Junior Achievement Kenya with support from Citibank Kenya presented the Awards won by Project Yoof, students from Nova Pioneer Tatu Girls in Kenya who won JA Africa’s 2021 Company of the Year Competition which was held earlier this year. The competition, supported by FedEx, Citi Foundation, PMI Educational Foundation, and Tomorrow Foundation saw 36 high school-aged entrepreneurs from nine African countries pitch their businesses to a panel of business experts from around the world in this keenly contested competition.
Project Yoof, emerged as the overall winner of the competition, winning a $1,000 cash prize. The team went ahead to compete at the Ralph de la Vega Global Entrepreneurship Competition where they competed against COY winners from 5 other regions where JA works. Although they didn’t win the ultimate prize, they bagged $5,000 for their tremendous achievements. A cheque worth $6,000 was awarded to Project Yoof.
The team of four brilliant young ladies impressed the judges with their innovative social enterprise which leverages technology to make mental health services more accessible to young people. They created a Website that has 3 main services that aid different persons with their various challenges. The services on the website include Habit Tracking, Journaling, and Self-Care which provides a holistic support system for young people with mental health challenges especially post COVID-19.
Director, Global Subsidiaries Group Head Citibank Kenya, Ms. Susan Sawe, spoke on the Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, mentioning that innovation is growing in every sector of the economy. Innovation begins with knowing and understanding challenges and creating opportunities to reduce the challenges. “The vision is a better future,” she said. She proceeded to present the students with the Grand Prize trophy and Cheque.
Public Affairs Officer at Citibank, Ms. Maryanne Mwaura, spoke to the students and mentioned that the youth are the biggest capital that Africa has and that we need to be self-led. She presented the Tomorrow Foundation Award to the group.
The Project Management Institute Educational Foundation Award was presented by the Executive Director of JA Kenya. Mr. John Wali, talked about the importance of inculcating the entrepreneurial mindset in students; this grows into something bigger, as seen by alumni from JA Kenya.
The Associate Dean of students from Nova Pioneer Mr. Macharia and the JA School Patron, also encouraged the team as they received their various awards. The smiles on the students’ faces spoke many words, not only their excitement but also the hard work they put into their enterprise paid off.