PH mini firm wins Asia-Pacific student entrepreneurship tilt
MANILA, Philippines — An eco-friendly bag production company formed and run by 12th-graders at St. Scholastica’s College dominated the 2019 Asia Pacific Junior Achievement (JA) Company of the Year (COY) competition.
Terra, the mini-company from the Philippines, bagged first place at the COY awards for producing well-designed and eco-friendly handbags that use coconut coir, patched-up recycled textiles, and faux leather under the inaugural brand offering “Isla.”
Apart from besting 19 other student companies from 13 territories across Asia-Pacific, Terra likewise won a special citation, the FedEx Access Award, for demonstrating a good understanding of global connectivity in their business model. Through e-commerce and digital marketing, Terra has been able to sell its products, even to the overseas market, at a very good profit margin.
Terra was represented at the competition by four young women: Alaina Carlize Tria (chief executive officer), Raphaella Mae Sanchez (executive vice president for human resources), Porsha Mangilit (corporate secretary) and Gwen Villaver (marketing executive vice president).
Terra girls and their “Isla” handbags
Teams from Indonesia won the second and third prizes at COY 2019.
The second-place winner was Zeal Student Co., which produces shoes that make great use of local materials. It came up with a sports line that converts physical energy generated from human pressure into piezoelectricity or a type of electrical energy.
The third place went to Sagasco Student Co. from Indonesia, which produces modern footwear made of water hyacinth with a touch of batik to represent the heritage of Indonesia. This team also won a special citation, the “Best Financial Management Award” sponsored by COL Financial, for demonstrating a good understanding of sound financial management in running their business.
Team Sagasco selling their products at a JA bazaar in Glorietta
Meanwhile, Ecovators from Singapore and TEAM_Bread from Korea emerged as the most popular student companies based on a popularity vote among their peers. These teams thus took home the “Young Entrepreneurs’ Choice Award.”
Student companies from Australia, Brunei, China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand participated in this competition.
The winners were announced at the JA Asia-Pacific COY Awards Dinner at Shangri-la Makati on March 13, 2019.
This competition, held in the Philippines for the first time, is JA Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of the achievements of young entrepreneurs in the region.
The program helps young people understand the role of business in the global economy by allowing students to organize and operate an actual business enterprise and market and sell a product or service in the real world.
“With the JA student companies, students not only gain their first entrepreneurial experience of starting and running a real company. Through learning by doing, they have also developed the much needed 21st century skills: complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. Our young entrepreneurs are passionate about creating businesses that both are profit- and purpose-driven, with the ambition of creating a better world through their business ventures,” said Vivian Lau, president and chief executive officer at JA Asia Pacific.”
JA Asia Pacific is a member of JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving nongovernment organizations dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. For 100 years, JA has focused on delivering hands-on, experiential learning in work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.
Home to 60 percent of the world’s youth, JA Asia Pacific aims to empower young people so that they can benefit from the region’s economic development and create a positive impact in their lives and communities. /atm