Smurfit Kappa Ireland partnered with Junior Achievement Ireland to facilitate an 8-week Secondary School Programme for young entrepreneurs in Dublin, Ireland.
“I was involved in the Secondary School Programme as a business volunteer. This involved attending St. Joseph’s of Cluny Secondary School in Killiney, Dublin, on a weekly basis over an 8 week period to teach a structured programme with support from the teacher throughout.” Tomás Ryan, Operations Manager at Smurfit Kappa Packaging Solutions (Arklow), explains his involvement in an initiative between Smurfit Kappa Ireland and Junior Achievement Ireland.
Junior Achievement Ireland encourages young people to remain in education and teaches them the skills they need to succeed in a changing world. Junior Achievement is part of a worldwide organisation reaching out to 9.3 million young people each year. It was established in Ireland in 1995 and since then has built up a strong demand from schools throughout the country and created successful partnerships with over 150 leading organisations.
The Secondary School Programme is a Company Programme whereby the students set up and develop their own company. The programme, taught by Tomás over an 8 week period, provides opportunities for the introduction, development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.
There were 6 specific steps involved:
Organisation: establish goals and assign roles
Product Ideas /Market Research
Select a Product / Service
Selling the Product / Service
Presenting the Business: complete company report, prepare trade stand plan
Within the class, the students formed 2 companies – Alainn and EERA4, the latter sourced and sold an iPhone accessory pack and Alainn set up a second hand clothes shop. Following completion of the 6 step programme, both companies then submitted their company reports to Junior Achievement Ireland for entry into a company competition open to all.
Successful companies go on to compete in Regional and National Finals with one All Ireland winner to go on and represent Ireland at the European Final in London (Summer 2013).
Alainn were selected to go through to the regional final and were runner up in that competition and EERA4 were selected to compete in a Smurfit Kappa “Dragons Den” style competition in conjunction with Junior Achievement Ireland which they won. The prize for this competition is a trip to Turin to attend a conference in May 2013.