Students gain real-world business experience by working in groups of 20-25, conceptualizing, capitalizing, and managing their own small businesses. Throughout this real-life entrepreneurship experience, students develop communication, financial management, problem-solving, collaboration and time management skills, just to name a few.
Mentors work in teams of 4-6, coaching students through the process of starting and running a small business. “Spark Tank” competitions (Shark Tank-like events) are judged by local business leaders.
The program concludes with companies competing in the Spark Tank Finale. They then have a chance to be invited to the National Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. each June. JA is proud to have two teams compete nationally the past seven consecutive years. In 2017, Alpha Solutions was named National “Company of the Year”. Pure Serenity received Company of the Year 2nd Place honors in 2019, and Germ Genie placed the same in 2020. In 2023, 4Paws from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School won 3rd Place.