Student Entrepreneurs Tackle Educational Needs in Romania through Business Innovation
HONG KONG, July 23, 2014 — Six student entrepreneurs outshined their peers with innovative IT ideas to address educational needs in Romania at this year’s FedEx Express/ Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx/ JA ITC) Hong Kong Finals on July 22. In teams of two, these aspiring young people will represent Hong Kong to compete with 48 counterparts from eight other Asia Pacific markets, namely Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, at the Regional Finals to be held in Hong Kong on August 17-21.
The three winning teams are:
· Team CJ@ro, Jimmy Chu and Chris Ho from La Salle College, addresses the entrepreneurial desire of Romanians in Iași and Pașcani by offering EBus, a mobile classroom service. Made from second-hand double-decker bus and equipped with various IT facilities, EBus provides business amateurs with pre-recorded video lessons, live-stream discussions and group projects, hop-on hop-off bus tour, as well as a chance to join a franchise.
· Team E.T., Eric Lui and Wincy Yim from St. Paul’s Co-educational College, tackles the problems of decreasing budget and underutilization of IT in education by selling teaching-oriented IT tools in Bacau County in North-East Romania. Manufactured in China, these low-cost teaching materials, including pocket wifi devices, interactive whiteboards and eBook devices, will help enhance teaching quality in rural schools.
· Team Vesti, Christy Cheung and Becky Fong from St. Paul’s Co-educational College, addresses the need for educational facilities by setting up an educational computer centre for secondary school students in Bucureşti-Ilfov, Romania. With a single subscription, students of the subscribed school can enjoy a variety of e-learning materials in the centre while teachers can attend free talks on the integration of IT into teaching.
“At FedEx, global trade has a broader meaning than economic benefits. It is also about addressing the needs of local communities and inducing positive change through innovation,” said Anthony Leung, managing director, FedEx Express, Hong Kong and Macau. “I am impressed not only by the student entrepreneurs’ ingenuity, creativity and business sense, but also by how they achieve economic benefits while addressing social needs. It is encouraging to see how the program helps our next generation understand the broader meaning of trade, and in turn, brings a positive impact to society as a whole.”
“Hong Kong has always been recognized as one of the world’s centers for entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. Junior Achievement is honored to continue the collaboration with FedEx at the FedEx/ JA ITC to inspire and prepare our young people to become future entrepreneurial leaders, widening their international exposure and essential business knowledge to realize their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Vivian Lau, CEO of Junior Achievement Hong Kong. “We are grateful for the commitment and support from FedEx and their dedicated volunteers in these eight years, providing this invaluable cross-cultural exchange learning opportunity for our young people. We take pride in the bright and creative entrepreneurial ideas of Hong Kong’s youth.”
The FedEx/ JA ITC teaches students about international trade by providing them with hands-on experience to set up a mock business and develop a market entry strategy to export a product or service overseas. This year at the Hong Kong Finals, six teams of two students each were shortlisted to present their strategies to introduce an IT product or service that addresses educational needs in Romania. They were required to provide details of their marketing, promotion, pricing, inventory and product distribution plans.
The top three winning teams were chosen for their understanding of the significance of market research, creativity, planning and entrepreneurial skills in entering new markets. Members of the judging panel included Andrew Hui, head of marketing, Starbucks Hong Kong, Brutus Lo, managing director, Lanco Asia Limited and Thomas Chan, director, Yuan Tung Financial Relations Limited.
Now in its eighth year, the FedEx/ JA ITC has inspired more than 9,900 students in nine Asia Pacific markets, including 1,114 students from Hong Kong, to understand entrepreneurship from a global perspective.
 Arranged in alphabetical order of team names.