Thai Teen Entrepreneurs Win Junior Achievement Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year Title
HONG KONG, February 20, 2012 – On Friday, JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement) awarded teen entrepreneurs of ”Vnique” from Thailand as the Asia-Pacific JA Company of the Year at its second annual Asia-Pacific competition. The award was presented at a gala awards ceremony at Atlet Century Park in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The winning company was selected from a total of 80 students representing 16 student companies founded and managed by students between the ages of 15 to 19. Vnique emerged the winner following a three-day competition, during which the students participated in a trade fair and pitched their companies to a judging panel which comprised of business leaders.
The competition is jointly organized by FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, and U.S.-based JA Worldwide, the world’s largest organization dedicated to empowering young people to own their economic success through entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-readiness programs.
Vnique, whose name means “We are unique” produced an eco-friendly, rip- and water-resistant wallet called “Walleco” from recycled materials. The JA student company donated 40 percent of their profit to the Red Cross, and paid out the remaining 60 percent as shareholder dividends.
The second-place winner was “ComforT,” a JA student company from Turkmenistan. ComforT produced a multi-functional belt using scrap fabric from local textile mills and camel wool donated by local farmers. The JA students reinvested their profits into their company.
Third place honors went to “Halves” from South Korea. The JA student company digitized traditional Korean folk tales and translated them into three languages. Halves donated half its profits to the NEST Foundation, which assists Korean children who have been adopted to stay connected with their cultural heritage.
The event had broad student representation from across the region: Junior Achievement teams from China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkmenistan participated in the event.
In addition to awarding the Asia-Pacific JA Company of the Year, the event named the winners of its signature award: the FedEx Access Award. This award is sponsored by FedEx to help participants understand the value and impact of global access. The award was presented to “y-Craft” of Singapore, for the best business plan with the potential to create jobs, grow small business, expand global development and improve the environment. The student company produced multi-use pens which included a USB drive and presentation pointer.
The event’s “JA Company Social Media Award” was won by “Bionic 26” from Indonesia, which produced a variety of eco-friendly products including a “coco clock”—an alarm clock made from coconut. The Award was presented to the JA student company whose self-produced commercial received the most “likes” on Facebook and YouTube.
Junior Achievement and FedEx are committed to driving economic growth and job creation across the region by giving young people the necessary skills and opportunities to help them thrive.
The Asia-Pacific Region JA Company of the Year Competition is a contest of business skills, ingenuity and innovation. It celebrates the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students during the 2010-2011 academic year. Under the mentorship of volunteers from their local business communities, students start and run their own businesses, developing and marketing a product or service to realize a profit for their shareholders. Teams are selected to showcase their business acumen before a panel of independent judges who evaluate each student company’s annual report, business presentation, trade booth display and interview performance. The judging panel included representatives from various industries and companies.
“FedEx strongly believes that educating and inspiring leaders is vital to our future and we are proud to support Junior Achievement to improve educational outcomes, inspire participation in global trade and provide access to opportunities for the students in the Asia Pacific region,” said David L. Cunningham, president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific. “We are proud to work with Junior Achievement, an organization that empowers more than 10 million young people around the world to own their future economic success.”
“The 2012 Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year competition provides youth in the Asia-Pacific region with important opportunities to learn and demonstrate the teamwork, leadership and innovative thinking that will help them drive success in the business world,” said Sean C. Rush, president and CEO of JA Worldwide.
About JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement)
JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 10.6 million students are served by JA Worldwide operations in 118 countries. For more information, visit www.jaworldwide.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 $41 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 290,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.