The rise of Junior-Enterprises: a long-term trend?

In 1967, the first French Junior-Enterprise was born; today, there are more than 200 Junior-Enterprises and 25 000 "junior entrepreneurs" in France. On a worldwide scale, these figures have risen to 1700 J.E. in 44 countries gathering 65 000 students. This real Movement does not intend to stop today and builds mandate after mandate new objectives of progress, commitment and responsibility. But what is a Junior-Enterprise and what is the basis of this momentum?

What are we talking about?

Junior-Enterprises are particular structures with a status guaranteed by the National Confederation of Junior-Enterprises. This association, under the law of 1901, supervises the 200 French J.E. by creating a link between them (congresses, training, support, etc.) and by carrying out an audit once a year to ensure the proper functioning and probity of each structure. A mention is attributed to each J.E. after this audit: HEC Junior Conseil received the best possible mention ("Satisfactory") in June 2022 to reward the good keeping of its accounts and files. Indeed, it is under the responsibility of the administrators of each J.E. that the follow-up of the studies carried out, theaccounting exercise and the conservation of all the legal documents concerning their missions are done. Finally, we are talking about structures managed by students who benefit from an accelerated professional insertion, not to mention thehuman experience that accompanies it.

person who works

It is important to insist on the pedagogical aspect of a Junior-Enterprise to explain its derogatory status. The student administrators of each J.E. rely on the higher education institution to which they belong to bring in qualified students for each study. For example, at HEC Paris, we ask M2 students in the Sustainability major to participate in eco-responsible projects, while M2 students who have completed a gap year in a consulting firm produce Business Plans and Pitch Decks. Professionalization goes beyond the administrators and affects all members of HEC Junior Conseil. According to Emilie Paris, president of the CNJE, whom we would like to thank for answering our questions, "a J.E. provides students with valuable skills in addition to providing the professional world with youth and a freshness to the professional world ". This certainly explains the development of these structures in France and elsewhere.

The rise of Junior-Enterprises

Emilie Paris justifies the success of the E.D. by " the agility of the students because of their youth, their need for innovation and their perpetual evolution to satisfy their clients and their environment".

By multiplying, Junior-Enterprises have covered more and more sectors, deployed new tools and innovated in their internal functioning in order to reach quality, performance and transformation objectives - an essential notion that will be developed in the next paragraph. As an indication, the turnover of HEC Junior Conseil is constantly growing. Far from being only a question of money, it is a question of recognizing the student administrators for their notable progress in terms of client relations, the number of calls for tender transformed into signed contracts and their capacity to maintain a perennial structure that continues to satisfy the requirements of the CNJE. But Emilie Paris underlines a less obvious consequence of the development of Junior-Enterprises, which is the networking of these companies. She affirms: "the richness of the J.E. experience is also to meet students that we would never have met elsewhere, hence the interest to participate in the life of the Movement".

The Movement must be brought together and traditions must be revived so that everyone understands that they are not members of one EJ in one institution but of a group of 200 EJs.

The size of the National Congresses, which are held twice a year and bring together nearly 2300 students, speaks volumes about the number of profiles that a student is likely to meet thanks to the EJ. These events exist thanks to the renewed investment every year of the CNJE office mandates that encourage and support the active involvement of students in the Movement. For 2024, the horizon is defined: "we must bring the Movement together and renew its traditions so that everyone understands that he or she is not a member of an E.D. in an institution but of a group of 200 E.D.", adds the President of the CNJE. This is what the ambitions of the French Junior-Enterprises for tomorrow are built around.

The future of Junior-Enterprises

Today, the J.E. label is well established and the concept is attracting more and more students in search of professionalization and responsibility. The J.E. are constantly progressing: for Emilie Paris, "a good J.E. is one that respects the criteria of the standard, a very good J.E. is one that, beyond existing for itself contributes to its ecosystem ". The Junior-Enterprises Movement indeed seeks to guarantee the special status of the J.E. but goes further by asking the students to enrich their campuses, the J.E. network and the society as a whole. This Movement wants to be more and more active and works actively around 4 themes(Strategy 2024 booklet): professional insertion by multiplying opportunities for students, links with higher education by taking care of the relations between the YWCAs and their establishments, corporate social responsibility by satisfying the new requirements of those who call upon us, and finally gender equality in collaboration with the association Never without them which promotes gender equality in the working world. To encourage Junior-Enterprises to follow and contribute to this Movement, prizes are awarded such as the BNP Paribas CSR prize, the ENGIE prize for the Best Partner in Higher Education or the EY prize for the Best Consulting Study.

The spirit of E.D. that goes beyond and impacts society

HEC Junior Conseil takes part in this Movement by working mandate after mandate to meet its various objectives. Thus, the student speakers vary so that the 1600 members of HEC Paris have a chance to touch the world of work through the J.E.; regular meetings are held between the members of the J.E. and those of the HEC administration to strengthen our collaboration; CSR projects are multiplying as well as the studies carried out for companies whose essence it is; finally, gender diversity is a crucial issue for each mandate, notably in the office of the association. And going beyond the campus, HEC Junior Conseil makes a point of conducting studies for a wide variety of companies and individuals. We focus on innovation: the start-ups are numerous in HJC's client base, and working with incubators such as the ESS incubator ensures the sustainability of this commitment, from French Tech to the birth of eco-responsible projects.

"The spirit of the J.E. that goes further and has an impact on society ", to quote Emilie Paris last time, this is what HEC Junior Conseil and the 200 J.E. in France are actively aiming at.To quote Emilie Paris one last time, this is what HEC Junior Conseil and the 200 J.E.'s in France are actively aiming for, this is what guarantees the prosperous future of Junior-Enterprises.

After having been a member of the Junior-Enterprise of the Burgundy School of BusinessEmilie Paris was elected president of the National Confederation of Junior-Enterprises at the age of 22. At the head of the biggest student association in France, her ambition is to consolidate the Junior-Enterprise Movement and to contribute to the transformations of the society. A big thank you for her contribution to the writing of this article.

If you want to know more about the HEC Junior Entreprise and have any questions, please contact us!

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