Students in Brazil are voluntarily advising businesses to help them gain space in the market. They make a connection between what is taught in class and the practical world. These students are Junior Entrepreneurs, young people who come together in student-run companies called Junior Enterprises. Their mission is helping to change Brazil’s scenario over business opportunities and education by promoting entrepreneurship.
Junior Enterprises are non-profit organizations run by undergraduate students assisted by professors to perform projects. The volunteer movement was established in 1967 in France, which has the highest revenues per year of any Junior Enterprises campaign. Today, Brazil leads in number of projects executed per year. The Junior Enterprises management policies are independent from the universities’ and are led just by students. The projects are cheaper than the average market prices; this helps to diminish inequality within the Brazilian corporate world; creating opportunities for smaller businesses to become more competitive and acquire the services they need.
Where does all the revenue go when students finish their consulting projects? It is invested in the student participants through some of the following: extracurricular courses, conferences, and lectures from renowned leaders. The Junior Enterprises are linked to their respective university departments, such as “Grupo Gestão Consultoria” that consists of industrial engineering students from University of Brasilia.
The results generated by the Junior Enterprises Movement in Brazil are huge. According to the National Confederation of Junior Enterprises (“Brasil Junior”), in 2015, students there did over 2,700 projects. This generated revenue of approximately three million dollars. Projections for 2016 are that 4,800 projects will be done for about 2,800 companies, creating revenue of four million dollars.
Although undergraduate students do not have much experience, their projects are remarkable and the quality is often up to the standards of senior consultants’. Their outstanding traits come from the innovative atmosphere in universities. The projects’ scopes cover a myriad areas of knowledge — for example, Business Planning, Logistics, Simulations, Plant Design, Market Analysis, Strategic Planning, and so on.
In midst of the ideological conflict generated by the Cold War, the Junior Enterprises Movement rose. It has motivated many to create opportunities within the capitalist system. Through nearly 50 years of history, students have helped thousands of entrepreneurs. By doing so a worldwide network was established whose aim is to create jobs, profits and learning.
João Marcos de Almeida Carvalho and Victoria Lacerda Shaw
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