Young entrepreneurs from Ardenne High School will represent Jamaica in the Junior Achievement Americas Company of the Year competition in Cancun, Mexico, from December 9-12. The school was selected as a finalist for their student company, 'Plastato'. They will be competing against student companies from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, that took part in the Junior Achievement Company programme during the 2012-2013 academic year.
'Plastato' was established as a result of the school's participation in the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) programme, where they developed a product and ran a company while learning essential business skills. The contingent consists of Dawin Morna, Nicholas Kee and Hughian Bernard. Their teacher, Orrette Muir, as well as Alphie Mullings-Aiken, president of Junior Achievement Jamaica, will accompany them.
"We came up with 'Plastato' as our product; it was jewellery made from potatoes. We wanted to really be innovative and create something that was practical and that people would love," explained Nicholas Kee.
The students credit their success to the commitment and guidance of their teacher, as well as their sponsor, JN Fund Managers (JNFM).
"We are extremely elated, but not surprised. The students from Ardenne were doing amazing things. They pooled the best ideas from their art, science and technology students to create a product that could be sold easily. It was aesthetically pleasing and friendly to the environment," said Annette Clayton-Baker, vice-president of marketing and public relations of JNFM.
It will be a contest of business skills, ingenuity and innovation. The finalists will be selected to showcase their business acumen before a panel of private-sector judges who will evaluate each student company's annual report, business presentation, trade booth display and interview performance.
Ardenne was selected from a pool of 40 Jamaican high schools that participated in the 2012-2013 JACE programme. This is not Ardenne's first regional competition.