LAST Wednesday, Junior Achievers Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) hosted their third annual general meeting (AGM) at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
Over 900 students from 43 schools islandwide attended the AGM and not only showed off their products, but also met with their peer entrepreneurs.
Alphie Mullings-Aiken, president of the Junior Achievement Jamaica, explained that the students will for the next six months create and run businesses in their respective schools.
"For six months they start by applying for their jobs, they have to fill out a job application and identify which job function they would like to work in and they actually run for president or vice-president of five functions -- human resource, finance, marketing, public relations or production. And then they have the rest of the staff as workers within these functions," Mullings-Aiken told TEENage.
The number of students participating in the programme has grown rapidly Mullings-Aiken also said.
"In 2011 there were six schools registered, 2012 saw 26 schools, and for 2013, we have 43 school."
Holy Trinity is one of the schools registered this year and they have on offer a grease cleaner that they developed with the help of a science teacher at their school and designer bags.
"We now offer a variety of bags and a contestant from Mission Catwalk, is our production line. She makes the bags for us, so she gives us a wide variety. And secondly, a science teacher and I did an experiment and came up with a cleaning agent where that is now our second product," said Cordial Leslie, president of the Holy Trinity Junior Achievement company.
"The product is made of soursop leaves and is mainly cuts grease. This has been the more successful of the two products."
Another company, Ripple Effect, which sells accessories to the girls at St Hilda's Diocesan High School in St Ann.
Tashar LaTouche, VP of finance at Ripple Effect told TEENage: "Some things that we suggest to our marketing manager is that when we have our general devotion, we perform skits to make our products come alive for the rest of the school."
Michaela Brown told us the business is hard work.
"First of all, each business starts with a process so you have to have determination, then flexibility is the other thing. As you know other organisations will surround your business so you have to learn to balance your time with all of that."
At the conference Klao Bell Lewis and Jeanette Lewis, public relations practitioner for Scotiabank Jamaica and Flow respectively relayed to TEENage that they were in awe of the students at the AGM.
There is also continuuity in the programme as CITI Foundation has put up $1 million to provide micro-finance loans to the students who want to keep their businesses running after they have left school. The students can also turn over the businesses to the students coming behind them so that the incoming students have a chance to learn and benefit.
Best Company winners and prizes will be announced at the end of the programme in June.