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    JA South Africa Company of the Year Competition 2017

    JA South Africa Company of the Year Competition 2017

    The final presentation evening of Junior Achievement’s 2017 Company of the Year competition was hosted by our sponsor Citi at their auditorium in Sandton on Thursday, 13 July.

    A select group of finalists in Grades 10 and 11 from schools across the country, who participated in the JA South Africa Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programmes, had the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and be recognised for their hard work and team efforts. Nine teams presented their unique business ideas to a judging panel of business people and other industry professionals.

    From North West, the Sedibelo Secondary School’s company Epitome of Elite Industry was named the winning team for their innovative multi-purpose, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly cleaner made from natural ingredients including aloe and lemon.

    Junior Achievement’s 2017 Company of the Year competition was hosted by Citi on Thursday, 13 July

    Sedibelo Secondary School’ Epitome of Elite Industry were represented by Phemelo Motloba (left) and Mpho Ntshole.

    Sedibelo Secondary School were awarded with a cash equivalent prize for their school and will be transported to Johannesburg to attend the JA Africa Regional Company of the Year Competition, taking place between 5 and 9 December 2017. South Africa is hosting the regional competition this year, in Johannesburg.

    Second place was awarded to the team from Gresswold Secondary School in Johannesburg, Gauteng Their company Last Kings and Queens makes multi-purpose stationery desk containers from recycled materials, which are then decorated.

    Ferrum High School’s Phola 911, from KwaZulu-Natal, took third place with their compact and affordable first aid kits target households and travellers.

    Judges’ assessments were based on several criteria, including business idea clarity, the team’s ability to think critically, understanding basic business principles and the sustainability and relevance of the product or service to social responsibility.

    Our guest speaker Nokwazi Mzobe founded the boutique consulting firm, Matoyana to enable more business owners in Africa to run successful, sustainable businesses and to promote a culture of entrepreneurship & innovative thinking. She generously gave two copies to each of the three winning teams of her book, The Small Business Handbook.

    All learners attended a series of workshops where mentors helped them fine-tune their business ideas as well as their problem-solving, leadership and presentation skills to prepare them for the competition.

    “JA South Africa’s partnership with Citi spans over 30 years, with Citi funding a number of programmes aimed at empowering school learners and out-of-school youth,” says JA South Africa MD Nelly Mofokeng. “This will be the third year that Citi has sponsored the JA South Africa Company of the Year event, and we are looking forward to a long and prosperous partnership in years to come.”

    “The Citi Foundation has committed a US$100 million over the next three years to prepare 500,000 young people for today’s competitive job market,” explained Peter Crawley, CCO SA / TTS SSA Head. “With the rising youth unemployment rates globally, it is imperative to help youth build their confidence and cultivate their leadership skills and competitiveness.”

    From left to right: Fortunate Huma, JA South Africa, Peter Crawley, Mastercard, Phemelo Motloba, Mpho Ntshole, Karabo Denelane, JA South Africa Board member and COY judge, Nelly Mofokeng, JA South Africa MD.

    Schools who were selected to participate in the Company of the Year Competition are:


    Business name

    Product / service description

    Gresswold Senior Secondary School, Johannesburg, Gauteng

    Last Kings & Queens

    Multi-purpose desk containers

    Sedibelo Secondary School, Moruleng, Rustenburg, NW

    Epitome of Elite Industry

    Multi-purpose, environmentally-friendly cleaner made from natural ingredients including aloe and lemon

    Custom-made beaded bracelets.

    Kgakoa Secondary in Ramongwana, Limpopo

    Dynasty Enterprise

    Knitted wool slippers

    Mhlume Secondary School, Mbombela, Mpumalanga

    Super Achievers

    Beaded bracelets, necklaces and rings

    Clubview High School in Witsiehoek, Free State

    Clubview Art Galore

    Laundry bins in custom-made sizes from recycled wire and reeds

    Ferrum High School in Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal

    Phola 911

    First aid kits

    Douglas Mbopa Secondary School in Motherwell, EC

    Shining Stars

    Scented gel candles for different moods

    Lentegeur Secondary School, Western Cape

    Junior African Crafts

    Dual beaded desktop mobile phone holder and photo frame

    Emang Mmogo Comprehensive, Kimberly, Northern Cape

    Unity Connections

    Multi-purpose school bag covers

    Company of the Year 2017