Accra, Ghana - December 10th, 2018 - JA (Junior Achievement) Africa, in collaboration with JA Ghana, held its 8th Annual Company of the Year (COY) Competition for high school entrepreneurs in Accra, Ghana. The last time Ghana hosted the event was in 2011.
This year’s competition, which ran from 5th - 7th December, 2018 brought together 50 young people aged 14 – 18 from Burkina Faso, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zimbabwe. Also in attendance were business professionals, students and dignitaries. 40 Students competed for the Company of the Year Award by pitching their companies and products and engaging in a board room experience with a panel of judges composed of international and Ghanaian corporate professionals and influencers. The theme for this year’s event was “Tech the Future by Storm.”
All the competitors were executives of companies they formed during the course of the 2017/18 academic year as part of the Company Program®, Junior Achievement’s flagship experiential entrepreneurship program for high school students. They competed in a national competition in their home countries and came out as overall winners, earning the right to represent their countries at the Africa competition. Throughout the Africa COY competition, the students showcased their businesses acumen and demonstrated their teamwork, innovation, problem-solving, and leadership skills. The competition also allowed them to share their cross-cultural experiences and presented an invaluable opportunity for them to meet international business leaders.
The innovative ideas that were presented by the student teams confirmed that Africa truly has a strong cohort of budding entrepreneurs who are able to take action, for the benefit of their own future, their countries and the whole of Africa.
The Grand Prize was swept by Inventive Explorers from Nigeria, who developed a rechargeable, hand-held traffic light for sale to schools, local communities, and police stations. Taking second place was Nazware Innovations PTY from the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), who created a digital voting app for schools to eliminate lines and other voting delays during election processes. VERMO from Ghana and Nyunyiza from JA Kenya tied for third place. Vermo uses virtual reality to make learning more interesting and fun for students while Nyuniza uses data analytics to make farms more efficient, especially when using scarce resources like water.
The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Tetteh Nettey, encouraged the students to persevere in the midst of challenges and never give up. He mentioned that “failure is never a destination but a stepping stone to success.”
FedEx, Citi Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Tomorrow Foundation, NASCON Allied Industries, Facebook, Rogers Capital, Christi Maherry, Hillview Guest Center, Coca-Cola, Kosmos Energy, L’Oreal, Apreneur Network, Ashesi University, Kwese TV, Ayiba Magazine, and Citi FM, sponsored the event, in line with their commitment to youth economic empowerment and entrepreneurship education in Africa.
Below is a full list of the 2018 COY Competition award winners:
JA Company Program Grand Prize - Inventive Explorers, Nigeria
JA Company Program 2nd Prize - Nazware Innovations PTY, Kingdom of Eswatini
JA Company Program 3rd Prize (tie) – VERMO, Ghana and Nyunyiza, Kenya
FedEx Access Award (recognizes the business the best exhibits the principles of global connectivity) - Inventive Explorers, Nigeria
Citi Foundation Client Focus Award (awarded to the company that exhibits exceptional leadership in client satisfaction and a high level of commitment to quality customer service) - Nyunyiza, Kenya.
Delta Air Lines Social Impact Award (presented to the company that demonstrates corporate social responsibility and impact) - Atlantis Company Ltd, Mauritius
Tomorrow Foundation Future Tech/Innovation Award (given to the company that best illustrates a clear understanding of the use of innovation to overcome obstacles) – VERMO, Ghana
NASCON Allied Industries Ltd. Employability Award (recognizes the team that best built work-readiness skills during the competition) - Nazware Innovations PTY, Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland)
Rogers Capital Entrepreneurial Spirit Award (given to the company that best demonstrates uniqueness, creativity, risk-taking, business sense, and adaptability) - Nazware Innovations PTY, Kingdom of Eswatini and Nyunyiza, Kenya.
Christi Maherry CEO Rising Award (recognizes strong leadership among the companies) - Miss Sizolwethu Maphanga, CEO, Nazware Innovations PTY, Kingdom of Eswatini
Coca Cola Excellence in Teamwork Award (given to the company that shows the strongest teamwork and communication) - Inventive Explorers, Nigeria
Kwese Excellence in Marketing Award (recognizes excellence in marketing, a clear understanding of marketing strategy, and hands-on implementation of that strategy) - Atlantis Company Ltd., Mauritius
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. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $67 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 425,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.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 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 Tomorrow Foundation: Tomorrow Foundation supports African development. They harness technology and bring the most useful techniques and technologies affordable to all Africans to improve their living standards and boost the economies of African countries. They conduct research in counter-terrorism and conflict resolution to seek the best way for African countries to maintain their internal and external stability.
About Nascon Allied Industries: Established in 1973, NASCON Allied Industries Plc (previously known as NASCON Plc), a registered company in Nigeria, was established as a salt refining establishment under the name National Salt Company (NASCON). The company has since evolved with additional business lines to include Seasoning (Dan-Q Seasoning cubes & Dangote Stew Mix), Spices and Herbs (Dangote Curry), Vegetable Oil, and Tomato Paste with production facilities in Lagos State (Apapa and Oregun), Ogun State (Ota), and Rivers State (Port Harcourt). The leading player in Salt in Nigeria, NASCON has its footprint throughout Nigeria with expanding market share in all our product categories. A subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, NASCON is squarely committed to achieving the mission and vision of the group through our products and at every interaction.
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 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 Christi Maherry:Christi Maherry is the CEO of Etion Secure (incorporating LAWtrust) and an Executive director of Altx-listed Etion Limited. LAWtrust, which she co-founded, is Africa’s leading trust centre, security integrator and security solutions developer and also the company responsible for South Africa’s new national smart ID cards. With more than 20 years’ experience, Christi lives and breathes everything related to tech, entrepreneurship, leadership as well as youth- and female-empowerment. Christi is passionate about female empowerment and youth education and is a Board member of Junior Achievement Africa.
About Hillview Guest Center:
Approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the Kotoka International Airport towards the Aburi Mountains, Hillview Guest Center is located one of the most beautiful natural settings in the Greater Accra Region. From an exceptional multicultural tradition to the display of spectacular natural ambiance, Hillview Guest Center offers a unique and memorable experience for its distinguished guests, clients and patrons leaving permanent imprints of priceless memories. Ideal for a business trip or a getaway vacation destination, Hillview Guest Center offers 126 comfortable accommodation spaces comprising of Standard and Executive Rooms and 2 Chalet’s
Established in 1886, the Coca-Cola Company operates in more than 200 countries and markets more than 2,800 beverage products. These products include sparkling and still beverages, such as waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, sports drinks and energy drinks. Four of the world’s top five nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands are ours: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta.
About Kosmos Energy:
Kosmos is a premier international oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the frontier. Our primary areas of operation are under explored regions along the Atlantic Margin. We focus on unlocking new hydrocarbon systems and growing and maturing discovered basins through follow-on exploration success, development and production. We are pathfinders with proven technical expertise and an empowering, contrarian spirit. We are successful in finding and developing oil and gas, and in striking a new balance between risk and reward. These qualities have allowed us to explore areas other companies thought were too risky compared with potential rewards-like offshore Africa where we found the massive Jubilee Field in Ghana's deep waters.
Founded in Paris in 1953, L’Oreal has risen to become the world’s number one cosmetics company. L’Oreal owns a host of well-known consumer and luxury brands, such as Garnier, Maybelline, Lancôme, and Kiehl’s as well as perfume brands Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. It also owns popular salon professional product makers Matrix and Kérastase. Additions to its portfolio include Clarisonic facial cleansing device (Pacific Bioscience Labs), SkinCeuticals skincare, and nail polish maker Essie Cosmetics.
About Apreneur Network:
Founded in the midst of the African Start-up and Entrepreneurial boom, Apreneur Network is the continent’s leading online platform for Entrepreneurs, advisors and investors to connect. We believe in great ideas, great minds, and great people. This is why we believe in Africa. Together, we are taking Africa to the next level, one brilliant African venture at a time.
About Ashesi University:
Ashesi is recognized as one of the finest universities in Africa, with an educational experience proven to successfully prepare students for rewarding lives and careers. Nearly 100% of Ashesi's graduates receive job offers, start businesses or enter graduate school within six months of graduation. With an academic program designed in collaboration with some of the world's best universities and organisations, Ashesi has created an educational model unlike any other in Africa.
About Kwese TV:
Kwesé TV is a satellite TV service which offers African audiences free viewing to a curated sports, news and general entertainment bouquet of 15 channels.
About Ayiba Magazine:
Ayiba is a cutting-edge online magazine that seeks to break down perpetuating stereotypes of Africa by telling stories that exemplify the complexity of African identity. We also provide inspiration and access to opportunities for young African creatives, techies and entrepreneurs.
About Citi FM:
Citi 97.3 FM is an English-speaking radio station that operates from Adabraka in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The Citi 97.3 FM radio brand is refreshingly different in that it combines a comprehensive and credible news function, backed by innovative listener-driven on air programmes, and exciting promotions with vibrant audience participation. The station is well-noted to be listener-focused with innovative on-air programs, promotions, outdoor events and comprehensive news. The station has become known as a strong advocate for consumer issues, including road safety, sanitation, education, good health care, security and so on Citi 97.3 FM covers the vibrant Ghanaian political scene with objective and balanced live reports, news features and documentaries as well as regular round-table discussions on pertinent issues.