Africa’s most prestigious high school entrepreneurship competition, the JA Africa Company of the Year Competition (COY), is poised to commence its 13th edition.
Set against the vibrant backdrop of Kigali, Rwanda, this eagerly anticipated event is scheduled from December 6th to 8th under the theme “Breaking Barriers.”
COY serves as the pinnacle of JA’s acclaimed entrepreneurship development initiative, the JA Company Program. This program empowers high school students across Africa to identify community needs and craft innovative solutions.
Students are equipped with practical skills essential for conceptualizing, funding, and managing their own business ventures.
Annually, over 30,000 students from 16 African countries actively engage in the JA Company Program, resulting in the establishment of more than 1,000 companies.
More than 500 business volunteers and mentors lend real-world expertise to these student-led startups.
Teams compete at national levels, striving for the opportunity to represent their countries on the grand stage of the JA Africa COY competition.
Forty ambitious JA student entrepreneurs, representing Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and host nation Rwanda, will converge on Kigali.
Their mission: to impress a distinguished panel of international business professionals serving as judges.
These young innovators will vie for the esteemed title of Company of the Year, along with exclusive awards from sponsors. Additionally, they’ll get the chance to compete globally against JA teams from five other regions for the prestigious De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship Prize.
This global contest presents a coveted US$15,000 cash prize and opens doors to global educational opportunities.
Simi Nwogugu, CEO of JA Africa, said that, “The stakes are notably high this year, following the remarkable feat of last year’s COY winners, Hekima Inc. from Zimbabwe, who clinched the De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship Award, a groundbreaking achievement for African teams. I am confident that this year’s competition will unveil another global leader.”
She added that, “These students are poised to become the architects of innovation and progress, steering us toward the Africa we envision. I extend heartfelt gratitude to FedEx, Citi Foundation, PMIEF, Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines, and NASCON Allied Industries for their steadfast support for this competition.”
The JA Africa COY competition in Kigali promises not only a platform for youthful entrepreneurial spirit but also a testament to the continent’s potential for groundbreaking innovation and leadership.