Saturday, May 30, 2015

JCI help students develop entrepreneurial skills with Company Program

This past school year, JCI Winnipeg sent 4 members to serve as advisers for Junior Achievement of Manitoba's Company Program. For 20 weeks, members Erica Christie, Danelle Hueging, Simon M├ęthot and Matthew Kulba worked with Achievers in their entrepreneurial projects.

The 2014-2015 edition of Company Program was launched on November 4th, 2014 at "Meeting of the Minds" and ended with the "Celebration of Achievement" on May 6th, 2015.

JCI Winnipeg were assigned a team of high school students from St. John's Ravenscourt, who created PowerUp and sold batteries to charge mobile devices on-the-go.

This team of Achievers delivered fantastic results:

  • 150% return to shareholder
  • 20% of profits donated to the Winnipeg Lake Foundation (almost $400)
  • Safety Plan of the Year 
  • Website of the Year
  • Best Trade Fair Booth and Sales Experience
  • Highest Unit Sales (234 units sold)
  • Highest Dollar Sales ($2892.32 in total revenue)
  • 3rd place, Best Idea Pitch at Stu Clarke High School New Venture Competition
  • 2nd place, Investor's Group Sales Challenge - Peirce Dickson
  • 1st place, Investor's Group Sales Challenge - Alice Yu 
  • President of the Year - Alice Yu 

Download PowerUp's Sahreholder's Report : PowerUp Shareholder Report

Company Program takes learning beyond the classroom
by Peirce Dickson, JA Achiever

Junior Achievement's Company Program takes learning beyond the classroom and pushes the education system to go further. Although I might get a sense of what the business industry entails from a calculus or economics class, these situations keep me trapped behind a desk. Over the past year, the Company Program allowed myself and eleven other students to conceptualize, create, market, and sell a product. Throughout the process, four advisors, including three from JCI, guided our team through the business process and helped us achieve success. We chose to import portable electronic battery packs from overseas and create the brand "Power Up." We created a modern logo to brand our products and provided a booklet containing environmental tips with each battery pack to show our commitment to the environment. As the Vice President of Sales and Development, I helped form a connection with the Lake Winnipeg Foundation to further our environmental goals. Our team donated twenty percent of our profits to the charity and built part of our marketing strategy around this platform. My role also entailed designing the trade fair booth and setting up additional trade fairs to sell our product. In the end, twelve high school students who met once a week managed to pull in a revenue of over $2,800 and donate nearly $400 to the Lake Winnipeg Foundation.

The real life situations that this program put me in helped me develop a keen interest in business. I enjoyed the creativity of guiding the marketing aspects of our product and gained valuable knowledge of how finance works within a company. Junior Achievement has also allowed me to meet many people within Manitoba's business community and learn from them through conversations or presentations. These experiences have inspired me to pursue a commerce degree at the Asper School of Business. The Company Program has changed my outlook on the business world and has shown me the limitless opportunities of a career in commerce. I also have an interest in law and hope to combine these passions later on in life.

Junior Achievement's Company Program is a testament to the powerful effects when community members from organizations such as JCI come together to help educate and inspire youth. My experience shows that some of the best learning happens outside of a classroom.

Earlier, Alice Yu, PowerUp's President, published her thoughts on Company Program.
Read it here: Skills development through entrepreneurial training, high school edition.

Learn more about JCI Winnipeg here: JCI Winnipeg : Frequently Asked Questions