First Bank and JA Africa have partnered to organise Africa’s high school entrepreneurship competition, the Company of the Year competition.
The JA Africa Company of the Year competition which returned for the 12th year in a row was themed ‘Fuelling Changemakers’
The programme equipped senior secondary school level students with the entrepreneurial skillset and mindset to solve problems in their communities by launching a business venture and unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit.
According to a statement from First Bank, “The young entrepreneurs who compete at JA Africa’s COY go through qualifying competitions at national and sub-national levels, competing against thousands of youth startups to qualify for the regional competition.
“This programme transitions them into employment and transforms them into employers. Having emerged as national winners, they will represent their countries on the continental stage where they have the arduous task to impress a panel of international business professionals who serve as judges.”
The Chief Executive Officer, JA Africa, Simi Nwogugu, said, “Given the increasingly complex set of global challenges facing young people around the world from unemployment to climate change and food shortage, we focus on equipping our students to be solution providers who bring about positive change within their communities while developing businesses that generate wealth.
“Our students have demonstrated great resilience and innovation in grappling with these challenges and I am extremely proud of all of them. I am also deeply grateful to all our sponsors who stayed with us throughout the pandemic period and contributed greatly towards making this a live event again.”
The Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said, “The 2022 Junior Achievement Company of The Year competition remains another viable opportunity to promote the entrepreneurship skills, spirit and talent innate in school children, across Africa.”
About JA Company Program
JA Company Program provides introductory economic education for high school students by allowing them to organize and operate an actual business. Students not only learn how businesses function, they also learn soft skills that are instrumental to success; such as brainstorming, consensus building, critical reading, gathering and organizing information, group and self-assessment, Interpreting production inventory, oral and written communication.
The business skills that students learn in this after-school program will prove valuable as they begin to consider higher education and career choices.
Students work in groups within their schools and classrooms to develop business ideas, test them in markets, start and run businesses throughout the school year, all the while being coaches by professionals who volunteer in the program.
Students compete at the end of the year nationally and the winners go on to compete at the Regional Company of the Year Competition.