JA Ottawa

Turning Today’s Students Into Tomorrow’s Leaders




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JA Ottawa creates the next generation of community leaders: youth who are ready to act on their dreams and achieve their highest potential. JA Ottawa recruits volunteers from the local business community to teach entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness skills in grade 5 to 12 classrooms. JA Ottawa gives students real-world tasks like goal setting, personal budgeting, and working with a team to start a small business.

In the past 7 years, JA Ottawa has inspired over 42,000 K-12 students in Ottawa to explore career pathways, make better financial decisions, and take on the world with an entrepreneurial mindset. Of these students, over 1,600 in high school have created 138 small businesses in the JA Company program.

We believe that every child should have the opportunity to thrive. In order to make our powerful programming available to all students regardless of background, JA Ottawa takes place in classrooms at no charge to students or educators. JA Ottawa is run by a dedicated team of staff at the Ottawa Network for Education, who manage programs and recruit and train hundreds of volunteers.

The Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE) must fundraise $350,000 each year to maintain JA Ottawa programming, and the demand to grow our programming is great.

Donating to JA Ottawa is an investment in Ottawa’s growth

Entrepreneurship is a huge engine of economic growth for Canada. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 68% of net new jobs are created by Small and Medium Businesses.

However, few opportunities exist for K-12 students to develop key skills and gain real-world experience in the areas of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness skills. By fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in K-12, we are empowering young people to become job creators.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, JA Company graduates in Canada are 50% more likely to become entrepreneurs, and three times less likely to spend more than they earn or to be unemployed.

In 2016, ONFE and OCDSB won an IPN Global Best Gold Award for Partnership (North America) for their innovative and collaborative approach to helping local students apply business concepts to real-world tasks, work in a team to start a small business, and develop essential skills they will use in the future.

JA Ottawa is a member of JA Canada, which is known for its innovative approach to program development and delivery. In Canada, where small businesses represent 50% of our GDP and 70% of private sector job creation, JA is cultivating Ottawa’s workforce of the future.

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