In early spring of this year, in partnership with the PGA TOUR and Junior Achievement Worldwide, FedEx launched the FedEx Junior Business Challenge, a program to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. At five PGA TOUR stops this season, students from local JA chapters in each of the cities hosting the tournament participated in Shark Tank style presentations, where they pitched original business concepts to a judging panel consisting of PGA TOUR players and local business leaders.
One business concept from each of the qualifying events was selected to advance to the FedEx Junior Business Challenge Finals at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Participating students will compete for the chance to generate a $75,000 donation from FedEx to their local JA chapter. Each of the five teams will be presenting to a panel of judges consisting of high-profile business leaders, as well as two times Super Bowl Champion and University of Georgia great Hines Ward. Additional panel members include a PGA TOUR player competing in the TOUR Championship, Jenny Robertson, Director of Citizenship and Reputation Management at FedEx, Ryan Lane, Founder of Dream Beard and FedEx Small Business Grant Winner, Peggy Loos, VP Connections, Investments and Assets for Coca-Cola.
The Junior Achievement of Georgia advanced from qualifier event at East Lake Golf Club, the site of the TOUR Championship. They will present Fur Fighters, a company based on four corporate principles: customer satisfaction, return to shareholders, productive learning environment and corporate social responsibility.
The JA of Georgia will be joined by:
- JA of Southeast Texas (advanced from qualifier event at The Shell Houston Open)
- Oasis – Klein Collins High School students developed Oasis to produce a variety of products to help improve the lives of customers through enthusiastic attitudes and fun and useful products. Oasis produces handmade items designed by students like fish-shaped pouches, embroidered shirts, student designed t-shirts, scrunchies, and bracelets.
- JA of North Florida (advanced from qualifier event at THE PLAYERS Championship)
- Antibee – Antibee was created to increase awareness of a real problem within schools, bullying. The company created an app that can be downloaded using Apple and Android devices to allow students to share positive messages and connect with students that have experienced bullying or want to offer encouragement and positivity.
- JA of Southwest New England (advanced from qualifier event at The Travelers Championship)
- Lo-K8 – Lo-K8 created their project to fill a need for those that are prone to lose personal items. The product is a square device that connects to an app via Bluetooth technology on smartphones. Lo-k8 helps track easy to loose small objects. The device can be used to find a phone and also functions as a selfie remote.
- JA of North Central Ohio (advanced from qualifier event at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)
- Heroes Over Heroin (Cloverleaf High School) – Conceptualized and produce original wristbands and tee shirts to raise money to assist in the fight against the opioid epidemic in their community.
FedEx’s relationship with JA Worldwide goes back to 1996, and since then the shipping giant has donated over $13 million to the organization. With the financial support of partners like FedEx, more young people are being equipped with the knowledge and experience to become entrepreneurs.