JA (Junior Achievement) Zimbabwe hosted the Regional Company of the Year Competition 2016, in collaboration with JA Africa. The event which took place from 7-9 December 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The Company of the Year (COY) competition is an annual event and the culmination of JA’s highly acclaimed Company Program and provides an exciting and competitive element to the program that enhances the students’ experience and creates significant practical exposure to the competitive world of international business. Currently impacting more than 380,000 young people a year globally, the JA Company Program teaches students how to start and run their own businesses, develop and market a product or service with the help and guidance of a local business volunteer/mentor. Through qualification rounds at the national level, finalists ultimately are selected to showcase their business acumen in a more competitive environment at the regional level. There, the COY creates a signature showcase for Junior Achievement, its sponsors and, most importantly, the students who have benefitted from the impact of the JA Company Program. This annual event allows young people to demonstrate their business acumen and spirit of entrepreneurship in a competitive environment which engages business, education and policy leaders as well as the media.
This year, over 100 student entrepreneurs from across Africa attended the event with delegations from Botswana, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Students competed for prizes by showcasing their products to panels of judges drawn from business people and influencers from across Zimbabwe. The theme for this year’s event was “Start Young: Own Your Future” and the Keynote Speaker was Madam Tigui Camara, a Guinean native and former international model turned mining entrepreneur.
JA Africa appreciates the investment of time and resources that signature sponsors, Citi Foundation and FedEx have made to ensure the success of this event and the continued implementation of the JA Company Program. Each young person at the competition represented thousands of others receiving entrepreneurship training, mentoring and access to capital that will transform their financial situations and improve the wellbeing of their families and communities.
Nigeria was represented by Team Innovative Minds from Caro Favored College, Ajegunle who showcased their programmable dot matrix LED Display system they created as a means of supporting the advertising needs of businesses in their communities who lacked adequate power. Team Innovative Minds claimed victory at the regional and national level, but sadly didn’t bring home the trophy for Nigeria as JA Swaziland claimed the title this year. Team Innovative Minds were not disappointed about their loss and came back ready to take on the world. Special thanks to all our supporters and sponsors for all their support.