For Immediate Release
February 23, 2009
BARCLAYS AND JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT LAUNCH THREE-YEAR, YOUTH WORK-READINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP INITIATIVE
Three million dollar program to teach entrepreneurship and business skills to students in 11 countries in first year.
Colorado Springs, Colo. – JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement) and Barclays Bank today announced the launch of a three-year, $3 million program, "You can B." The initiative will support the expansion of Junior Achievement's entrepreneurship and work-readiness projects in 11 countries during its first year: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Egypt, India and United Arab Emirates. Each of the 11 countries will receive a US$ 30,000 grant to implement and expand the reach of Junior Achievement's programs. The partnership will establish new JA programs in Pakistan, Mauritius and Seychelles in the second and third years, taking the total number of participating countries to 14.
"You can B" was formally launched yesterday with an event at Barclays Emerging Markets headquarters in Dubai. The initiative was unveiled by Ahmed Khizer Khan, Chief Executive of Barclays Emerging Markets; Sean C. Rush, JA Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer; Jack E. Kosakowski, JA Worldwide Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Thomas G. Dewar, JA Worldwide Senior Vice President.
"You can B" has five components:
JA Worldwide and Barclays will launch "B-INSPIRED innovation camps" in the 11 countries listed above. Two schools in each country (22 in total) will participate in the program; the students will be presented with a business challenge at the camp and will collaboratively devise a solution, using the leadership, critical-thinking, and teamwork skills they have learned from Junior Achievement’s entrepreneurship and work-readiness curricula.
During 2009, the same 22 schools will each implement "B- SMART" student-run companies using JA Worldwide's JA Company Program®. JA Company Program fosters entrepreneurial thinking and business acumen among high school students through a volunteer-led mentoring program in which students devise, produce, market and sell a product while trying to turn a profit for their company's shareholders.
Barclays employees will take part in "B-EXPERIENCED," an on-site career mentoring initiative in conjunction with the implementation of JA Worldwide's JA Job Shadow™ program, in which, after receiving preparatory classroom instruction, students visit a place of business for a day and get first-hand knowledge about what it takes to be successful in the workforce. Students learn how to interact appropriately with colleagues, the importance of presenting oneself in a professional manner, and learn how to formulate and achieve their career goals.
A formal evaluation will be conducted to assess the technological needs of the 22 participating schools. This component - "B-CONNECTED," is in collaboration with HP to provide computer hardware and peripherals to especially rural schools so that they can better serve the needs of their students and help them become computer-literate to help them compete effectively in the global economy.
For graduates of the JA company program who want to take their business ideas to the next level, the last component, "B- YOUR DREAM" has been designed to connect JA graduates to local entrepreneurs who will hopefully invest in them, helping them realise their dream.
The Barclays/JA Worldwide program is projected to reach over 8,000 students. At the launch event, Mr. Rush commented, "This significant investment from Barclays demonstrates the bank's strong commitment to youth business education and work readiness. This initiative will help foster the economic development of the participating communities, regions and countries, to help our young people compete effectively in the global economy."
Mr. Khan remarked, "Today's young people are tomorrow's consumers, entrepreneurs, employees and leaders. Working with young people to develop their skills and potential is important to the sustainability of any business. We are thrilled to be working with Junior Achievement, an organization with a great track record in creating programs tailored for young people which play a key role in helping them realise their full potential."
About JA Worldwide® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Today, 137 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. The partnership with Junior Achievement forms part of Barclays five-year $150m flagship community investment program, Banking on Brighter Futures. The program supports 1,500 projects around the world using Barclays financial skills and expertise to help people work towards financial independence and security. Banking on Brighter Futures was launched in 2007 as part of the bank's sustainability strategy. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com.