Junior Achievement (JA) Africa has launched the 2018 Company of the Year (COY) competition, aimed at helping Senior High School students to appreciate the importance of entrepreneurship.
COY affords students the opportunity to start a company on campus, run it throughout the academic year, and do a pitch competition with students from 14 other African countries.
The competition is slated for December 5-7 this year in Accra, on the theme ‘Tech the Future by Storm’, and is expected to bring students from Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, Gabon, Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe to pitch and showcase their business ideas to the world.
Students from Alpha Beta Christian College will represent Ghana at the three-day event in Accra, after winning the nationals ahead of Labone Senior High and Accra Academy.
“The Company programme trains young people on how to be entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to run a business during the course of an academic year,” said Elizabeth Bintliff, CEO of JA Africa.
Ms. Bintliff told journalists in Accra that the competition has over the years served as a platform for students to come up with business ideas and learn how to raise capital.
“Through this experience, students will be getting coaching and theory lessons within their classrooms. It is a great opportunity for students to learn how to start and run a business,” she added.
She said apart from forming their own companies, the students will come up with their own team of executives – Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Production Manager, Human Resource (HR) Manager, among others.
The COY competition will be in three stages: the company report and presentation stage; boardroom interview stage; and trade fair stage.
The various company ideas will be judged by a panel of experts, with particular emphasis on innovation and the application of new ideas in all aspects of running the company.
Apart from the ultimate award, teams will be awarded for innovation, entrepreneurship, teamwork and financial performance.
JA Africa is a non-profit organisation and a member of JA Worldwide, dedicated to preparing Africa’s youth for the world of work.
In Ghana, JA has over the past one year trained 200 students in entrepreneurship skills across the country.