Young Entrepreneurs from New Zealand Excel at the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge Asia Pacific Finals
Business-Savvy Students from Nine Asian Markets Display Impressive Potential
HONG KONG, August 14, 2015 – “Team 2”, a team of student entrepreneurs from New Zealand, has clinched victory at the annual FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx/JA ITC) Asia Pacific Finals in Singapore.
Aidan Joseph Scott and Wendy Lee overcame stiff competition from 26 other teams from across the region, impressing the judges with their innovative business idea and well-developed proposal. The finalists were challenged to come up with a market entry strategy for a fast food chain that also addressed the economic issues of the target market, Cuba. Team 2’s idea, named Casa Cuba, involved setting up an SME franchise business and running it as a social enterprise. One of its aims was to introduce Cuban food in a convenient, fast-food format to the increasing number of tourists expected to visit the island.
The FedEx/JA ITC aims to inspire budding entrepreneurs to learn about global business and trade and come up with real-world business ideas. Fifty-four students from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to took part in this year’s contest.
“We worked very hard in researching and putting together our proposal and some of the other teams’ proposals were very good, so we’re thrilled to have won,” said Aidan Joseph Scott and Wendy Lee of Team 2. “Taking part in the International Trade Challenge was a real learning experience, exposing us to new business concepts and to the realities of global trade. If you’d asked us a few months ago to come up with a business idea that had a chance of succeeding in the real world, we wouldn’t have known where to start. After taking part in this program, I believe we could now make a credible attempt, and it’s exciting to think that we might have the opportunity to do this for real in a few years’ time.”
Sanphot Thiewprase and Sommanee Chokthiena from Thailand made up Team Spitfire and won second place with their proposal of setting up ‘Verdecho’, a fusion Thai-Cuban fast food outlet. Part of their proposal involved importing low-cost rice from China and growing aquaponic vegetables on the roofs of restaurants to make them more sustainable.
Team SIS from Korea came third in the competition. Teammates Dongjae Min and SungBine Cho came up with the idea of providing Korean-Cuban style food via food trucks targeting Cubans living in Havana. The trucks would serve as their own billboards and make the food easier to access for the locals, many of whom don’t own private cars in a country where public transport is also patchy.
During the three-day contest, the 54 talented students demonstrated not only their outstanding business acumen, but also effective teamwork and efficient problem solving skills. The judging panel, made up of successful business leaders from around the region, was very impressed by the professionalism of the students.
“FedEx has long been committed to inspiring young entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities in the region,” said Dr. Karen Reddington, president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific. “Small companies with big ideas and aspirations can rapidly progress into highly successful businesses if they are prepared to branch out into overseas markets, and one of the core challenges for the students was to devise a business plan to export their product or service. SMEs are the engine driving growth and employment in many markets in the region, and I believe this experience will equip the participating students with the necessary skills to join the ranks of the next generation of Asian SMEs in the future.”
“JA Asia Pacific has been running this program with the goal of challenging our students to develop the entrepreneurial and work-readiness skills needed in the world of work,” said Vivian Lau, president, JA Asia Pacific. “I am confident that our students will take the knowledge and skills learnt and the friendships and network developed over the course of the competition to create a better future for themselves and their communities. This year’s Asia Pacific Finals was another great success. We would like to thank FedEx Express for their continual support and congratulate all participants on an outstanding achievement.”
The FedEx/JA ITC program is jointly organized by FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, and JA Asia Pacific, a member of JA Worldwide. The program aims to enhance students’ understanding of the world of business and encourage their entrepreneurialism. In 2015, more than 110 FedEx volunteers worked as mentors to teach students about international trade and offer them guidance on their business proposals. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/AsiaPacificITC.
About the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge
Designed to foster business knowledge through practical teamwork exercises and classroom learning, the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement program comprises two key activities – the International Trade Workshops and the International Trade Challenge. To take part in the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge, students in teams of two have to develop a specific product or service and create an original international market entry strategy for a designated country. Through this process, students gain first-hand experience of what roles world trade, product distribution and sales play in a market environment. In addition to teamwork, participating students learn the basics of risk evaluation in the business world and gain confidence in their analytical ability.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date supported by a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $47 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 325,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About JA Asia Pacific Limited
JA Asia Pacific Limited is a member of JA Worldwide®, one of the largest global NGOs dedicated to addressing fundamental social and economic challenges of young people by educating and empowering them to transform their future and own their economic success.
JA Asia Pacific Limited is dedicated to enabling and empowering youth to benefit from the region’s economic development, and to create a positive impact in their lives and communities. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA Asia Pacific Limited provides in school and after school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. JA Asia Pacific envisions a future that young people dream big and, as a group, drive productive social and economic change.
The 20 Members JA Asia Pacific network is powered by over 23,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching around 1 million students in the region.
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