Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) is a member of Junior Achievement worldwide, the oldest economic education non-profit organization with a 121 country network that provides cutting edge programs to youth ages 5-27 addressing entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. All of our programs are interwoven with critical thinking exercises and even mind-map exercises to really accelerate the growth of our beneficiaries. JAN started in Nigeria in 1999 and is the only non-profit organization with private sector companies as board of directors. JAN is the bridge between the classroom and the work place and has reached over 600,000 youth and with a goal of 1 million beneficiaries in 2020. Currently I am the 4th Executive Director of Junior Achievement Nigeria with over 10 years of nonprofits experience in criminal justice, healthcare and education in the United States. With the support of volunteers, entrepreneurs, teachers and stakeholders from all walks of life we are able to mentor young Nigerians on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.
Passionate about the youths
I strongly believe you get what you put in. If we don’t make a direct investment in our human capital we will not have a workforce capable of competing in a global economy. With over a million students graduating from tertiary institutions entering into an already stressed job market we need to empower them with the entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills to brace the challenges ahead of them.
Continuity/follow up with the students
We ensure continuity by utilizing technology to track the data that we collect from our beneficiaries. With this information, primary school beneficiaries are engaged to ensure they are taught our secondary school programs. In addition, we record success stories to aid in donor engagement and develop new partnerships.
Getting volunteers, educators, parents and contributors
Charity begins at home so we start with our board companies; Accenture, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, Citibank, Deloitte, Dangote, Agile, StanbicIBTC, Oracle and HOD Consulting. They volunteer with us and provide generous in-kind support. JAN staff go to our volunteers and facilitate a 45 minute training session and place them in schools convenient for them to teach students. In addition, we work with all the CBN Bankers committee to deliver and implement a financial literacy curriculum to all the banks during Global Money Week in all 6 Geo-Political zones. Following financial literacy day, most banks adopt the schools mentor those beneficiaries on financial literacy modules created by JAN.
JAN’s plans to implement the SDG’s
Goal 1 No Poverty: As part of JAN’s objectives to contribute to the eradication of poverty, all of our programs to students ages 5-27 address financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. This knowledge is vital in the fight against poverty.
Goal 4 Quality Education: We are firm advocates for education equality in Nigeria. Many of the unemployed youth do not have the education fundamentals and this will affect their readiness for an already strained job market. JA Nigeria’s supplemental programs are the same as our global partners. So a beneficiary in Kano, is learning the same material as their peer in Europe.
Goal 5 Gender Equity: JA Nigeria is an advocate closing the gender equity gap. We are currently partnering with Intel to provide ICT knowledge to over 5,000 women and girls. In 2015, we facilitated a program known as the Girls Enterprise Program (GEP) sponsored by MasterCard that trained over 400 girls on entrepreneurship and skills acquisition to empower them for the future.
Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth: As JA Nigeria’s vision emphasizes, “Young conscientious business leaders leading a vibrant economy”, we are advocates for holistic work environments and economic growth. Empowered youth are able to change the fabric of our society.
Goal 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: JA Nigeria provides an environment for the youth to be innovative as they create small enterprises in our flagship Company Program.
Venture in Management Program (ViMP) 2016 is a week-long mini MBA course in partnership with the ACA foundation, Accenture and The Lagos Business School (LBS). The program was developed in 2000 and has over 700 alumni. Over 1000 applicants applied for the program and only 50 were shortlisted to participate. The students will work with LBS on industry related case studies in order to help them become better business leaders and key players in the society. They will also participate in a job fair with our board. ViMP will also be crystalized in a documentary.
JAN’s plans for 2016
JAN is currently positioning itself for expansion to the Northern region. Stakeholders have approached us about providing entrepreneurship skills to out of school youth and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The JAN Board of directors are strategizing to restructure the organization internally to ensure we are positioned to expand to all six geo political zones.
JAN’s desire for more partnerships to exceed goal of 1 Million students by 2020
JAN is looking to partner with organizations whose vision, mission and CSR initiatives align with ours. The more partnerships we develop; the more beneficiaries we can impact in our communities
My main challenge is financial sustainability in this challenging economy, without compromising the beneficiaries that stand to gain from our free programs.
Three of our 2015 ViMP candidates, Sabina Olowu, Christina Olusile, and Adenike Odewale, after completing ViMP, 2 of them worked with Junior Achievement as interns, Adenike and Christine. Sabina was an Executive Assistant. Less than a year after working with JAN, Sabina took on a role as an Accountant for Ernst and Young; Christina is a Tax Associate at KPMG, and Adenike is retained as a Program Officer for Junior Achievement Nigeria.