Singapore Students Take Young Entrepreneur Title at the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement Regional International Trade Challenge
HONG KONG, August 30, 2012—A pair of teenagers from Singapore claimed the top prize in the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (ITC) regional finals, a three-day competition designed to educate and build entrepreneurship and business skills in young people from Asia-Pacific.
The students, Brennan Foo and Joel Sherard of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), beat 26 other teams from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam with an innovative business proposal in response to this year’s challenge — develop a market entry strategy for promoting a product or service that addresses major environmental issues in India.
The team from Singapore developed a comprehensive business plan to launch three eco-tourism resorts that provide a series of environmental conservation activities in India for tourists and companies.
“The ITC is a holistic program which gave us the opportunity to receive business insights from experts,” said Brennan Foo. “We certainly enjoyed the activities, made new friends, and winning first prize at the competition is the best thing that has happened yet.”
“The competition was very intense and everyone worked very hard on their business plans,” said Joel Sherard. “The ITC is a very good program. The judges and FedEx facilitators gave us great feedback that helped us further develop our thinking. We also became close friends with other participating students of the program.”
The second place went to the team from Hong Kong represented by Anthony Jim and Issac Lam of La Salle College. They proposed launching a paper recycling business that turns waste paper into wood products, such as cricket bats, pencils and furniture.
Third-prize winners Alice McFall of Aquinas College and Joel MacManus of Garin College from New Zealand created a business that distributes free portable toilets to low-income families, and pays them for their human waste which will be re-sold to a factory that manufactures eco-bricks.
This year, 54 students between 15-19 years of age from nine markets across Asia Pacific were selected to represent their markets at the regional finals in Hong Kong after competing at the local challenge in their respective home markets.
“We at FedEx feel strongly that the evolving global economy presents great opportunities for businesses, especially small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the most important things that start-ups bring to the marketplace is innovation and that’s one of the reasons why we strongly support entrepreneurship. Through our support of the International Trade Challenge, we have empowered over 6,100 young people in Asia Pacific with the education and skills they need to thrive in the global marketplace,” said David L. Cunningham, Jr., president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific.
“At Junior Achievement, we encourage our young people to dream big and unleash their entrepreneurial potential. The International Trade Challenge provides a springboard to accelerate their business idea onto the international scale, devising an international market entry strategy with the goal of making a difference. JA appreciates the ardent support of FedEx Express and their professional volunteers as the coaching teams during workshops. We are proud to be working with FedEx Express to inspire and prepare our young people to succeed in a global economy,” said Sean Rush, President and CEO, JA Worldwide.
The panel of judges comprising successful entrepreneurs and business leaders evaluated the teams on their business acumen, concept and presentation. The students were measured on their thoroughness, creativity and professionalism in developing and executing their business entry strategy.
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, and JA Worldwide®, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, joined forces to organize the event.
Now in its sixth year, the FedEx/JA ITC has provided more than 6,100 students in Asia Pacific a firsthand experience of world trade; enhanced their knowledge of product distribution, promotion, and sales; and developed traits of competition, teamwork, risk-taking, and self-confidence. This year, over 100 FedEx employees volunteered as mentors or to help students understand the concept of international trade and guide them in the development of their plans. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/AsiaPacificITC.