JA Company Program

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company-programProgram Overview

JA Company Program® analyzes and explores personal opportunities and responsibilities within a student-led company.Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

  • Apply their business and entrepreneurial skills to education, career, and service pursuits.
  • Recognize the significance of personal responsibility and financial literacy in making positive life decisions.

Meeting Overviews and Objectives

Meeting One – Company Program

Overview: Students work together to establish an effective and efficient team environment, while outlining specific leadership roles for the future company. Students create values and standards for the company and explore its vision, mission, and goals.


  • Determine how fundamental leadership principles create an effective company environment.
  • Identify the company’s departmental structure and associated leadership roles.
  • Discuss the company’s values.
  • Consider a company name.
  • Discuss the company’s capitalization plan.

Meeting Two – Company Program

Overview: Working as a company, students conduct officer elections and learn about each department’s specific responsibilities during the Operation and Liquidation Phases.


  • Classify the components of a business opportunity.
  • Identify department responsibilities.
  • Approve the company charter application and bylaws.
  • Initiate a company capitalization plan.

Meeting Three: Company Program

Overview:The company enters the Context Phase of the program. During this phase, students use tools, such as market surveys and cost-benefit analysis, to determine potential products for their
target market.


  • Conduct market research to isolate a target market.
  • Develop a market survey.
  • Analyze product options.
  • Generate questions regarding each department’s business plan.

Meeting Four – Company Program

Overview: The company enters the Deal Phase of the program. During this phase, students select the top two or three product options for cost-benefit analysis.


  • Complete the product evaluation form.
  • Create sales goals for the company and individuals.
  • Finalize and submit department business plans.
  • Select a JA company product.

Meeting Five – Company Program

Overview: The company enters the Business Opportunity Phase of the program. Students host a Board of Directors meeting to approve the company’s business plan, review implementation strategies, and accept the company charter.


  • Initiate the organization and/or production of the product.
  • Maintain accurate, organized department records of all transactions.

Meeting Six – Company Program

Overview: Materials needed for product production are ordered, and the company business plan is implemented. Students may take part in an Extended Learning Opportunity.


  • Initiate purchasing materials for production.
  • Prepare records needed for company operations.
  • Identify the sales order forms and the product sales process.

Meeting Seven – Company Program

Overview: Students continue to operate the company.


  • Refine and implement all aspects of the company business plan.
  • Prepare to sell the product to the defined target market.
  • Continue production.
  • Maintain accurate, organized records of all transactions.

Meeting Eight – Company Program

Overview: Students continue to produce and sell their product. They learn about specific sales techniques that will assist them in reaching their sales goals.


  • Identify effective sales techniques and strategies.
  • Recognize ineffective production strategies and adjust accordingly.

Meeting Nine – Company Program

Overview: Students hold department meetings to share best practices and propose changes to current company operations.


  • Continue sales and production of product.
  • Refine departmental strategies.

Meeting Ten – Company Program

Overview: Students begin to finalize production, assess excess inventory, and prepare for the Board of Directors liquidation meeting.


  • Identify and evaluate production and inventory needs for the final product sales.
  • Begin to prepare all liquidation forms and records needed for the annual report.

Meeting Eleven – Company Program

Overview: Students explore next steps and learn how to apply what they have learned as a company to personal entrepreneurial pursuits.


  • Explore the JA Student Center and JA Career Assessment tools.
  • Create a personal action plan.
  • Complete all liquidation reports.
  • Compile the annual report.

Meeting Twelve – Company Program

Overview: Students will conduct the final Board of Directors liquidation meeting and approve the Annual Report.


  • Distribute stockholder dividends.
  • Celebrate their company’s success.

Program Basics

  • Includes a series of twelve meetings recommended for high school students.
  • Average time for each meeting is 90-120 minutes.
  • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 24 students.
  • Introduces students to the key elements involved in organizing and operating a business.
  • Meeting-specific, student-friendly materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
  • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and mathematics.

Company Program enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts—Business, Choices, Competition, Division of labor, Entrepreneur, Expenses, Fixed costs, Goods, Incentive, Income, Liquidation, Management, Marketing, Parliamentary procedure, Price, Productivity, Profit, Production, Research and Development, Services, Stock, Variable costs

Skills—Assembling products, Analyzing and interpreting information, Brainstorming, Consensus building, Critical reading, Gathering and organizing information, Group and self-assessment, Interpreting production inventory, Oral and written communication, Making observations, Product analysis, Public speaking, Research, Synthesizing and evaluating information, Selling,
Working in groups