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2011 Reginonal JA Company of the Year Competition
The goal of the JA Company of the Year Competition is to create a signature showcase for Junior Achievement and the high school students who benefit from the impact of the JA Company Program®. This annual celebration of success will allow young people to demonstrate their business acumen and sprit of entrepreneurship in a competitive environment which will engage business, education and policy leaders as well as the national media.
2011 Regional JA Company of the Year Competition Winner Announced
Junior Achievement Swaziland Teen Entrepreneurs Win Regional Company of the Year
Students show dedication to fostering economic growth across the sub-Saharan region through business acumen and innovation.
The First-Place Team posing with their awards.
Accra, Ghana — On Friday, Junior Achievement Africa (JA) crowned teen entrepreneurs of Eco Eagles from Swaziland as the Africa JA Company of the Year at its second annual regional competition, sponsored by Barclays and FedEx. After three days of competition, during which the 22 student companies from 15 sub-Saharan countries participated in a trade fair and pitched their companies to a judging panel comprised of business leaders, Eco Eagles emerged victorious at a gala awards ceremony at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel.
The Eco Eagles win first place.
Eco Eagles produced quality organic broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce using their own unique, innovative organic and modern scientific methods. They used locally available waste material, instead of soil, as a growing medium, without any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, thus producing an environmentally friendly and cost-effective product.
The second-place winner was Guardian Angels from Botswana. Guardian Angels produced solid perfume made of beeswax, almond oil, petroleum jelly and essential oils. It served a dual purpose as a pleasing fragrance and a botanical skin-care remedy. Third place honors went to D Smart from Kenya. Their product, a hot-water iron box, was a non-electric iron that was economical and environmentally friendly. The product incorporated a blend of physics and artistic principles that resulted in smoothly ironed clothes. The event had broad student representation from across the region: Junior Achievement Botswana sent three student teams to the event; Junior Achievement operations in Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe sent two teams. JA operations in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Kenya, Mauritius, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia each sent one successful local team to represent them.
The Third-Place Team posing with their awards.
The African Region JA Company of the Year Competition is a contest of business skill, ingenuity and innovation. It celebrates the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students, ages 15-19, during the 2010-2011 academic year. Under the mentorship of volunteers from their local business communities, students start and run their own businesses, developing and marketing a product or service to realize a profit for their shareholders. Through qualification rounds, finalist teams are selected to showcase their business acumen before a panel of independent judges who evaluate each student company's annual report, business presentation, trade booth display and interview performance. The judging panel included representatives from the following companies: Multimedia Group Limited, Databank Financial Services Ltd., United Airlines, Citibank, Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, Nestlé Business Services of Africa, Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, FC Group of Companies Ltd. and SC Johnson.
In addition to crowning the Africa JA Company of the Year, the event named the winners of two signature awards. The Barclays Innovation Award was awarded again to D Smart from Kenya, as the JA student company that best illustrates and introduces new, original, or groundbreaking business ideas. In addition, the FedEx Access Award was unanimously presented to Eco Eagles from Swaziland, as the JA student company with the best business plan designed to create jobs, grow small business, expand global development and improve the environment.
Rachael Barber, Director, Global Community Investment at Barclays said: "It was a tough decision as a huge range of creative ideas were proposed. D Smart combined science with a deep understanding of a specific community need, translating it into a real market opportunity. Their rigorous product development process and understanding of innovation show they have the skills necessary to become successful entrepreneurs, which will help them provide for themselves, their families and communities. They are an example to others and I am sure have bright futures ahead of them."
"FedEx is proud to support the Junior Achievement Company of the Year competition," said David Ross, Senior Vice President Operations FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa. "We strongly believe that students must have access to information and opportunities to develop themselves today in order to strengthen their capabilities to meet the global business challenges of the future."
"The 2011 Africa JA Company of the Year Competition provides sub-Saharan youth with important opportunities to learn and demonstrate the teamwork, leadership and innovative thinking that will help them drive success in the business world," said Sean C. Rush, president and CEO of JA Worldwide. "Along with our sponsors FedEx and Barclays, Junior Achievement is committed to driving economic growth and job creation across the region by giving young people the necessary skills and opportunities to help Africa thrive," he added.
About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)
JA Worldwide is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, nearly 10 million students are served by JA Worldwide operations in 120 countries, including four million young people in the United States. For more information, visit www.jaworldwide.org.
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 145,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $40 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com