Youth entrepreneurship celebrated with student representatives from 11 countries across Africa
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.
Digera, a Kenyan company came in second place with its digitized cashless payment service which automates purchases and transactions made through the local school canteen. Artistic Scorpions from Swaziland took third place for its uniquely designed artistic wall clocks made with discarded or recycled music and data CDs.
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.
A full list of winners include:
FedEx Access Award: Wot Art, Uganda
Citi Client Focus Award: Digera, Kenya
Oliver Wyman Best Financial Performance Award: Candle Lit, Botswana
Delta Social Impact Award: Wot Art, Uganda
Rogers Capital Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Recycling Industry, Gabon
Rogers Capital Innovation Award: Candle Lit, Botswana
Facebook Social Media Award: St. Mary’s Very Own, Zambia
Marketo Excellence in Marketing Award: Azurro Ltd., Mauritius
AfroVisionary CEO Rising Award: Tebenguni Ndwandwe, Artistic Scorpions – Swaziland
“By showcasing their businesses, all students demonstrated teamwork, innovation, problem-solving and leadership skills,” says Elizabeth Bintliff, CEO of JA Africa. “The success of this year’s competition confirmed the growing importance of entrepreneurship education among young Africans who contribute to build a proud, innovative and prosperous Africa. These budding entrepreneurs have taken action for the benefit of their own future, their country and all of Africa.”
The Regional Company of the Year Competition is the culmination of JA’s highly acclaimed Company Program that delivers entrepreneurship education to high school youth across Africa. Currently being taught to more than 500,000 young people a year globally, the Program teaches students how to start and run their own businesses and develop and market a product or service with coaching and mentorship from a local volunteer from the business community.
The year’s theme was “Innovate, Create, Be Great” and students truly demonstrated their business acumen and spirit of entrepreneurship in the competitive environment.
The keynote speaker, Lebogang Chaka, CEO of AfroVisionary Legacy, encouraged the students to embrace their African culture and remember that they are leaders of today and not tomorrow and that they have the obligation to create the future they want.
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.
About JA Africa: JA Africa is a member of JA Worldwide, one of the largest global organizations focused on the economic empowerment of youth. JA activates youth for the future of jobs through the delivery of in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship training. JA Africa reaches over 230,000 young people in 14 countries in Africa each year. www.ja africa.org
About FedEx Corp: FedEx Corp. provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e – commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $45 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. news.fedex.com.
About Citi Foundation: The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low- income communities around the world. Citi invests in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill its mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. www.citifoundation.com/citi/foundation
About Oliver Wyman: Oliver Wyman is a leading global management consulting firm that combines deep industry knowledge and expertise, with close partnerships and relationships. Oliver Wyman guides its clients through their thorniest business issues, from strategy to organizational effectiveness to the digital revolution using deep industry specialization and world – class expertise and profound thought leadership.
About Delta Air Lines: Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2017, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the sixth time in seven years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented six consecutive years. With an industry- leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 323 destinations in 59 countries on six continents. Visit the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, and Facebook.com/delta.
About Facebook: Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
About Marketo: Marketo, Inc., offers the leading Engagement Platform that empowers marketers to create lasting relationships and grow revenue. Consistently recognized as the industry’s innovation pioneer, Marketo is the trusted platform for thousands of CMOs thanks to its scalability, reliability, and openness. Marketo is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with offices around the world, and serves as a strategic partner to large enterprise and fast- growing organizations across a wide variety of industries. To learn more about the Marketo Engagement Platform, LaunchPoint® partner ecosystem, and the vast community that is the Marketing Nation®. www.marketo.com.
About Rogers Capital: Roger’s Capital’s common purpose is to combine world – class financial expertise with cutting edge technology to provide sophisticated solutions to businesses, institutions and individuals in their evolution towards a better tomorrow. Rogers Capital, believes that by blending the expertise of three business segments, corporate services, technology services and financial services, they can paint a bigger picture while using the power of technology to change the financial and business industry, making it more agile, efficient, and trustworthy. www.rogerscapital.mu
About Afrovisionary Legacy: Afrovisionary Legacy is a boutique management consulting firm perfectly positioned, staffed and skilled to assist its clients across the globe. Afrovisionary Legacy renders services in Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Australia and Dubai.