February 14th, 2018

RICHMOND, VA –  Students from several school districts will participate in an entrepreneurial challenge on Saturday, February 24.  Sponsored by Accenture, JA Student Venture is a two-part program that begins in the classroom and culminates in a product or service pitch competition in partnership with VCU Snead School of Business.

The first portion of the program began in the fall, with 11 classes participating in the JA Be Entrepreneurial program. This program consists of seven sessions that challenge students through interactive classroom activities, to start their own entrepreneurial ventures. The program, taught by volunteers from local businesses, gives students the skills to determine needed products and services, analyze customer base, seek competitive advantages and create business plans.

Once the classroom sessions are completed, the classes will pull together teams to participate in the second portion of the program, the Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge on Saturday, February 24.  Held at VCU’s Snead School of Business, this all-day event allows teams to meet with mentors, polish business plans and create a presentation and video. The teams then pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The winning team will win a cash prize of $2,500.

High schools participating this year include Huguenot, James River, Chesterfield Tech, Varina, Meadowbrook, Tucker, Albemarle and Glen Allen.

This program has grown each year and is supported by school leaders throughout the region.  Dr. James Lane, superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools, attended last year’s competition and had this to say, “The Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge, a component of the JA Student Venture program, provides students with an opportunity to propose cutting-edge business ideas that address today’s challenges in Virginia’s economy. This project-based learning opportunity allows our students and others to identify a real-world problem and apply the curriculum and skills they have learned in school to help propose a solution. This authentic learning experience prepares them for success in the business world, and it may just produce a product that can make the world a better place.”

About Junior Achievement of Central Virginia

Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA provides in-school and after-school programs for students that focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Junior Achievement impacts over 9 million children worldwide. Locally, JA serves over 26,000 students throughout Central Virginia. Visit www.jatoday.org for more information about our programs and impact.