Seventeen year-old Rossa Wangechi of St. Georges Girls Secondary School in Kenya completed the Company Program, an entrepreneurship education program by Junior Achievement. She recounts her journey to joining JA and becoming CEO of DiGera Company, which won the position of first Runner up at the annual JA Company of the Year Competition in 2017:
Junior Achievement has been my greatest experience since Form One. I joined the club with the intention of going out of school, having fun, going back to school and moving on with life. However, my perspective changed when the CEO of JA Worldwide, Asheesh Advani visited our school. I became invested in JA and researched it extensively. The great leaders and alumni who became successful after going through the program inspired me. I became an active member and was selected as the CEO in Form Three.
When I got the position, my main aim was to win, win and win! Our initial idea was to do an ATM. I wrote a note to our patron and told her that we were ready for the national competition and we wouldn’t disappoint her. I wanted a tech product or service and we worked on it as a team. I got to visit banks to assist us on the installation of the ATM but the initial capital investment was too high. We decided to revisit our idea and change our product to DI-CAN, a system which automates purchases and transactions made through the local school canteen. We worked on our codes during the school holiday.
We were very excited to travel to South Africa to represent our school at the Regional Company of the Year Competition. I had the opportunity to interact with different kinds of people and make new friendships. I learnt how to face challenges such as discouragement and convincing people about a product or service. I learnt about the different kinds of opportunities and scholarships available at the Africa Leadership Academy. I learnt the importance of the Business Model Canvas and learned about the real world of businesses and the professional world. I achieved my goal of travelling abroad, I met various successful leaders; especially the judges who were an inspiration to us. Most importantly, I learnt how to win and lose gracefully. JA has molded me into a better person, shaping my purpose in life, always being ready to take risks in all circumstances, being humble and always thinking positively.