Student Company receives regional title out of group of 10 finalists
Ezulwini, Swaziland – On December 6, Junior Achievement crowned “Refab Kenya” — a team of young entrepreneurs from Nairobi, Kenya — the winners of the 2013 Africa Region JA Company of the Year Competition sponsored by FedEx and Bechtel.
Refab Kenya was comprised of Junior Achievement students from Starehe Boys Centre and emerged as winners from a pool of ten student companies from ten countries by demonstrating superior performance and innovation. They developed eco-friendly cushions filled with recycled synthetic hair and covered mainly with Maasai fabric.
Second place went to “EcoBizz” from Moka, Mauritius. The JA student company produced paper lanterns made from recycled paper bags, decorative materials, and LED lights. The team conducted extensive market research and tested several products made from recycled materials before deciding to pursue this line of production.
Third place was won by “Apex Limited” of Saint Faith’s High School from Rusape, Zimbabwe. They produced Apex Beta Fuel, an affordable, locally manufactured product used in reading lamps and made from polypropylene distillation. Their school is in a rural area with intermittent power supply and they sought to solve this community problem with their business and innovation.
Additional awards were presented by regional and local sponsors, recognizing students and their companies for achievements in specific business categories. These awards and their winners were the following:
FedEx Access Award: The Amazing Amazons, Nigeria
Bechtel Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: EcoBizz, Mauritius
Macmillan Best Regional CEO Award: Mcolisi Masko, Young Designs, Swaziland
SwaziBank – Tibiyo Taka Ngwane Excellence in Marketing Award: Young Designs, Swaziland
Fincorp Excellence in Teamwork Award: EcoBizz, Mauritius
Litster – Rijkenberg Social Entrepreneurship Award: Refab Kenya
The competition is Junior Achievement’s celebration of the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students, ages 14-20, in the Africa Region. The finalists showcased their enterprise and business acumen before a panel of independent judges who evaluated each company’s performance against the competition criteria, which includes an annual report, a four-minute business presentation before an audience, a trade booth display, and a final interview with the judging panel. One of the competition’s goals is to measure each team’s business achievements with members’ individual personal development and knowledge.
“This competition is an exciting opportunity for Junior Achievement student entrepreneurs to demonstrate the teamwork, leadership, innovation and business skills that will empower them to own their economic success in the 21st-century global marketplace,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide®. “The event also promotes networking, making cross-cultural connections and sharing ideas—all while learning the value of social responsibility.”
Eligibility for the 2013 Africa Region JA Student Company of the Year Competition was limited to student teams that completed JA Company Program and won their national Company of the Year competitions. During JA Company Program, students start and run their own businesses with support from a local business volunteer. Students devise their product and then market it, with the objective of realizing a profit for shareholders. The program currently impacts more than 360,000 students a year globally.
About Junior Achievement:
Junior Achievement (JA) is recognized throughout the world as the expert in providing business and economic education to young people. Since Junior Achievement was founded in 1919, its programs have served as a catalyst for bringing real-world business knowledge and hands-on experience to young people. Since its inception, JA has benefited the lives of more than 125 million youth around the world, and last year alone more than 10 million young people were involved in JA programs. In 1979, Junior Achievement programs were first delivered in sub-Saharan Africa, and it now has operations in 17 African nations reaching more than 200,000 youth annually. For further information about Junior Achievement, please visit www.jaworldwide.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. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 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.
Bechtel is among the most respected engineering, project management, and construction companies in the world. We stand apart for our ability to get the job done right—no matter how big, how complex, or how remote. Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialize in civil infrastructure; power generation, communications, and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas, and chemicals; and government services. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries on all seven continents. Today, our 53,000 employees team with customers, partners, and suppliers on diverse projects in nearly 50 countries. For more information about Bechtel visit www.bechtel.com.