Turkmenistan Teen Entrepreneurs Named Junior Achievement Asia Pacific Company Of The Year
HONG KONG, February 28, 2013—On Wednesday, JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement) crowned teen entrepreneurs of UniStyle from Turkmenistan as the Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year at its third annual regional competition. The three-day competition at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel saw 17 student companies from 10 Asia Pacific countries participating in a trade fair and pitching their companies to a judging panel comprised of business leaders. UniStyle emerged victorious when the results were announced at a gala awards ceremony. .
UniStyle produced MyBag – novel thermo bags manufactured from materials such as cane, recycled jeans, wadding, felt, and acorn. The materials used to produce the MyBag were canvassed from local factories and industries, and were materials which would have otherwise been disposed as waste. UniStyle took home the win by impressing the judges with their innovative product, made entirely of locally sourced materials, and also demonstrated how their product had a positive impact on the local economy.
The second-place winner was Sleepy Monkey from Thailand. Sleepy Monkey produced the “I to U” pillow, a unique product that transforms into two shapes. The functional pillow can be used as a bolster as well as a neck, back, seat, arm, chin and ankle rest, making it a great product for travelers. Sleepy Monkey wowed the judges with their creativity in transforming a seemingly ordinary product into a truly unique and practical item.
Third place honor went to HOME from Guam. Their website called Home67fun, highlights the local culture of Guam and fosters connectivity amongst families and the community. To promote their website, the company coined the term “Ecofamivate” which means to create a more eco-friendly, family-oriented and innovative community. HOME sold themed items online to support and sustain their website, including family themed pillow cases and eco-friendly USBs made out of natural materials.
Jointly organized by FedEx Express and U.S.-based JA Worldwide, the event had broad student representation from across the region: Junior Achievement teams from China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkmenistan participated in the event. The Asia Pacific Region JA Company of the Year Competition is a contest of business skills, ingenuity and innovation. It celebrates the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students, ages 15-19, during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Under the mentorship of volunteers from their local business communities, students start and run their own businesses, developing and marketing a product or service to realize a profit for their shareholders. Teams are selected to showcase their business acumen before a panel of independent judges who evaluate each student company’s annual report, business presentation, trade booth display and interview performance.
In addition to the Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year award, the event also named the winners of its signature award: the FedEx Access Award. This award was presented to UniStyle from Turkmenistan for presenting the best business plan with the potential to create jobs, grow small business, expand global development and improve the environment.
“FedEx strongly believes that educating and inspiring leaders is vital to our future and we are proud to support Junior Achievement to improve educational outcomes, inspire participation in global trade and provide access to opportunities for the students in the Asia Pacific region.”
“At FedEx, we believe that it is important for students of today to understand the value of business and free enterprise, and the impact of access so that they are inspired to become leaders of tomorrow who will change what’s possible.” said David L. Cunningham, president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific.
Junior Achievement and FedEx are committed to driving economic growth and job creation across the region by giving young people the necessary skills and opportunities to help them thrive.
“The 2013 Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year competition provides youth in the Asia Pacific region with important opportunities to learn and demonstrate the teamwork, leadership and innovative thinking that will help them drive success in the business world,” said Sean C. Rush, president and CEO of JA Worldwide.