FirstBank-sponsored school emerges second, wins four awards at ACOY continental competition
By Bolaji Israel.
Green Apex Company, from International School, University of Lagos, winners of the 2022 National Company of the Year (COY) competition, which was organised by Junior Achievement Nigeria and sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has emerged second and carted home four other awards at the 2022 African COY competition.
Green Apex which represented Nigeria at the event gave a brilliant performance in the keenly contested competition, comprising representatives from 8 other Junior Achievement member countries in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Team Nigeria won the most awards of any other country present, including FirstBank Future First Award for Finance, FedEx Global Possibilities Award, Johnson and Johnson Innovation Award and Public Choice Award.
Meanwhile, Hekima Inc Company from Maranatha Christian High School, Zimbabwe, came first and will represent Africa at the Ralph de la Vega Global Entrepreneurship Competition with winners from the six regions where JA Worldwide operates to compete for awards, $15,000 and other benefits.
Time Out Company from Sifindzani High School Eswatini also emerged third at the continental event which took place on December 7-9th in Victoria Island, Lagos themed Fueling Change makers.
12th in a roll, the African edition was sequel to the national stage which featured 12 student companies who are zonal winners from across Nigeria.
The program seeks to inspire senior secondary school students to start and run their own business(es), develop a product or service, and market their brand. With the support of seasoned volunteers, students come together to form a company, choose a business name and elect company officers to oversee the operations of the company for the program duration.
These activities help them hone some in-demand skills like creativity, accountability, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking and public speaking needed to succeed in this competition and thrive globally. In the end, the student companies present the results of their enterprise before a panel of judges.
The competition, which was in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), equipped Senior Secondary School level students with the entrepreneurial skills and mindset to solve problems in their communities by launching a business venture and unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit.
Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, said the champions from Green Apex company have indeed made Nigeria and Nigerians proud. Winning four various awards and emerging the runner up was in recognition of the viability of their innovative solutions designed to improve lives.
She restated the nation’s premier and foremost financial institution’s commitment to collaborations and programmes such as COY that seeks to promote ideation, impactful innovations, entrepreneurial skills and cohesion especially among young people, adding that young people must be guided towards gaining tools and capacity for making effective and informed decisions via exciting platforms.
“We congratulate the team Nigeria, all winners, all participants and organisers. Our sponsorship of the Company of the Year competition aligns with our FutureFirst initiative driven to promote financial literacy, innovation and entrepreneurship.
FirstBank remains committed to engendering an entrepreneurial mindset among young adults, fostering their creativity, wealth creation and management skills and, ultimately, nurturing the kindness culture, corporate responsibility and sustainability involvements, ” she noted.
JA Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, Simi Nwogugu, said that the company’s focus was on equipping students to be solution providers who would bring about positive change within their communities while developing businesses that generated wealth.