • Collaborative presentation with three to five slides from each business team
  • Clear and concise presentation content
  • Engaging presentation design (more slides, more images, & less information)
  • No copyrighted media
  • Presentation
    • Knowledge of content
    • Preparedness
    • Formal dress

Module 6 - 11 Run the Business

business working
Over the next few weeks, you will be in charge of running your business. Each week we will meet to discuss the progress of each team and tasks for the week. You will be holding each other accountable for performance. The link below will be used to guide meetings and the work that needs to be completed.

Each week we will dig deeper into specific team functions to support each group and the company as a whole.

Marketing Module

We will use the JA marketing module to cover key marketing concepts. Use this document as we watch the marketing videos in class. We will use the questions for discussion. 

Sales Module

We will use the JA sales module to cover key sales concepts. Use this rubric to up your sales game.  

Elevator Pitch Collaboration

Spring 2017
- 1 Point Extra Credit for each sweatshirt sold

Liquidation & Annual Report

We watch this video in class, which demonstrates an annual report video. Notice how they gave an overview of their company and goals and then focused on specific accomplishments. This guide on creating annual reports is a good reference. Some highlights are to focus on accomplishments, tell a story, and remember visuals and design. 

The Assignment

Use this rubric demonstrate your accomplishments through this annual report project.

Personal Action Plan

Using the knowledge/skills you've gained during this semester, complete the personal action plan linked below. 

Career  Exploration

Making a career choice is not easy, and it's important to make an informed decision. Thankfully there are tools available to help. Complete the JACP Career Exploration assignment to learn more about career options and the return on investment. 


Complete these surveys to provide feedback to Junior Achievement.

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