V.I. teen entrepreneurship program receives $12,000 grant
Published: March 4, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands has received a $12,000 grant to support a program that teaches teens about entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses.
The $12,000 V.I. grant, part of a larger donation of $204,000 over three years that FirstCaribbean International Bank has made to the Junior Achievement Americas organization in the Caribbean, will be used for the Junior Achievement Company Program locally.
"JA Company Program is an educational program that provides practical information about developing and operating a new business and the importance of identifying education and career goals based on a student's skills, interests and values," a release from Junior Achievement Virgin Islands said.
During the next three years, FirstCaribbean International Bank and Junior Achievement will make the financial literacy and entrepreneurship course available to more than 1,100 students in the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Netherland Antilles, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the release said.
Junior Achievement's Company Program "encompasses business, entrepreneurship and an economics curriculum" for high school students, the release said.
The program is a series of 12 to 16 after-school meetings of about 90 minutes each.
The release said that a diverse group of students from public and private schools on St. Croix and St. Thomas currently are meeting in five groups of 20 to 30 students for the program.
"Each group has established a different company with shareholders and officers," it says. "The companies are providing services or buying and reselling products or manufacturing their own products for sale."
Although it is a student-led program, three experienced business people are in each company to lead the first four sessions and attend all the others, to advise and mentor students.
"The companies operate for profit, and at the end of the program, the company is liquidated and those profits returned to the shareholders, the students, teachers, family members and friends," the release said.
Junior Achievement Worldwide and FirstCaribbean Comtrust Foundation share a goal of significantly improving financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship, the release said.