The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA)

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The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA)

Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) is delighted to launch this exciting new initiative to celebrate those schools which practise best-in-class entrepreneurship education.

Nominate your school for The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) and be recognised for your commitment to entrepreneurship education.

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  • NAPD

    “Entrepreneurship education is an essential element of holistic   education, and its importance will only grow in the future. We are delighted that JAI is recognising the work of teachers, principals and deputy principals, who often undertake this work on a voluntary basis.”

    Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD)

  • IPPN

    “The annual TESA Summit offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurship educators to come together, to share best practice and to build a support network of like-minded educators and schools. We look forward to contributing to this unique collaboration to support and complement the work of educators all over the country.”

    David Ruddy, President of the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN)

Benefits to Schools

What is Entrepreneurship Education?

Entrepreneurship education, as defined by the European Commission, covers all activities that seek to give individuals the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to achieve the goals they set for themselves to live a fulfilled life. Those skills include the ability to think positively, to identify opportunities, to have confidence in oneself as well as to set and achieve personal and professional goals.  These skills are essential to preparing students for the future work place and to achieve success in their lives after they finish school.

Benefits of Entrepreneurship Education

Students who participate in entrepreneurship education:

  • have an easier time securing a job
  • earn higher salaries
  •  are more motivated in their careers
  • show more self-confidence
  • make better higher education choices
  • have higher rates of employability

The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA)

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENTThe Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) will recognise outstanding commitment to entrepreneurship education, defined as all educational activities ‘that seek to prepare people to be responsible, enterprising individuals who have the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to prepare them to achieve the goals they set for themselves to live a fulfilled life’ (Entrepreneurship Education: A road to success. European Commission 2015).

Each school matching the criteria will be publicly recognised for its work in entrepreneurship education. All TESA-certified schools will participate in an annual summit enabling educators and innovators to exchange best practice and to participate in specially-commissioned masterclasses. The summit will encourage innovation and support the continuous professional development of those providing opportunities for entrepreneurship education in our schools.


  • A call for entries will issue in April to all JA partner schools.
  • Applicant schools self-assess against the published criteria and complete a submission to establish their credentials as an Entrepreneurial School. (See checklist below.)
  • All schools will be invited to submit the required material by end of May.
  • An assessment process will verify that the submission matches the criteria, thus establishing the school’s suitability for inclusion in TESA.
  • The outcomes of the TESA verification process to issue to schools by mid-September.
  • All schools designated as TESA-certified 2019 will be invited to a summit on entrepreneurship education on 10 October, incorporating a celebratory event.
  • An evaluation panel will select sectoral winners and form the shortlist for the overall award.
  • The panel of entrepreneurship education experts will also decide the overall winner.
  • The winner of the TESA School of the Year – Microsoft Award will travel to Europe to represent Ireland at The Entrepreneurial School (TES) Conference in Helsinki on 16 October 2019.

tesa flow chart

Benefits to Schools


  • Special citation as TESA-certified i.e. actively engaged in entrepreneurship education.
  • Participation in the annual TESA Summit – our Summit Partners in 2019 are Microsoft. The Summit is a conference and celebratory event to exchange good ideas and encourage innovation in Irish schools while recognising the work of educators and local partners in promoting best practice in entrepreneurship education.
  • Sectoral winners – with primary and second level categorized according to enrollment – will receive cash prizes to be reinvested in their entrepreneurship education programmes.
  • Each sectoral winner will be included in the shortlist for overall winner.
  • TESA-certified schools will feature in media campaigns at local, sectoral and national level.
  • Overall Winner (TESA School of the Year – Microsoft Award) will be invited to participate (all expenses paid) in a study trip to the European TES Conference.
Benefits to Schools

The European Dimension

The European Entrepreneurial Schools Award is a European-wide recognition of the best schools in entrepreneurship education.

17  schools  from  across  Europe  who were  selected  at  national  level  gathered in Vienna on 7-8 November 2018 in the context of the European Vocational Skills Week. They participated in a workshop, offering opportunities to network and exchange good practices.

Nominations for the European Entrepreneurial Schools Award are submitted by national JA organisations in each country. This year The Entrepreneurial School (TES) Conference will take place in Helsinki on 16 October 2019.

Apply Now

Nominate your school for The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) and be recognised for your commitment to entrepreneurship education. Application is easy!

Apply Now

The preference is for online application however please find a downloadable version of the application form here.

To submit your application please prepare:

  • A history of your partnership with JAI
  • Local community and business sector activities in your school (if any)
  • Percentage of teachers and students involved in entrepreneurship education activities
  • Entrepreneurship education plans/strategies (if any)
  • Specific resources allocated to entrepreneurship education (if any)
  • Teacher CPD and/or training in entrepreneurship education (if any)
  • Why your school should be named The Entrepreneurial School of the Year.

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