From idea to business plan, marketing, sales and financial audits, the Junior Achievement Company Program gives high school students the opportunity to create a product and run their own company – while benefitting local charities. Congratulations to students belonging to the Southern Alberta chapter of Junior Achievement, who recently wrapped up a record year of profits and giving, donating a record $8,000 to charities in Calgary and area.
The central teaching tool of Junior Achievement has always been its Company Program. This past year in Southern Alberta, 535 students participated on 30 teams to complete the 6-month program. The program relies heavily on dedicated business mentors and volunteers to give students in grades 10 to 12 guidance during their entrepreneurial journey.
Teams dreamed up creative products to pitch to the marketplace. Products included circuit board themed accessories, toques, potted herbs, scented candles in recycled containers, monogrammed hand-warmers, personalized mugs, and high tech battery packs. Through hard work and effective sales skills, teams made record profits and raised more than $8,000 for charities — a 60% increase over 2014.
The Company of the Year award was won by Infinity, a team of 24 students who learned the intricacies of running an effective business. Their creation? An infinity scarf with an interior pocket to hold keys and other small personal effects. Coincidentally, the team also grossed the most profits and donated over $1800 to Inn From the Cold, an emergency shelter in Calgary.
The Pomm Hat was another creative idea that generated great sales. The colourful beanie hat is topped with interchangeable pom poms, all handcrafted and designed “around your ability to express your creativity through your hat”. Twelfth-grader Max Hum took home the President of the Year Award: “Over the course of 18 weeks, each member of our team learned about leadership and responsibility, and became familiar with business terms such as break-even point and profit margin,” said Max, whose team raised funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Company Program hosted by Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta. Thank you for taking this amazing opportunity to contribute to your learning and your community.
To learn more or become involved with Junior Achievement, please visit the links below: