An all-girls team from Tema International School emerged winners of the maiden edition of the JA Ghana Online Company Program after facing rigorous competition from other elite high school teams across the country.
Following an 8-week long training and competitive challenge that saw the participation of 60 teams from over 30 schools, six teams representing Ghana Senior High School-Tamale, Tema International School, Akosombo International School, ArchBishop Porter Girls Senior High School, Sandema Senior High School and Ghanata Senior High School emerged as finalists for the Grand Final that took place on Tuesday August 18, 2020.
The JA Company Program is JA’s flagship entrepreneurship program tailored for high school students across the world. Students self-raise and run their businesses as an extracurricular activity, report on the business, liquidate and distribute earnings at the end of the school year. As our Covid-19 response, we pivoted the program online offering it as an idea staged program that focused on training students in understanding the fundamentals of business establishment. Throughout the program, teams learnt to grow the concept idea of their business through design thinking, prototyping and other techniques as a stress-test to validate the assumptions of their business ideas.
The competition commenced after the training modules and teams advanced to the next stages through assessments, an elevator pitch submission as well as the count from public voting. Ultimately, the six finalist teams prepared 5-minute pitches on their business idea to a jury over a Zoom Call. The jury comprised leaders in business, technology and nonprofit from Ghana and beyond including Maggie Gu, CEO of the Tomorrow Foundation; Kwabena Ako-Gyamerah, Executive Director of Capp Global; Eloina Baddoo, Sales Manager of Delta Air Lines Ghana; Prince Ampofo, Programs Officer of Databank Foundation; Raymond Oppong Dapaah, Managing Director of the Ultranet Telecom Ghana and John Appiah, CEO of the African Chamber for Youth Development. The jury also got the opportunity to interrogate the students about their pitches in a 5-minute round of questioning.
Speaking at the online event, JA Ghana’s Board Chair, Mr. John Armah said, “We are grateful for the continued support of our partners and sponsors especially the Tomorrow Foundation, Databank Foundation, Mr. Peter Gbedemah and the Ministry of Business Development who continue to invest in the future of Ghana’s youth through the Company Program and our efforts at building an economically sustainable future for young people.”
The theme for this year’s competition was “Lead to Succeed” a telling tribute to the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that have been embraced by young people all over the world especially in these trying times of Covid-19. Self-Made, the ultimate winners of the competition from Tema International School, presented a business idea aimed at creating a fitness culture amongst the young and old through a bespoke local fitness app with complementary dietary plans inculcating indigenous cuisine in weight loss and gain routines.
The team leader of the winning team, Cheryl Kumah said, “We were very anxious at the beginning of the program but we are very proud of yourselves knowing that we came up with this idea ourseleves and is something we are all passionate about. Now more than ever, we know the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle and we are grateful to JA Ghana for the opportunity to help groom this idea into reality.”
Second and third place winners, SabiaTech from Akosombo International School and ElitAmigos from Ghana Senior High School Tamale, pitched a subscription-based health-tech solution to link patients to health professionals and a reusable biodegradable package for food sellers and retail vendors respectively.
As part of the competition, Tomorrow Foundation, a Swiss-based organization committed to economic development in Africa and a sponsor of the Company Program in Ghana presented the Future Tech/Innovation Award, which recognizes the most innovative company. ElitAmigos from Ghana Senior High School, Tamale, won the prize.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of Tomorrow Foundation, Maggie Gu remarked that “The Tomorrow Foundation believes that digitization can open new perspectives to education in Africa and also bring many opportunities to young entrepreneurs.” She added that “Integration, innovation and technology are at the heart of our policies, that is why we support JA, to promote technology, innovation and creativity among students in Africa to become the new winners of the technology race.”
The program was also supported by Databank Foundation, a social impact organization from the Databank Group that promotes education, leadership development and mental health for the vulnerable. The foundation presented the Team Excellence Award for the most collaborative team. The prize was won by Self-Made from Tema International School.
Also sponsoring the event was Mr. Peter Gbedemah, a London-based philanthropist who supported the Social Impact Award, recognizing recognizes values-driven corporate social responsibility and impact. The award was won again by Self-Made from Tema International School.
Other prize winners included, Preneurprep from ArchBishop Porters Girls Senior High School who emerged as the winners of the Public Choice Award for garnering the most public votes, Mr. Frank Dofour from TI Ahmadiyya Senior High School-Kumasi, as Best Teacher, and Miss Winifred Awinpoya Atanga as the Best Mentor of the competition.
The virtual event was streamed live on JA Ghana’s Facebook platform and available on YouTube.
Below is a full list of the JA Ghana COY Online Competition award winners