KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday May 4, 2017 – Jamaica is getting a jumpstart on building a new generation of entrepreneurs.
When the new school year opens in September, grade nine students at 168 high schools will have a new subject on their timetable – entrepreneurship.
It’s all part of the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) Secondary Early Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) programme, a three-year agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Junior Achievement Jamaica.
At the recent launch, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education Floyd Green said students would benefit from real-life business experiences to build knowledge, capacity and confidence to form their own businesses.
He said it was part of the Government’s thrust to deal with the issue of joblessness, while creating new opportunities for the youth.
“We are pushing innovation, creativity, social entrepreneurship; we are pushing the next generation of entrepreneurs. That is how we will treat with youth unemployment, and that is how we will bring the prosperity that we all seek,” he said.
Green noted that Junior Achievement Jamaica, which has more than 15 programmes across the island, has been reaping big dividends over the last eight years.
“We have touched the lives of more than 50,000 young people, and we have placed the focus squarely on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and how they can transition into the workplace,” he pointed out.
Project Manager of the JACE SEED programme, Yanique Taylor, outlined that the 14-week programme will be taught by highly trained teachers and volunteers once or twice per week.
It will feature a comprehensive in-class learning curriculum designed to teach the fundamental skills to build a successful business, as well as entrepreneurial skills to earn and keep a job in high growth career industries.
USAID’s director of the Office of Citizen Security Andrew Colburn is excited by the three-year initiative.
He said some 72, 000 youth will be impacted and at least 1,900 student businesses will be created to enhance the “hands-on, experiential learning experience for the students”.