Entrepreneurial Skills Pass Program

By: Genesis Manio

Since the start of the pandemic, a lot of people transitioned from working in the office to creating small scale businesses. A lot of professionals tried their hand in making their own money. With this trend, a lot of young people were inspired to do the same and advance in the business territory. Though not all of them will be skilled and experienced enough to take the venture.

To address this, Junior Achievement of the Philippines, Inc. (JA PH) created a program called Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) Program that allows the students to experience being an entrepreneur and acquire all the skills they need by creating their own mini company. Among the countries included in the Asia Pacific region, the Philippines was the first in implementing the said program. The goal of ESP is to give the students the training they need to prepare them for a career in business.

This includes tackling every company process from capitalization, board election, product manufacturing, financial administration, and human resource management. It also provides them an avenue to make new friends, obtain job contacts and references, learn more things about themselves and gain insight on different careers. This runs for 4-8 months where the students are grouped up into teams of 15-30 per company.

This program does not only teach the students about financial and career capabilities but also hone their leadership skills. Part of it is the Transformational Leadership program which is an intensified training program where the different styles of leadership are discussed to the participants. The training sessions help them to match the style they are most comfortable with and fit it to the approach they want for their company.

To put the leadership skills into action, we also have the Integrated Company Program. JA PH, in collaboration with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) & JA Asia Pacific, introduces an eLearning module about project management. The digital module caters to participants aged 15-18 years old. During the 5 chapters, participants will be given an overview of project management, from the planning to execution stage.

We are keen in supporting the students to build their foundation and give them the proper materials for their company. We will provide them with several modules for finance, marketing, operations, communications and entrepreneurship from HP Life. Not only that, we will conduct training sessions for finance and account, human resource, digital marketing, and many more. We will also provide 1-on-1 tutorial sessions with the experts on the field to give them practical knowledge straight from experience.

To help them start their businesses, we will be lending them a hand for the monetary part of their company. For their capital, tutorial sessions will be given with regards to different funding methods like stocks and fund-raising activities. For their products, a platform called JA MarketPlace will be provided that can help them with the distribution and selling to reach their customers. This platform also covers the delivery and payment methods that will help ease the process of selling.

The main takeaway from this program is the experience of being able to create their own company. Having firsthand knowledge about the framework of a company is an edge in whatever career path they will take in the future. Aside from that, this program is also acknowledged by CHED as an OJT alternative. The students are also given the opportunity to take the Entrepreneur Skills Pass to obtain international certification and credentialing acknowledged by the European Union and JA Europe. The pass also opens up the chance to apply for a scholarship in Australia courtesy of our partner agency. They can also participate in the competition after the program where they can win cash prizes. Lastly, professors of schools enrolled in the program are provided with mini-MBA courses 2-3 times a year.

“I am both fortunate and grateful that I was able to participate in the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass Program along with seven co-Entrepreneurship students from UST.

I was able to gain a lot of realizations as a student Entrepreneur through the growth opportunities this program provided, including hands-on experience of running our own business, making connections and lifelong partners, certifying our abilities, and learning to leverage our strengths in the industry.

To share one of the most important takeaways I had through the program is the importance of knowing your ‘Why’ which means understanding why you do the things you do. Knowing your purpose makes you more committed to your lifelong goals and aspirations, especially as an Entrepreneur since we do things not just for ourselves but for others and society.” – Karin Yamamoto, Top 3 – Chief Marketing Officer of the Year

“I learned a lot from my Mini Company experience with JA Philippines. It was a transformative challenge for me and my teammates! We felt anxious and excited with the risks that we had to take but because we had mentors to guide us in case we slip, all felt great.

JA fully supported us and they were very encouraging in helping us build our company. They stretched our minds and repertoire in doing business. ESP day was a unique experience that I think every entrepreneur at heart should try.” – Jennie Villanueva, Top 2 – Chief Public Relations Officer of the Year

The success of businesses is not only for themselves but for the economy as well. Businesses generate jobs for people that helps decrease the rate of unemployment in the country. They always strive to find the best products and methods which in turn greatly stimulates innovation. This gives birth to a lot of different ideas that can remarkably contribute to the general well being of the society. But all of this is not an easy path to take because creating business ventures is a hard and risky path. That is why with the help of programs like ESP, young ones are given the proper groundwork to pursue business as their future career. Join us now as we take the steps of progress by creating talented future entrepreneurs for the country.

If you or your school wants to join the program you can contact Ms. Glyzel Abalo through coordinator12@japionline.org.