Johannesburg, South Africa – December 11th, 2017: JA Africa and its sponsors celebrated youth entrepreneurship at the 7th annual Regional Company of the Year Competition awards, held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 8 December 2017. At the end of the three-day competition Recycling Industry, a company from Gabon that produces environmentally friendly household products won the coveted title. The company, founded by high schools students with a mission to rid the waterways in their local communities of discarded plastic bottles, made a compelling pitch for their product on stage, demonstrating well-made stools using plastic bottles as the foundation.
The Citi Client Focus Award went to Digera from Kenya for their digitized cashless payment service which automates purchases and transactions made through the local school canteen. Digera also came in second place in the competition. As part of the Citi Foundation’s global Pathways to Progress Initiative, the Foundation supports the JA Company Program and ITS TYME, both of which help prepare young people to thrive in today’s economy. Participants are equipped with invaluable skills in both entrepreneurship and financial literacy under the Turning Youth Potential into Enterprise Program and they later compete at the Company of the Year Competition.
This year, 42 students aged 14 to 20 years from Botswana, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe competed for the sought-after titles at the annual competition by pitching and presenting their business products and services to a panel of judges composed of business professionals and influencers from across South Africa and the United States.
The 2017 Company of the Year Competition was sponsored by FedEx, Citi Foundation, Oliver Wyman, Delta Air Lines, Facebook, Marketo, Rogers Capital, African Leadership Academy and Afrovisionary Legacy. Thanks to our committed and energetic judges and sponsors for supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in Africa.