Chloe O'Meara,  a pupil at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál National School, School Ave, Glasheen, Cork, pictured with 'Handy Handbags' - the result of a project undertaken by their class in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme, supported by their teacher Lisa O'Leary. The Handy Handbags are due to net the pupils a substantial profit on their investment of €2 each. Pupils in the class undertook every part of the project from market research to finance, production, design and sales. The Glasheen pupils are among 10,000 around Ireland currently participating in JEP, a not for profit initiative led by Entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly.

Why Primary School?

Primary School provides a great opportunity for change creation. The combination of having one teacher with a constant and familiar relationship with pupils, close parental and community contact with the schools, combined with the open minds of 11 and 12 year olds make it the ideal time to introduce new concepts. The competitive elements of education which are so evident at second level have not yet kicked in and pupils view each other as equals.


Radical Societal Change

There is a superb opportunity for nationwide adoption of an initiative that will change lives forever.  There are 4,200 primary schools on the island of Ireland with over 170,000 pupils in senior classes. There has never been a nationwide entrepreneurship programme with a real connection to entrepreneurs. But this is something we can impact today.


What does JEP cost? Who pays?

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme is a not-for-profit initiative which is privately funded. JEP is underwritten by Tweak. JEP is being brought to your county by our local entrepreneur JEP County Partner who is sponsoring the delivery of the programme to schools in your county. It’s the partnership between JEP and the county partner that allows the programme to be delivered without any cost to parents or schools.  That’s a key part of our objectives – to ensure that every primary school pupil in Ireland has the opportunity to access to entrepreneurial learning.


An Academically Approved Approach

JEP has been developed in collaboration with Mary Immaculate College of Education in Limerick. The programme materials have also been reviewed and welcomed by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA). Every step of the programme mirrors strands of the primary curriculum and the links are clearly set out in the Teacher’s Guide. This means the pupils are learning new life skills while covering their core subjects in a fun and engaging way.

Mary Immaculate College has also developed a summer course, closely linked to JEP, called ‘Learning’s the Business: Entrepreneurship in Senior Primary Classes.’ This 20-hour summer course, entitles primary teachers who successfully complete it to 3 EPV days.

How To Get Involved

The first step is to register your interest in the programme by creating your JEP account. Click the SIGNUP button to create your account. At the beginning of September, we will send you a pack of parental consent brochures – every participating pupil will need to have a signed parental consent form.  You will also get access to a short online orientation, this is only necessary for teachers who have not delivered the programme previously. Finally, we will send you the JEP classroom kit and you are ready to go!


The Support You’ll have 

Schools that sign up for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme will have the opportunity to take part in something truly innovative and exciting and will be supported throughout. Teachers will be assisted at every step in launching JEP by a number of supports including an information evening, online teacher training and the classroom kit. A project manager will also be allocated by the local entrepreneur to liaise with and monitor the schools’ progress throughout the programme. The information and networking evening will give teachers the opportunity to become more familiar with the programme and meet with other teachers who are taking part. Once signed up,  participating teachers will have access to online training through this site before they start the programme. This will include a walk-through the administrative requirements as well as a step-by-step guide to running the programme.


JEP Classroom Kit

The JEP Classroom Kit is provided to every class participating in the programme. This kit includes a step-by-step Teacher’s Guide to the programme and contains all the tools that participating teachers will need to successfully facilitate the JEP in their classroom. The guide combines instructions for fun team building and brainstorming games along with activity sheets and posters for each lesson. The JEP Classroom Kit has been designed to foster the imagination of participating pupils and provide real focus to their new endeavour.


The JEP Classroom kit is available in a number localised editions;
  • Republic of Ireland – English Language
  • Republic of Ireland – Irish Language
  • Northern Ireland
  • United Kingdom

Kits are provided to participating classes following sign-up.


JEP Teacher Orientation

Once registered online, participating teachers can access the password protected teachers area. We continuously update our orientation on the basis of feedback from participating teachers and also curriculum updates. The links between JEP and the primary school curriculum are clearly highlighted and sample JEP projects are available. The orientation programme is designed with interactive learning assessment which will give the participating teacher the confidence to successfully carry out the programme in their class. The entire process will be clearly outlined at the Teacher Information/Networking evening.

Emilis Valisius a pupil at St. Colman's Boys National School, Macroom, Co. Cork, pictured with 'GAA player collector cards' - the result of a project undertaken by his class in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme, supported by their teacher Annette Murphy. The cards are highly profitable and have already reached €420 profit with a target of €500. Pupils in the class undertook every part of the project from market research to finance, production, design and sales. The Glasheen pupils are among 10,000 around Ireland currently participating in JEP, a not for profit initiative led by Entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly.
Dylan Carroll, a pupil at Piltown National School pictured with "Fairy Doors" - the result of a project undertaken by his class in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme, supported by their teacher Aideen Sheehan. The pupils also made casted skulls and the business is projected to turn a profit of €2500 netting netting each pupil a healthy profit on their investment of €5. Pupils in the class undertook every part of the project from market research to finance, production, design and sales. The Piltown pupils are among 10,000 around Ireland currently participating in JEP, a not for profit initiative led by Entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly. The programme is supported in Kilkenny by Merlyn Showering and its CEO Michael Hoyne.

What are the learning benefits?

The principles of the Primary School Curriculum and utilises an integrated teaching and project-based approach to teach many strands of the curriculum. JEP is a very meaningful way of teaching aspects of literacy including oral language development, reading and comprehension as well as writing purposefully.

This innovative programme helps participating pupils to develop a number of skills including presentation, literacy, writing, drawing, technology, financial skills, consumer awareness, storytelling, listening skills, creative thinking, problem-solving, collaborative skills and team work. Participating pupils engage in real-life applications of their mathematical skills as they undertake data collection, problem solving, and presentation of data and profit and loss. The JEP programme is most closely aligned with English, Mathematics and Social, Personal & Health Education (SPHE/PSHE) Curriculum in Ireland and the Personal Development & Mutual Understanding (PD&MU) in Northern Ireland, encouraging children to make decisions, negotiate, resolve conflict and connect with the wider world. Depending on the focus of the project, there may also be a strong focus on Arts Education, History, Geography or Science. There is also potential to link with Physical Education through the team building games. JEP instills a new interest and focus on learning and teaches invaluable skills in a real-life context that motivates and inspires the pupils.


Teacher and Pupil Recognition

Teachers who complete the JEP online orientation and deliver JEP in the classroom are awarded a certificate in recognition of their achievement. Pupils who complete the programme receive a certificate of achievement. Participating schools receive the JEP school flag and JEP wall plaque to mark their participation in the programme.


Registration and Sign Up

To sign up for JEP, you need to register your details and complete the School Agreement here

When you have completed the School Agreement, you will get access to the participating teachers area of the website. Here you will find details of the parental consent and the Online Orientation.

Entrepreneurs – at the heart of the Irish economy

Entrepreneurs are at the economic heart of Irish society. They conceive creative products and services used by customers at home and all over the world. They create employment, wealth, and are big contributors to the national exchequer.

They’re not always running multi-national companies. Some are people who’ve chosen to work for themselves and have a lifestyle which is independent of an employer. A self-employed person makes a significant contribution to the economy – and to society.

Entrepreneurs have become applauded in Irish society as their passion, inspiration and hard work are celebrated in programmes like the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den.

There is no clear formula to becoming an entrepreneur – except perhaps inspiration, hard work and competence – and sometimes getting thrown in the deep end, but there are learned skills that help make the process a bit less risky.

Most entrepreneurs enjoy a challenge. These are the people who say “why not?” and often end up changing the way we all do things in our everyday lives.

It’s natural that we would want to nurture this spirit in our young people. And what better place to start than in primary school – long before exam pressures have begun.

Step 1

The class is introduced to the idea of entrepreneurship and identify local entrepreneurs in their area.

Step 2

Pupils brainstorm, they present their ideas to a panel and choose the project that they’re going to turn into reality.

Step 3

A local business person visits the classroom to share their business story.

Step 4

Pupils research their idea and learn about surveys and their market.

Step 5

Pupils learn about their talents and skills and those of their classmates.

Step 6

Pupils turn their idea into a reality by designing, producing, costing, creating, marketing and selling their product/service at a fun showcase day.

Step 7

Pupils evaluate the project and reflect on their achievements.

Practical Learning Experience

Stephen Houston, Teacher at Lisnasharragh Primary School, talks about The Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Insight Into Business

Patrick Duggan, Teacher at Greaghrahan National School, Co. Cavan, describes his experience of JEP.

Energy for Learning

Dr Jacquie Campbell. Principal at St. Andrew’s College Junior School reflects  the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Inclusion and Engagement

Sharon O’Neill Chambers, Resource Teacher at Greaghrahan National School, Co. Cavan, describes the benefits of JEP.

Individual Engagement

Ruth Kelly, Teacher, Clooncagh N.S., Co. Roscommon, reflects on the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Class Responsibility

Ruarí Mac Conduibh, Teacher Scoil UI Ghramhnaigh, Rath Chairn, Ath Buí, Co. Meath, speaks about JEP.

Recognition of Individual Strengths

Emma Milsom, Teacher, Hewetsons N.S., Co. Kildare, gives an account of her experience of JEP.

Confidence Building

Rosie Ambrose, Teacher,  St. Patrick’s N.S., Curtlestown, Enniskerry, describes the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Perseverance from Start to Finish

Steven Donnellan, Principal, Doolin N.S., reflects on  the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Individual Development

Aideen Sheehan, Teacher, Piltown N.S., Kilkenny, describes the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Multi-sensory Learning

Máirín Ní Mháirtín, Principal, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Glasheen, Co. Cork, speaks about JEP.

Life Long Learning Benefits

Angela Westbrook, Teacher, St. Andrew’s Junior College, gives her account of JEP.

Class enthusiasm

Graham Ball, Teacher, Killeshin N.S., Co. Carlow, reflects on the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

New Experiences in the Classroom

Judith Torrens, Teacher, Bellaghy Controlled Primary School, Magherafelt, speaks about JEP.

Communication Skills

Annette Murphy, Teacher, St. Colman’s N.S., Macroom, Co. Cork,  talks about the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

Curriculum Links

Anne Marie Vaughan, Teacher, Doolin N.S., describes her experience of the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.