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The Rising Role of Junior Enterprises in The Consulting Industry

Written by Kayla Karmawan

If you are not familiar with the concept of Junior Enterprises, it might come as a shock to you that an operating Junior Enterprise in Brazil generated an impressive revenue of over 1.3 million dollars per year. Remarkable, isn’t it? But that’s not all, our very own Junior Enterprise at ESCP called JET, has successfully collaborated with major companies all over Europe. Before getting into the impact of Junior Enterprises in the consulting industry, it is important that we first establish a clear understanding of what it is and the extent of its operation. While the concept is still considerably a niche, with the rate at which it is growing and evolving, it might not be for long. At ESCP Business School, JET is the university’s junior enterprise operating under JE (Junior Enterprise) Italy and JE Global. Interestingly enough, the core foundation of junior enterprises lies in it being a non-profit organization formed and managed exclusively by university students. Junior Enterprises offers services for companies, institutions and individuals in various ways such as marketing & competitor analysis, business planning & market strategy, financial services, sustainability strategy and many more. JE Global and JE Italy are networks that aim to share knowledge and strategies with junior enterprises all over the world.

The big question still remains: what values does Junior Enterprises bring to their clients that sets them apart from traditional consulting companies? To answer this question, we interviewed Mattia Damati, head of Business Development and Sales at JET ESCP.

“Motivated students come together to offer consulting services with distinct backgrounds, working for free and driven by purpose.”

The first topic he delved into highlighted ESCP’s renowned position as one of the top business schools in Europe. What is worth noting here is to understand that students are selected from a large pool of talented applicants from an already competitive university. Students who become associates in a Junior Enterprise are not there for money; rather, they are driven by a profound purpose– the opportunity to foster personal and professional growth.

Secondly, and perhaps most crucially, is the exceptional value for money. JEs offer prices that are competitive and lower than the market rates. Considering the diverse professional backgrounds of these students and their unique GEN Z perspective, it becomes evident how companies can see the value they bring to the table.

Diversity in terms of the personal backgrounds of each associate is also an important point to highlight. In JET ESCP for example, associates are from 15+ countries all over the globe and speak more than 8 languages. On top of that, 96% of JET associates have had previous experiences in large companies such as BCG, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte and many more.

With these values that JEs bring to the table, it’s no wonder that JEs' role in the consulting industry has risen over the years. To illustrate the growth, we can take a look at the history of Junior Enterprises. The first Junior Enterprise was founded in 1967 in France then only in 2006 a global cooperation agreement was signed between the European and Brazilian Confederations which led to the the creation of the Junior Enterprise World Conference (JEWC). With what started as something small, JE Global Network now comprises more than 1,700+ JEs across 44 countries, and uniting a community of over 65,000+ junior entrepreneurs or associates. It is truly one of the rarest networks of its kind!

Recently in September this year, JE Italy and JE Global hosted one of the first Junior Enterprise World Conference (JEWC) in which Junior Entrepreneurs (JEurs) flew from Australia, Brazil, Morocco and all over Europe to Florence, Italy. The event themed “Embrace Renaissance”, which lasted for four days, consisted of workshops hosted by Deloitte, KPMG, and EY, and also galas and group discussions on the topic of how JEs can be more sustainable and inclusive.

As JEs continue to grow, it’s not just about the numbers but the meaningful connection they’ve established with clients. Let’s take a closer look at the impact these partnerships have on both parties by examining JET’s collaborations with different companies. One of the most notable ones is GFT, a global IT company in Italy– JET’s deliverable for the company was a 150-page report on the company’s market research, innovation development in the field and more. JET has also had European Union (EU) Commission funding to develop projects, making JET highly ranked in terms of revenue in all of the JEs under JE Italy. With a very high client return rate of 32%, JET has received very positive feedback from clients, often overdelivering and having repeated projects from the same companies. An instance of positive feedback comes from Phoenix Space, a returning client who is now embarking on a new project with JET:`

“Collaborating with JET ESCP has brought a lot of value to Phoenix Space as an organisation, JET team has not only created a comprehensive database of potential partners but also created a dynamic, custom-made budget template. The efficiency, friendliness, and dedication of the JET ESCP team was exceptional. It has been a privilege to work with talented young people committed to making a difference.” Berenika Rozanska’s (COO of Phoenix Space) testimonial after working with JET on a recent project.

To bring it all together, the journey of Junior Enterprises isn’t just about getting bigger; it’s an inspiring story of change and evolution. It shows us what a group of motivated university students is capable of when given the platform to innovate and collaborate. What started as something small and now making waves globally, these aspiring consultants are surely shaking up the traditional consulting scene in how we see and do consulting.

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