Tuesday, July 5, 2011

JA Fellows and Entrepreneurship

I've blogged before on how effective the Junior Achievement (JA) Fellows program is at introducing high school students to business ownership and management and fostering entrepreneurship from an early age. It really is a great hands-on entrepreneurship training program. I've even written how the JA Fellows program can also be advantageous for volunteers who are just starting out as entrepreneurs or who work for large companies and are considering entrepreneurship. The JA Fellows program walks you through the entire process from raising capital through selling stock to unwinding and liquidating the business. It's a superb program and I'm happy to call myself a volunteer.

This past year I volunteered with a group that came up with a product, ReZold, after several weeks of trying to do another product. The initial product took more time and effort than initially anticipated and had way too many variables. I thought this was an excellent real-life learning situation for them. Due to my travel schedule, although I had been with the group since October and had many returnees from the previous year, for which I was also a volunteer, I had to resign in late January. I didn't think it was fair for people to count on me when I couldn't say definitively whether I'd be there or not. C'est la vie.

The great news is that my former group, ReZold, went on to win the "innovative" category in the city wide JA Fellows competition. And they were ranked in the top 3 submissions so my group (former group) is headed to Washington, DC for the North American championship. There's a wonderful article about them in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Young Entrepeneurs Tout Summer Vocation.

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