Career Readiness

JA Ottawa

Turning Today’s Students Into Tomorrow’s Leaders

Teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career readiness.

We recruit volunteers from Ottawa’s business community and post-secondary institutions to lead interactive learning activities for students in grades 5 to 12. JA programs teach entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness skills by giving students real-world tasks like goal setting, building a personal budget, exploring interests and career pathways, and working with a team to start a small business. 

JA Ottawa is a member of JA Canada and is known for its innovative approach to program development and delivery. 

JA Company is a four-month program that supports high school students in starting their own business. 

This spring, 110 high school students from 24 different schools created 10 businesses!

Winter 2021 Update

In pandemic school closures, JA Canada created an online portal that can be used as a teaching tool by parents and teachers, and also contains self-directed modules for students. ONFE has staff and volunteers who can help teachers deliver these programs – contact Kristina Price at for more info. 


JA World of Choices activities are now being expanded to assist Ottawa school boards in reimagining their co-op programs and career studies courses. World of Choices 2.0 "Mentorship" is a fully virtual synchronous experience that connects teams of high school students with Industry Mentors to solve current industry challenges over a six-week period. 


We are committed to removing barriers for K-12 students, offering free programs to meet their needs and create opportunities. We need your help to make this happen. If you are using these great resources for home schooling or pod schooling, consider making a donation to ONFE. This helps us cover the fees of the JA Digital Campus so that it is free to students who may not otherwise be able to access it.  A donation of $5 per student helps us cover the costs - by donating $25, you can help 5 kids access this important educational resource. 

Igniting Ottawa's Future Leaders, adapting to the new reality


JA Ottawa is shifting its programs to continue to nurture Ottawa's youth during this unprecedented school year.

About the Program


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 (SMBs).

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.


Since 2012, JA volunteers have engaged more than 32,000 Ottawa students in JA programs that provide hands-on, experiential learning activities. Our programs inspire youth to make better financial decisions, explore career pathways, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.


The Boston Consulting Group found that 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 through JA Company In-School.

JA Company

Watch this JA Company Awards Video to find out more!

Get Tools and Resources for JA Ottawa

If you are interested in learning more about JA Ottawa, check out the following resources and videos.

Spark the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Youth

Help students connect classroom learning with real-world problems and issues. Your financial investment will inspire students to develop needed soft skills for tomorrow’s careers and help foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in our K-12 schools.

Volunteer with JA Ottawa

You can help us develop tomorrow’s leaders! Our volunteers teach JA curriculum and lead students through interactive learning activities, while sharing personal work-related experiences and knowledge. You can boost your company’s profile, develop your leadership and communication skills, and have a great deal of fun.