Junior Achievement Uganda Announces 2024 Company of The Year Winner

KAMPALA, Uganda, June 28th, 2024 – Junior Achievement (JAU) has on Thursday 27th June, 2024 announced the winners of this year’s Company of the Year Winners.

This year’s Junior Achievement Company program is held under the theme Greenovation and it is co-funded by the Boeing Company and the Project Management Educational Institute Foundation (PMIEF).

The partnership has empowered a total of 3,500 high school students from Kampala and Masaka regions with entrepreneurship education.

It is the first time that the competition includes learning opportunities that promote environmental stewardship and resource conservation as part of the program.

Eleven student-founded companies pitched their sustainable business projects at JA Uganda’s national competition awards ceremony.

Eleven companies innovated by students from nine schools presented their sustainable business solutions at the JA Uganda Company of the Year national competition in Kampala, which was strategically timed to celebrate the World’s Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, on June 27.

The grand prize was awarded to Eco Dynamics JA Company from Sacred Hearts Secondary School, Kiterede in Masaka region, who will represent Uganda at the JA Africa Regional Company of the Year competition in Mauritius on December 4-6, 2024.

Eco Dynamics JA Company from Sacred Hearts Secondary School, Kiterede in Masaka region

Ms Racheal Mwagale, the JA Uganda Executive director thanked the funders for making an impactful contribution to the empowerment of Uganda’s young people with financial literacy skills.

“Financial literacy is not just about understanding dollars and cents; it’s about empowering our young people to make informed decisions, to plan for their futures, and to build a foundation of financial stability and success,” she said.

She added that, “through the training programs, our participants have learned the importance of budgeting, saving, investing, and understanding the dynamics of credit and debt. They have also developed a keen sense of entrepreneurship and the confidence to navigate the financial challenges of the modern world.”

In a written statement presented at the event, Mr. Kuljit Ghata-Aura, the Boeing president in the Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, and Central Asia, stated that they supported the program with an intention of preparing the young generation for the future.

“We are delighted to extend our existing partnership with Junior Achievement Africa to Uganda. By nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset early on, we empower students to become proactive contributors to the economy and society, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The environmental and social aspect of the program helps the youth with integrating sustainable practices from the get-go,” read the statement.

With Uganda facing a high youth unemployment rate, this program plays a vital role in creating opportunities for young people, while empowering them to tackle climate related challenges head-on.

The CEO of JA Africa message was delivered by Sboniso Madlopha, the JA Africa Vice President operations.

Ms. Simi Nwogugu, the CEO of JA Africa, said in a statement delivered by Sboniso Madlopha, the JA Africa Vice President operations said “our joint initiative with Boeing ‘Our Future – Tomorrow’s Innovators’ propels our mission forward, enhancing youth capacity in entrepreneurship, STEM, and sustainability. This collaboration has inspired over 5,000 young Africans over the last four years to harness their potential and innovate for a sustainable future. We are confident that the program in Uganda will empower a new generation of innovative, sustainability-minded entrepreneurs.”

Government pledges support for the winning team

The Minister of State for Higher Education, John Chrisostom Muyingo, who was represented by Mr. George Mutekanga, the Assistant Commissioner for Private Schools and Institutions in the ministry of education, expressed the government’s commitment in supporting the objectives of the JA Company Program.

“What Junior Achievement Uganda and Africa are demonstrating in empowering young people with entrepreneurship skills and knowledge is commendable. This is beefing up our new approach to our education system in the new curriculum,” he said.

While delivering his address on behalf of the Minister, he applauded JA Uganda for their efforts in shaping the future of Uganda’s young generation in work readiness, business management, project planning and innovation.

“The current challenges the world is facing require innovative approaches in addressing them and that is what Junior Achievement is doing.”

In his speech to the participating teams and invited guests, Mr Mutekanga pledged the support of the government for the winning team, especially when time reaches for them to travel to Mauritius for the competitions at Africa level.

“What we now need to do as the government is to see how best the winning team can be supported. They will first have a courtesy meeting with the Minister, and we will ensure that they will receive all the support they will require,” he said.

The JA Company Program has been a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth in Uganda since 2008, with 70% of participants establishing their own ventures. Notable alumni include Andrew Mupuya, Founder of Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI); Solomon Odongo, Founder of 1MillionYouth Uganda; Belinda Esaete, Founder at Beldeluxe Sleepwear; Boris Mugisha Nahabwe, Founder at Tubaayo MarketPlace; and Don Bujjingo, Managing Director at Aloesha Organics.

About Junior Achievement Uganda

Junior Achievement Uganda (JAU) is part of Junior Achievement Africa, one of the largest global NGOs dedicated to addressing young people’s fundamental social and economic challenges by educating and empowering them to transform their future and own their economic success.

Through the delivery of cutting-edge, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, we effectively broaden the canvas of possibility for young people and enrich their ability to both engage in their own economic development and contribute to the strength of their families, communities, and economies.

Junior Achievement Uganda (JAU) is a non-profit organization established in 2008 as a member nation of JA Worldwide, operating mainly in schools and, for the last 3 years, involving out-of-school youth impacting over 130000 learners with the JA flagship program—the JA Company Program to date.

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