(17-20 January 2011)
Convent Green Lane’s student-run company Athena Enterprise grabbed third placing in the inaugural Asia Pacific Region Junior Achievement (JA) Company of the Year Competition, which was held in Hong Kong over four days.
Sixty-five students from 13 student companies in 10 nations participated in the competition that aimed to develop business and entrepreneurship skills in secondary school students.
The members of the CGL team were Bernice Leow Li Hsia, Joanne Ooi Jho Yen, Sankeri Gopalkrishnan, Winnie Lee Chiao En and Wooi Sze Lyn. Athena shared third spot with a company from Hong Kong which produced creative playing cards and posters to promote local traditional culture. The other participating countries were Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
The top company was Cozy Care from Turkmenistan which developed a portable cozy cushion for comfortable seating anywhere, while second placing went to Herd from Thailand for their deck of Thai-English phrase cards useful for tourists to the country.
Wawasan Open University was CGL’s corporate sponsor under the YE Programme, and provided an advisory panel headed by School of Business and Administration (SBA) lecturer Deehbanjili Lakshmayya and comprising Poh Leong Tat (Marketing), Teoh Soo Ling (Communications), Tan Chia Yun (Finance) and Shangetha Silvamony (SBA).
The five-member CCL team was selected from a group of 27 Form Four students in ‘Athena’ who had earlier beaten 14 other schools in Penang to win in the overall category at the Young Enterprise (YE) Annual Achievers Showcase in October 2010. The company had manufactured and sold fridge magnets, greeting cards, and recycled shopping bags. The five then faced the champion school from the Klang Valley, and emerged victorious to represent the country at the international-level.
WOU Deputy Vice Chancellor (Operations) Dr Seah Soo Aun applauded the students for showing “what initiative, drive, proper planning and able leadership in the execution of plans, combined with excellent teamwork, can accomplish”.
For the competition in Hong Kong, the team submitted their company report, delivered a 4-minute presentation, showcased their products, and were interviewed by the judges on the company’s performance, business plans and how to apply the lessons learned to new business situations. In comparison with the other teams, their products appeared basic but their charm and simplicity triumphed over sophistication and age.
The inaugural competition, previously held annually only in Europe and North America, was jointly organised by US-based JA Worldwide and FedEx Express
The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) – which introduced the YE Programme in Malaysia in 1989 - is actually a member of JA Worldwide, and this was part of their efforts to support school-based, work-based and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.