“Juggly JA” a JA student-company team representing Junior Achievement of Ecuador, won the 2010 FedEx Access Award at the Americas Region JA Company of the Year Competition held Dec. 9-12 in Rio de Janeiro. Seventeen teen-run companies represented 13 countries from Central and South America and the Caribbean, at the event.
The teen entrepreneurs successfully produced and marketed “foot bags” (hacky-sacks) made from 100 percent Ecuadorian sourced, biodegradable materials. The company sold its product at an eco-friendly trade expo, and – as evaluated by a special FedEx jury – presented the best business plan with the potential to create jobs, grow small business, expand global development and improve the environment. The company incorporated social responsibility by providing jobs to underprivileged women, by donating product to a local children’s nonprofit, and by donating food and hygiene items to Haitian relief organizations.
“When you give people access to more products and goods around the world, the pie expands and people’s living standards increase,” says FedEx Chairman and JA Business Hall of Fame inductee Frederick Smith. “The FedEx Access Initiative helps Junior Achievement students understand the impact of global access to create high-paying jobs, grow small and medium-sized business, and to benefit our world’s environment.”
The competition celebrates of the accomplishments of JA Company Program students, ages 15-19, in the Americas Region (South America, Central America and the Caribbean). During participation in JA Company Program, students start and run their own businesses with support from volunteers from their local business community. They devise and market a product with the goal of realizing a profit for their shareholders. The program currently impacts more than 360,000 students a year globally.
To be eligible for the FedEx Access Award, a student company must be one of the 20 finalists selected to compete at the Americas Region JA Student Company of the Year Competition. In addition, company members must attend a one-session Access seminar developed JA Worldwide in cooperation with FedEx to educate students on the power of globalization and access. The student company whose business plan best demonstrates the best application of access, such as job creation or global development, takes top honors.