JA (Junior Achievement) South Africa is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the Regional Company of the Year Competition 2017, in collaboration with JA Africa. The event will take place from 6-8 December 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Company of the Year (COY) competition is an annual event and the culmination of JA’s highly acclaimed Company Program which delivers entrepreneurship education to high school youth across Africa.

Africa is not creating as many jobs as we are graduating students and JA believes in presenting entrepreneurship to youth as a viable option for livelihoods through self-employment. By introducing entrepreneurship early in the academic careers of students, we give them the tools and skills they need to be successful whether circumstances force them to this option or they pursue it by choice.

Currently being taught to more than 500,000 young people a year globally, the JA Company Program teaches students how to start and run their own businesses, and develop and market a product or service, with coaching and mentorship from a local volunteer from the business community. Students compete at the national level in each of their countries and the winners go on to represent their countries at the Africa regional competition. There, they demonstrate their business acumen and spirit of entrepreneurship in a competitive environment which engages business, education and policy leaders as well as the media.

This year, over 40 student entrepreneurs from across Africa will attend the event. Delegations will represent Botswana, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Students will compete for prizes by pitching and presenting their products to a panel of judges composed of business professionals and influencers from across South Africa. The theme for this year’s event is “Innovate, Create, Be Great” and the Keynote Speaker is Lebogang Chaka, CEO of AfroVisionary Legacy.

This year’s sponsors are FedEx, Citi Foundation, Oliver Wyman, Delta Air Lines, official airline of the JA Africa Company of the Year competition, Facebook, Marketo, Rogers Capital and Afrovisionary Legacy who, through their sponsorship, demonstrate a commitment to youth economic empowerment and entrepreneurship education in Africa.  Each young competitor represents thousands of others across Africa receiving entrepreneurship training, mentoring and access to capital that will transform their financial situations and improve the wellbeing of their families and communities.