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The process to start Junior Achievement Bahamas was initiated in 1978 by Mr. Franklin Wilson of the Young Presidents’ Organization. The seed was planted as a result of a challenging speech given by Sir John Templeton at a luncheon of the Young Presidents’ Organization in 1978. Sir John invited the group to consider the world recognized youth business programme and review it to see whether it can be of benefit to the youth of The Bahamas. 


With the support of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and the initiative of the Bahamas Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, a small group of business persons met in 1978 and founded a steering committee to review the feasibility of starting Junior Achievement in The Bahamas. These persons included: 


Mr. Franklyn Wilson, Founding Chairman of JA Bahamas and Partner, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells

Mr. Jack Smith, Chairman, RoyWest Banking Corporation

Sir John Templeton, President, Templeton Foundation

Mr. Franklyn Butler, President, Milo Butler and Sons Ltd

Mr. Dennis Cross, Partner, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.

Mr. Bismark Coakley, President, Sunshine Holding Ltd

Mrs. Mary Lightbourne, Guidance Counselors Association

Mr. Nello Coerbell of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce.


This committee:

  • Received strong support from the Hon. Kendal W. Nottage, former Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Affairs at that time. The Government of The Bahamas consented to provide    technical human resources, training materials and administrative support,

  • Initiated the formation of a company limited by guarantee,

  • Obtained the commitment of a wide section of business-oriented organizations to become charter members of the company. These organizations were: The Bahamas Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization, The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, The Bahamas Employers’ Confederation, The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, The Bahamas Motor Dealers Association, The Templeton Foundation, The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Bankers Club and The Association of Clearing Banks.Junior Achievement Bahamas was formally organized and chartered in 1979.



1916 was the year when the concept for Junior Achievement was first hammered out on paper. It was founded by Horace Moses, Theodore Vail, and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Junior Achievement started in 1919 as a collection of small after-school business clubs for idle, energetic and curious students in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The consensus was the Junior Achievement was right for the times. On February 27, 1920, the name Junior Achievement was voted on and selected in the Eastern States Exposition meeting.

Students were taught how to think, plan for a business, acquire supplies and talent, build their own products, advertise, sell. With the financial support of companies and individuals, Junior Achievement recruited sponsoring agencies such as England Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA and numerous churches, playground associations and schools to provide meeting places for the students.

It was the financial commitment of $250,000.00 from the 22 members of the organizing committee and the hiring of the Bureau staff in the fall of 1919 that marked the birth of Junior Achievement. The dynamic leadership of Vail, Moses and Crane has moved this organization from paper in 1916 to a working reality.

Junior Achievement has now grown over the past 94 years to 123 countries on six continents throughout the world. Junior Achievement has been a positive influence in the lives of millions students in 30 languages over 24 time zones with 28 unique programs.

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