The competition, tagged “National Company of the Year Competition” #NCOY2016 held on Thursday October 6th at the Orchid Hotel, Ikota-Epe Expressway Lekki. Students and corporate bodies from various sectors were in attendance to witness the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship skills of the winners from Jos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
NCOY was facilitated by Gold sponsor, The Dangote Foundation; Silver Sponsor, Minerva University and Bronze Sponsor, Deliotte Nigeria.
JAN’s National Company of the Year Competition is an annual event that brings the JA Company Program winners of our Regional Competitions across Nigeria together to compete for the National Company of the Year Award. JA Company Program teaches Senior Secondary students how to start and run their own business from start to liquidation.
They sell shares, raise start-up capital, pay dividends to shareholders and use 10% of their profit for a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity. The national winner will proceed to represent Nigeria against other JA Africa member-nation companies for the title of JA Africa Company of the Year in Zimbabwe this December.
At NCOY, JA student companies present the results of their enterprise and evidence of innovation before a panel of independent judges and for a team to win this award it is not sufficient just to run a financially successful JA company or create an exciting product/service. JAN Students must demonstrate a holistic understanding of the company’s performance as a team and their contributions as they defend their Annual Reports and host Trade booth displays.
The judges for this year’s competition were JAN Ambassador and Alumnus of JA Company Program, Mr. Tunji Eleso, Co-Founder, CoCreation Hub; Mr. Audu Maikori, Founder/President, Chocolate City; Mrs. Bukky Karibi-Whyte CEO/Founder The Bobby Taylor Company & Invicta Communications Limited and Mrs. Lola Oyeka, Country Public Affairs Officer, Nigeria & Ghana, CitiBank. The keynote address was delivered by JA Africa CEO/President, Mrs. Elizabeth Bintliff., who encouraged the students to push through with their visions despite the obstacles we face in Africa as they hold the key to successfully rebuilding our nations’ economies.
This year’s competition showcased ingenuity in areas of technology and the use of recycled products, as we witnessed a rise in young women exploring areas of technology. The winners of the 2016 edition of NCOY was Team Innovative Minds (Innoms) hailing from Caro Favored College, Ajegunle. The members of Innovative Minds produced Neon advertising lights as their main product and black shoe polish, arts/crafts as their mini-products. The black shoe polish was sold to their fellow students, teachers and members of the community. They chose this product because everyone in their school wears black shoes and they believed their school could benefit from it. The revenue generated form their mini-products was used to produce the user friendly NEON Light which was sold to businesses within their community to support their advertising needs. Over the course of the school year they upgraded their product and created a version that was eco-friendly and did not require a power source. They also provided hands-on after sales service to patrons of their product.
Their passion, sales pitch, accounting and community service project was undeniable to the judges and crowd present and they were declared the winner of the 2016 National Company of the Year Competition. The Innovative Minds will proceed to Zimbabwe this December to compete against their fellow JA Africa Member nations for the title of JA Africa Company of the Year. The Innovative Minds attribute a great deal of their success in achieving their vison to their mentor Mr. Kenneth Igwe, an Engineer who enlisted as volunteer to the students for the duration of their program.
Keynote speaker, JA Africa CEO Mrs. Elizabeth Bintliff highlighted how Nigeria is producing some of the largest numbers of wealth creators on the African continent today. She said, “This vast country of immense and amazing potential reinvented the word “hustle” as many Nigerians have attained great heights in diverse fields of endeavor.” She also added this point in her address to the youth in attendance, “Be intentional in making your parents understand the decisions you make with regards to the career choices you make, because it is important to bring your family along on your journey”. Mrs. Bintliff encouraged the youth to dream big; create solutions where problems exist and operate with a high sense of integrity.
Junior Achievement Nigeria is playing a pivotal role in rebuilding the economy from the ground-up by imbibing the entrepreneurial spirit in the youth at an early age through their free work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs for ages 5-27. These programs are facilitated by corporate sponsors and delivered by unpaid volunteers. We implore all corporate bodies to engage JA Nigeria by sponsoring a program through which their employees can volunteer and mentor the youth. We implore the general public to support entities like JAN and together we can build a nation of conscientious industry leaders.
For more information visit www.ja-nigeria.org for more details on how to get involved and you can follow JA Nigeria on all social media outlets @JANigeria