Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) has given more than 100,000 primary school pupils on the island of Ireland the opportunity to experience practical, real-life business learning as part of their formative education.
Running over a 12 to 16 week period during the school year, JEP nurtures creativity, independence and problem-solving among pupils of all abilities, with every aspect of the Programme seamlessly blending into the primary school curriculum.
Under their teacher’s guidance, and with the inspiration of local entrepreneurs, children will discover their strengths as individuals and as part of a team. Together, they’ll choose, invest in and produce their own product or service from scratch, all the way to making it available for sale at a school-hosted JEP Showcase Day – and enjoying the profits at the end.
Teachers are provided with a classroom kit which gives them everything they need to deliver the programme. There’s online, email and telephone support for teachers as well as regular webinars. Teachers decide whether JEP is appropriate for their classes.


Eleven and twelve year old children on JEP create REAL businesses and make real sales. They invest in their businesses and reap the rewards.


Since 2010, over 100,000 children have created their own classroom businesses with JEP – all over the island of Ireland and more recently in London, England.


A JEP survey answered by more than 8,000 pupils showed that 60% of girls and 53% of boys would like to be an entrepreneur when older.

“JEP is the most relevant, inspiring, motivational and life-changing programme that I have come across in education. It equips the pupils with real-life skills, empowering them to become independent critical thinkers and learners”
6th Class Teacher, Duleek Girls’ National School, Co. Meath
“JEP creates great excitement around the entire school for pupils, parents and teachers. The children look forward to working on it, and it is extremely rewarding to witness them blossom and become more confident in themselves.”
5th and 6th Class Teacher, Bartlemy National School, Co. Cork
“JEP is child-centred and discovery-led, which allows the children to take ownership of the process and set up a business from scratch. The children were amazed and delighted that they were successful entrepreneurs and that people wanted to purchase their product.”
4th – 6th Class Teacher, Burrane National School, Co. Clare
Over 100,000 children have started classroom businesses since the Junior Entrepreneur Programme launched in 2010. Thousands of Irish entrepreneurs have mentored the 5th and 6th class primary school pupils while they create, invest in and launch mini businesses in their schools throughout the island of Ireland. The businesses created by the participating pupils have achieved sales of almost €3 million, with a significant proportion of the profits being donated to local charities. “One of the key changes in the approaches of the classroom entrepreneurs has been the realisation that their entrepreneurial endeavours can make a difference in their locality. As a result, they’ve embraced the concept of social entrepreneurship, funded by their successful classroom businesses,” explained Programme co-founder Marie Lynch.

This year, 10,000 children have launched start-up businesses from their primary school classrooms. The pupils combined their innate creativity with the skills they developed on the programme to create original products and launch businesses ranging from board games to storybooks to high-end craft and educational products.

From the hundreds of excellent project submissions, awards and merits were given to classes that excelled across 12 categories, with one class being awarded Class of the Year. The Class of the Year is a very special award that considers the approach to all elements of the programme and recognises the class that has worked together from the very beginning to create a successful business.

The Class of the Year 2023, St. Saviour’s National School, Rathdrum, Co.Wicklow were delighted to receive their trophy, for their stand-out project, BushCraft Boxes. 5th and 6th class pupils zoned in on the interests of the wider community in Wicklow and created a bushcraft box containing everything you need for a family day out in the wilderness. They made clever compass bracelets and put together a discovery trail guide with QR codes and an activity booklet that includes tips for fishing for insects and a tree hunt. all packaged in a hand-designed box. The class have made a profit of over €800 to date. Staying true to their product, the pupils have decided to spend their profits on a class camping trip.

Award Category Winners include:

Creative Pioneers: 6th Class, St. Joseph’s Primary School, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo
Handmade Seed Paper
Changemakers: Class: Síolta Beaga, Bunscoil Mhuire, Youghal, Co. Cork
Finance Wizards: 5th Class, Summercove National School, Kinsale, Co. Cork
The Kinsale Calendar
Go Green: 4th – 6th Class, Rampark N.S., Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth
Coastal Candles
Star Submission: P7, Spires Integrated Primary School, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland
Fluffy Friends
Health Heroes: 6th Class, Knocktemple N.S., Virginia, Co. Cavan
Comfy Cushions
Genius Product: 5th & 6th Class, Bishop Harty N.S., Ballinree, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Multi-Sports Stand
Tech Titans: 6th Class, Scoil Íde, Corbally, Limerick
Bows ‘n’ Bandanas from Capulanas
Marketing Gurus: 6th Class, Scoil Mológa, Dublin 6
Gallúnach Ghalánta
Community Champions: 6th Class, Scoil Chróine, Dungloe, Co. Donegal
Aisling na n-Éan ( A Bird’s Dream)
Top Teams: 6th Class, St. Raphaela’s National School, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
Hook It
Dynamic Designers: 5th & 6th Class, Laragh 2 Muff N.S., Kingscourt, Co. Cavan
Crafty Cards

Programme Partner
Enterprise Ireland

independent.ie logo transparent

Media Partner
The Irish Independent

Kennelly Foundation Logo Transparent

Founding Partner
Kennelly Foundation

Cillian Durkan
St. Joseph’s Primary School

Victoria Spencer
St. Saviour’s National School

Isabel Tierney
St. Joseph’s Primary School

Marian Hickey
Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál

Niamh Kelly
Burrane National School

Eilish O’Dowd
St. Vincent’s Girl’s National School

John McCarthy
Scoil na mBuachaillí

Ciara Breen
Scoil Ide

Andrew O’Regan
Lawrencetown National School

Alfie Kelly
Greystones Educate Together National School

Morgan Manifold
Scoil Ide

Colm Walsh
St. Joseph’s Primary School

Niamh Spain
Bishop Harty National School

Aaron Stauton
Scoil Maelruain Senior

David McAndrew
St. Andrew’s National School