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JA is back to better!

After another year impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we can look back at the innovation, creativity and amazing energy with which our network and partners have supported us in this journey. Instead of feeling nostalgic about the world that was before the pandemic, we have learned to appreciate the opportunities that lie in the unexplored, new and better ways of collaborating and working. Thanks to the pandemic disruption, technological transformation has been faster than we could ever have dreamed of, and the JA organisations across have been at the forefront of these developments. Innovation Camps, hackathons, business mentoring and Trade Fairs have been delivered in online formats using the latest available technologies and allowing for more people to access JA activities. New partnerships have been conceptualised, building on the disruption and rapid changes both in education and in the world of work. Digitalisation and the use of Artificial Intelligence are some of the most exciting areas of innovation for our network.

But we have also taken a new approach and strategic direction beyond digitalisation. Increasingly we want to focus on reaching youth that would most benefit from the life-changing JA experiences – those who are often marginalised, lacking resources and opportunities or living in remote areas. By empowering this segment of European youth we will increase our impact and get closer to our ambition that every young person should have an entrepreneurial experience before leaving school.

The past year saw the birth of a new generation that we call GEN-E. It refers to all those who believe in the importance of education, employment and entrepreneurship, and will be our guiding tagline for the years to come.
So while you are enjoying the achievements of the past school year, consider them only as the beginning of very exciting times ahead!

We remain thankful for your continued support to the next generation of Europeans!

Yours sincerely,

Adam Warby,
Chairman of JA Europe Board of Directors

Salvatore NigroSalvatore Nigro,
CEO JA Europe

Our network

The JA Europe network spans across 40 countries in Europe:

About us

This is JA Europe

We are the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide® .

JA Europe 3 focus areas


We design experiences that spark the entrepreneurial spirit and teach the practical day-to-day skills required to run a viable, long-term business.


We create skill-building opportunities that enable young people to find meaningful, productive careers.


We provide practical training in budgeting, spending, investing, and the responsible use of credit.

Through JA programmes, students learn a wide range of skills that help them prepare for their future professional lives:


Goal orientation and initiative
Leadership and responsability


Problem solving and learnability
Communication, interpersonal and social skills
Hard work, dependability and teamwork
Integrity and ethics
Self-motivation and self-control
Positive attitude and positive self-concept


Money and risk management
Higher-order thinking
Intuitive decision-making

Our learning experience reach this year 2020-2021

Innovation in Education

Measuring and communicating impact: global footprint of the ESP micro-credential

The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass™ (ESP)  is a micro-credential certifying that students who have participated in the JA Company Programme, have gained the necessary knowledge, skills and competences to start a business or to be successfully employed. The ESP was developed in 2013 with the support of the European Commission, since than the internationally recognised certificate programme continued and extended. Since then it has expanded to more than 54 countries in 5 different regions (Europe, Middle-East, Africa, South-America, USA) and has further potential to expand to over 60 countries globally.

Micro-credentials are increasingly relevant for the assessment and recognition of acquired competences, including entrepreneurship competence which is recognized as one of EU’s eight key competences for lifelong learning. These transversal competences (incl. knowledge, skills, attitudes) that are in high demand and essential for future job creation can be acquired through Entrepreneurship Education. It is, therefore, crucial assessing and certifying the skills and competences acquired through entrepreneurship education.

In the school year 2020-2021 12 626 students took the ESP exam and 5.677 gained the certificate.

Thanks to our dedicated partners who supported the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass in 2020-2021

Transforming industry sectors with innovation and new talent through Entrepreneurship Education

The collaboration with EIT RawMaterials, EIT Food and EIT Climate continued in its second year and provided secondary and university school students from Slovenia, Italy (Sicily), Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland with practical experience from one-day intensive innovation camps to a deep-dive Company Programme and Start-Up Programme experience combined with sector-specific challenges.

2020-2021 EIT partnership impact:

  • 2,081 student experiences
  • 213 teachers trained
  • 227 industry mentors involved

In collaboration with EIT focusing on digital skills, entrepreneurship and the topic of raw materials was brought together under an ambitious initiative Girls Go Circular. Four JA countries were involved in the pilot during winter 2020 and the full implementation with eight JA countries will start in September 2021 with a total of 50,000 young girls expected to take part in the project until 2027.

Entrepreneurship Education for a more inclusive society

JA Europe together with NN Group launched the “Economic Opportunities for All Initiative”. Under this scope, in-depth research was carried out to support Junior Achievement to define an evidence-based approach to create and re-define programmes, processes to ensure equal opportunities for youth with limited opportunities. A generic framework to address and engage the target group (economic segmentation of schools) has been already used during the implementation of the Social Innovation Relay (28% of the schools involved in the Social Innovation Relay located in disadvantaged areas). At the same time, the research shows that JA needs to further specify the target group to design interventions to address specific obstacles focusing on the national level sides the different (multiplied) barriers the target group is facing (disability, exclusion, poverty) preventive and facilitating interventions have to reflect on the supply and labour market side as well, taking into account the short and long-term effect of COVID-19.

Youth with limited Opportunities from a labour market perspective distinguished as Young people who are “Not in Employment, Education or Training” (NEETs). Between 2018 and 2021, 1,600 NEETs in Bulgaria, Italy, Romania and Spain will receive training and support to acquire the skills needed to find a job or start their own business. In addition, the project aims to prevent another 1,000 young people enrolled in a vocational and technical education school from falling into the NEET category, by providing them with training and counselling.

In order to facilitate their integration into the labour market, 6 Junior Achievement member organisations and Lyk-Z & daughters social entrepreneurship company launched the “NEETs in Entrepreneurship” project, funded by the EEA and Norway Grants “Fund for Youth Employment” and led by JA Romania as project coordinator. Examples and good practices are identified as well as learnings from the previous projects help JA Network to provide transition from education to employment.

Developing digital skills through entrepreneurship education

JA is working on programs development for students 8-14 and 15+ to expose them to key foundational skills (identified in the Accenture New Skills Now report) to address the global issue of preparing students in today’s fast-evolving digital economy with the core knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their next phase of school and in their first jobs. These skills align with JA’s pillars, the competencies identified within the Work and Career Readiness Pathway, and the Accenture Next Gen Priority Skills, as particularly compelling to thrive in a digital era: Tech Know How, Apply We’Q, Creative Problem Solving and Cultivating a Growth Mindset.

The developed new programmes (Our Community, Economis4Success and JA Foundation Modules are piloted in 7 countries in Europe (Belgium LJE, Belgium Vlajo, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland).

JA Company Programme Launch in Ukraine

With the support from the German Development Fund (GIZ), JA Europe embarked on a 3-year pilot project launching JA Company Programme in Ukraine. In the first year 2020-21, a feasibility study was completed together with outreach to potential partners from business, education and policy-makers. Starting in two regions in the east of Ukraine (Zaporhizhia and Donetsk), the ambition is to lay the foundations for JA national operations in the coming years.

JA Alumni Europe

JA Alumni Europe is the official Alumni network of JA Europe. JA Alumni Europe is a body of JA Europe and they provide former JA programme participants with further experience and opportunities, encourage them to strengthen their passion for entrepreneurship and build international networks of like-minded people. JA Alumni Europe Network counts 20 member nations, all with their own independent national organisations and alumni activities.

“We collaborated closely with JA Alumni Europe across different initiatives, where the engagement of JA Alumni was meaningful to Alumni, students and partners alike.”

Tomorrow’s Heroes Day

With #TomorrowsHeroes Day we want to create a digital experience around the ongoing campaign by JA Europe, raising awareness and bringing it as close to our JA community as possible: directly into their homes. Focusing on the brought, burning topics of sustainability, education and inspiration in these ever-changing, challenging times. Struggles “today’s heroes” are currently facing that #TomorrowsHeroes and their ideas will need to solve – amplifying their voices in panel discussions and giving all JA supporters and alumni food for thought in thought-provoking keynotes to actually take the opportunities of challenging times to become #TomorrowsHeroes. #TomorrowsHeroes Day took place on the Hopin events platform.

Gen-E Alumni Experience

JA Alumni Europe have been working with JA Europe on the GEN-E Virtual Expo. The expo allowed visitors to meet the participating teams of EEC and CoYC and their innovations at the virtual expo! With over 800 young entrepreneurial finalists, out of 350,000 across Europe, 180 will present their business ideas.

Competitions & Events

Every year, students following the JA programmes have the opportunity to take part in local, national and European competitions, during which they pitch their business ideas to international juries and compete for prizes and awards. Here is an overview of last year’s main competitions and events. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all our activities and events took place in a virtual format thanks to the support of our technology partner Avanade.

Competitions & Events

Gen-E 2020 Entrepreneurship Festival

Hosted by JA Lithuania

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10x Challenge

At the beginning of 2020

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FERD's List 2020

October – November 2020

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DigiEduHack 2.0

28th – 29th of January 2021

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Aviation Innovation Camp in partnership with Boeing

2-3 March 2021

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3rd Peer-learning workshop in Entrepreneurship Education

09-10 March 2021

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Zalando Fashion Goes Next

26 April 2021

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EU Green Week 2021

03 June 2021

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Euronext Blue Innovation Award 2021

June 8 2021

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Social Innovation Relay Online Global Final 2021

22 June 2021

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Arconic Foundation Innovative Sustainability Business Idea Award 2021

24 June 2021

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Spotlight on our Institutional Partners

European Commission

EEA & Norway Grants

Between 2018 and 2021, 1,600 NEETs in Bulgaria, Italy, Romania and Spain will receive training and support to acquire the skills needed to find a job or start their own business through the "NEETs in Entrepreneurship" project. In addition, the project aims to prevent another 1,000 young people enrolled in a vocational and technical education school from falling into the NEET category by providing them with training and counseling.

The project beneficiaries will take part in activities carried out in the project’s NEEThubs. Over the course of the 3 years, at least 500 NEET youths will have access to professional insertion activities, 400 will participate in core business incubation activities, and at least 10% will open their own businesses.

The "NEETs in Entrepreneurship project" is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

European Institute of Innovation & Technology

EIT has been supporting JA since 2017 to foster the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in Europe. For the last two years:
- Young Innovators project has enabled to bring 1,838 students, 210 teachers and 219 business mentors from the field of Raw Materials closer to university students from Finland, Hungary and Bulgaria.
- Skills for the Future Initiative brought the fields of Raw Materials, Food and Climate closer to 2,559 students, 273 teachers, with the help of 230 industry specific mentors in Italy, Hungary and Slovenia.

The partnership will expand to include a female focus programme, bringing Digital and Entrepreneurial Skills for the Circular Economy under the Girls Go Circular Initiative.


EIT Raw Materials

Read more about our partnership:


Thanks to the support of USAID, we could increase our presence in the Balkans, across all key stakeholders:
- 20% increase in the students participating to the JA Company Programme in Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova and Serbia.
- Over 400 teachers were trained and the total number of teachers involved grew by a third!
- Increase in the number of business partners and volunteers.

USAID’s support also allowed our partners in the Balkans to update their current curriculum and offer capacity building through training and mentoring. The project will continue in 2019-2020.


Spotlight on our Gold Partners


Since the start of our cooperation in 2013, more than 40,000 under resourced young people across eight European countries have participated in 770 Employability and Entrepreneurial programmes led by AT&T experts. This year alone, more than 7,200 students participated in 69 various programme activities led by 192 AT&T employee volunteers.

Arconic Foundation

Over the last four years, Arconic Foundation and Junior Achievement have partnered on the “Inventing the Future” programme, which has involved more than 2,330 young people from over 60 schools in France, Germany, Hungary and the UK. The students have been supported by more than 185 Arconic volunteers across Europe. The programme featured presential and online classroom visits from Arconic volunteers giving students insights to the full spectrum of STEM careers available to them, as well as other activities to collaborate on different STEM-related challenges and develop their innovation skills. The activities under this initiative have a special focus on sustainability and how innovation will influence modern companies, the manufacturing industry and societal challenges in the areas of recycling and reuse of materials.


Avanade and Junior Achievement work together in 9 European countries to support students and JA staff through various activities focussing on topics such as personal branding, STEM, digital transformation and others. 270 Avanade volunteers have supported almost 30,000 students, teachers, JA staff members and others in Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as well as through various activities organised by JA Europe. Avanade was also the Technology Partner of Gen-E 2021 and supported the Digital Innovation Award at the JA Europe Enterprise Challenge.


Our partnership with Bloomberg, now in its sixth year, equipped more than 12,900 students with an entrepreneurial mindset and employability skills. More than 180 Bloomberg volunteers helped the students to build resilience and gave them a purpose in life in order to be able to come out of the current health and economic crises ready to rebuild the local economies.

In 2020-2021 the partnership involved 15 countries and the main focus of the collaboration was to provide young students with the opportunity to participate in useful activities for their personal and professional development. It was centred around JA’s flagship program the JA Company Programme but also Job Shadow Days, workshops and masterclasses about fake news, media, journalism, career success, employability skills and participation in national competitions as jury members and mentors.

BNY Mellon

The partnership between BNY Mellon and JA Europe has been constantly growing in the last few years. Since 2018, more than 17,700 students have been supported in many European countries and the UAE with the generous involvement of more than 500 BNY Mellon volunteers. In 2020, the partnership was focused on COVID-19 risks mitigation for the young people, their careers, opportunities and financial well-being. In the 2020-2021 grant, the scope of the collaboration was centred around the digital and leadership skills that help the youth to thrive and succeed in a contemporary world of economic turbulence a post-pandemic environment. The activities in this grant were implemented thanks to the work of 12 JA Members Organizations. Finally, thanks to BNY Mellon support, a Digital Innovation Strategy has been established and implemented across the JA Network. Thanks to this strategy, the JA Network is now better prepared to face post-covid challenges such as increasing youth unemployment and opportunity gaps that underserved students may experience.

Citi Foundation

Citi Foundation has been the main supporter of the JA Company Programme since its introduction in Europe over 31 years ago! In the 2020-2021 school year, the partnership ran across 20 countries and planned to engage more than 60,000 students. In addition, it allowed the creation of thousands of mini-companies that provided young students with a relevant entrepreneurial experience, engaged hundreds of Citi volunteers and supported hundreds of students to get the Entreprenurial Skills Pass (ESP) certification. Citi Foundation is also the sponsor of the Citi Foundation Client Focus Award at the annual Company of the Year Competition.


Starting from January until June 2021, 244 JA Company Programme students have been engaged in a series of activities aiming to expose them to blue economy and sustainable finance and culminating in a final competition at European level for the Euronext Blue innovation Award. Thanks to this partnership, 33 students’ mini-companies from 7 European countries (Belgium, France, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom) have had access to additional opportunities offered by Euronext. The opportunities have included thematic e-mentoring provided by Euronext volunteers on financial literacy and topics related to blue economy. Moreover, students have been invited to attend two webinars, the first one on blue economy and the second one on financial literacy/sustainable finance, organised by JA Europe with the participation of Euronext and UN subject-matter experts.


FedEx supported the FedEx Access award as part of the JA Company Programme across 6 countries. More than 150 FedEx volunteers, mentors and jury members supported students in different activities at all regional and national JA Competitions. FedEx awarded its 14th FedEx Access Award at the 32st Virtual Company of the Year Competition hosted by JA Lithuania.


FERD’S List is an initiative of JA Europe to recognize inspirational young entrepreneurs and leaders. They are individuals who, in the words of Johan Andresen, Chairman of FERD, are inspirational innovators “creating value and leaving lasting footprints”. They are connected because they have all participated in a JA practical entrepreneurial experience at school. FERD’s List aims to identify young people who achieved outstanding results in their lives after the JA experience. It looks not only at what they achieved, but wants to celebrate the pathway they are on; recognizing that they are in a moment of life where their potential is being transformed into greater value for society.

The 2019 one was the 3rd edition of FERD’s LIST, which was included as an official Celebration at the JA Global Alumni Conference in Vienna, Austria. The 2019 edition showcased 11 honourees from 4 JA Regions.


Our collaboration through the JA Company Programme has reached more than 15,000 young people across 26 countries, with the support of more than 260 business volunteers, mentors and judges from ManpowerGroup. At the occasion of the 32st Virtual JA Europe Company of the Year Competition, ManpowerGroup presented its 5th “Ready for Work” Award. “This is our moment to deliver on our purpose and reshape a brighter, better future of work and for workers. By investing in upskilling, training and mentoring for young people and helping them unleash their potential, we are building a more skilled, resilient generation of future leaders.” - Jonas Prising / Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup / Chair, JA Worldwide.

Read more here:

MetLife Foundation

This year was the 7th edition of the MetLife LifeChanger project in 12 countries (10 in Europe, 2 in MENA), involving … students from primary to tertiary education in various entrepreneurship and financial literacy programmes. … MetLife volunteers spent more than … hours with students in …different types of activities.

NN Group

JA Europe and NN Group have been working together since 2015 to empower young people to tackle societal challenges by using innovation and entrepreneurship. Alongside the Social Innovation Relay, and the side activities (Innovation Camps and Job Shadow Days in 13 countries) the partnership is also focusing on the strategic direction of JA network to work on a more inclusive society.

The project activities and the extensive growing partnership between NN and JA is preparing young people to enter the workforce, creating jobs and new enterprises, and developing innovative youth employability-enhancing solutions. The collaboration covers fundamental actions required to address the most pressing youth-centered social problems around the world. The greatest value of this partnership is offering access to high quality programmes that can change the mind-set among educators and students and encourage new business ideas focusing on social change.

More than ever, providing students with entrepreneurship skills while underscoring the link between businesses and society appear to us as a key contribution to support the next generation and the world in the recovery that awaits us. Since 2015, over 76,000 young people across 13 countries in Europe and globally have had the opportunity to be supported by experienced NN colleagues to come up with the innovative ideas that would address their communities’ most pressing challenges.


In 2020, JA Europe and Novartis embarked on a collaborative project in Europe piloted in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Its long-term goal is to establish a series of entrepreneurial hubs in 7 countries aimed at leveraging technology and “start-up” thinking in the medical field. The purpose of the hubs is to generate and support an ecosystem of innovators who will work to reimagine medicine as we know it.


With the support of M&G plc, Junior Achievement are enriching and scaling a successful national enterprise competition created by Young Enterprise (YE) UK across several markets in Europe: France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Spain and Italy as well as the UK. The 10x Challenge programme will provide social and sustainable benefits to young people, their teachers and their communities, while fostering skills such as entrepreneurship, financial capability, collaboration and digital interaction. The three-year partnership will create a scalable, sector leading programme that will equip more than 100,000 secondary school students (aged 11-16) across the UK and Europe with the enterprise and financial capability skills needed to achieve success in today’s global economy. Furthermore, it will empower more teachers to be confident about teaching financial capability, and increase the accessibility of teaching about long-term savings and investment within secondary schools.


The goal of the collaboration with the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF), the supporting charitable organization of Project Management Institute (PMI) is to integrate project management into the JA Company Programme and to support the professional development of the organization’s staff in project management through fundamentals training and expert coaching. The partnership commenced in November with a pro bono training provided by Dell® professionals through the Dell Volunteer Project Management (DVPM) initiative to 71 staff members from JA Europe and 29 European countries. PMIEF's support will enable JA Europe to integrate project management into the JA Company Programme in 21 member organizations, reaching an estimated 293,000 young people by the end of the partnership in 2023. As a result, students will learn and apply project management to the mini-enterprise they launch as well as to their pursuit of academic and professional aspirations beyond the Programme. PMIEF's mission is to enable youth to realize their potential and to transform lives through project management, inspiring them to achieve their goals.

A new Project management on-line module has been developed this year to support students in Company programme and will be piloted during 2021-2022 academic year in 12 European countries.

Learn more about our partners >>

A dynamic network

Model Nation Awards

The JA Europe Model Nation Awards recognise the quality of JA national offices’ leadership and operations: their impact, quality of programmes and contribution to the overall success of JA Europe’s network.
This year, 26 Model Nation Awards were presented to the following members:

  • Austria
  • Belgium (VLAJO)
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

TJ Bata Quality Award




The TJ Bata Quality Award recognises  JA member organisations for demonstrating the highest standard of quality and excellence. This year, JA Finland received the Thomas J. Bata Quality Award 2020.

Financial statements

JA Europe Consolidated Financial Statements

30 June 2021, in EUR