Junior Achievement Zimbabwe, in collaboration with JA Africa is hosting the 6th Annual regional competition for Company of the Year. The event is being held in Harare and is running from the 7th to the 9th of December and its running under the theme “Start Young : Own Your Future”. The competition is a product of the Company Program and it seeks to give students across the world experience and practical exposure of the business world and its competitiveness. Students in the program are taught how to create and run their own businesses, develop and market products and get help in developing business acumen. JA is in 122 countries in the world and in 14 countries in Africa. Schools in the 14 countries hold competitions with students who win these progressing until they reach their national competitions. From there, students then go to the regional competitions from which the winner will go to the international competitions. The previous JA Africa competition was held in Gabon.
Over 120 secondary schools and 150 primary schools are part of the JA program in Zimbabwe. Through corporate sponsors, well wishers and sponsorship that isn’t dependent on geography, the program helps students start and run businesses that cater for a need in the society in which they are located. The schools that get to be a part of the JA program depend on the corporates in their regions and sponsors to offer to help the schools with mentorship and corporate guidance in the businesses which they choose to run. The students receive mentorship from business people and corporates, exposing them to the business world and the working environments they’ll get into once they leave school. This year alone, the program has reached about 60 000 young people in and out of school and over the years, the program has reached a cumulative total of 300 000 young people. “We look at them as the core of what will make the future bright. We look at the as the core that will also come back and invest their energy and their time in preparing other young people for the world of work”, said Executive Director of JA Zimbabwe Phil Mlambo. JA worldwide was formed in 1919 in the United States of America with the aim of providing young people with the skills they would need in businesses and in the work environment.
JA also has programs catering for out of school young people for mentoring and coaching. They also help those who have started their businesses in connecting with the relevant markets. Another program helps out of college students with preparation in finding jobs through programs that teach the graduates how to present them self and their CVs. This year’s JA Company of the Year Competition will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre with exhibitions starting at 9am on Thursday the 8th of December. 50 students from 14 African countries including the hosts, Zimbabwe, will present their businesses at the exhibition. The event is being sponsored by FedEx, Citi and Rodger Capital as international sponsors.