Pilot Junior Achievement Program to be launched | Daily News


Pilot Junior Achievement Program to be launched

‘The Junior Achievement’ program known as ‘The Young Entrepreneur Sri Lanka’ (YESL) will be re-launched with a view to develop entrepreneurship skills among school children. “The pilot project has been planned to commence in September, the organizers said at the launch announcement event held at Hatch Colombo last week.

The program was active in Sri Lanka from 1998 to 2012. The program is run by the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship. The YESL program expanded from nine schools to almost 400 schools, reaching well over 35,000 students islandwide. It has since been discontinued.

With assistance from the Employers Federation, the program is sponsored and partnered by corporate leaders such as Codegen International, YouLead, PWC, FJ and G de Saram, AMCHAM Sri Lanka, INCAPITA Investments, Winner Academy of Communication and Hatch.

Representative Junior Achievement, Bennie Tam said that the program would help bring about an entrepreneurial attitude in the participants. Tam cited the number 7 ranking of Junior Achievement by NGO advisors as representing the effectiveness of their work.

The pilot program will be based in the Western province and see the participation of eight schools. Ananda College, Bandaranayaka Vidyalaya, Gampaha, Bandaranayaka Central College Veyangoda, Hindu College, Mahanama College, Royal College Colombo, Sri Jayewardenapura Vidyalaya, and St Josephs College Colombo have been selected for the pilot project. The project will eventually cover 750 students.

Students will have to begin businesses with a capital allowance of Rs 10,000. They are advised to serve a social purpose with their ventures. At the end of the project, the ventures will be wound up and the capital redistributed. On the basis of the success of the pilot project, the Junior Achievement program internationally will consider Sri Lanka for future projects.

Language development expert, Arshad Akbar who is a past participant of the program said, when he participated in the project he learned a lot about entrepreneurship.

“It was helpful that the project let children make mistakes in a simulated environment so that they could learn from it for the future.” He cited the project as being a major confidence booster and instrumental in giving him the skills to start his own venture.

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