MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the eve of play teeing off at the PGA TOUR’s TOUR Championship and FedExCup Playoffs Finale, Junior Achievement (JA) students from across the United States competed in the finals of the FedEx Junior Business Challenge held at the tournament’s host site, East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The three JA student companies that participated in the finals secured their spots by winning each of their individual qualifying events, which were hosted at PGA TOUR tournaments throughout the summer. At the event, the JA student companies pitched original business ideas, with Our Story from JA of the Chisholm Trail being selected as the winner and recipient of a $75,000 donation from FedEx to their JA chapter. Our Story is a motivational journal company for teens that helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
JA student companies participating in the finals presented to a judging panel consisting of Steve Smith (NBA Champion and All-Star), Tommy Fleetwood (PGA TOUR player and FedExCup Finals participant), Ian Finnis (Tommy Fleetwood’s Caddy) Ryan Lane (founder of Dream Beard and FedEx Small Business Grant recipient) and Laura Neal (Senior Vice President Media Content and Communications, PGA TOUR.
The judging panel evaluated each company’s ability to deliver a compelling pitch, create a succinct visual presentation and connect their business concept to innovation, sustainability, job creation or the trade industry.
“The student entrepreneurship I witnessed today at the FedEx Junior Business Challenge was incredible,” said Tommy Fleetwood. “It was so fun being a part of the event as a panel judge and learning about the students’ aspirations for the companies they developed. FedEx has created a really unique experience for JA students to take part in at the TOUR Championship.”
Through its PGA TOUR sponsorship, FedEx hosted FedEx Junior Business Challenge qualifier events at three PGA TOUR tournaments this year: the Charles Schwab Challenge (Ft. Worth, Texas), the Travelers Championship (Cromwell, Conn.) and the 3M Open (Blaine, Minn.). At each event, JA student companies presented their business ideas to a judging panel consisting of a mix of PGA TOUR players, local celebrities, FedEx Small Business Grant winners and business leaders. Notable judging panel participants included: DeMarcus Ware (Super Bowl Champion, 9x Pro Bowler), Kyle Rudolph (2x Pro Bowler), Nick Bonino (2x Stanley Cup champion), Paul Casey (3x PGA TOUR tournament winner), Ryan Palmer (4x PGA TOUR tournament winner) and Kevin Streelman (2x PGA TOUR tournament winner).
“Entrepreneurship has been a part of our DNA since FedEx was founded in 1973 and continues to be an integral part of our business as we deliver possibilities around the world every day,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president, Integrated Marketing and Communications, FedEx. “We’re proud to work with the PGA TOUR and JA Worldwide to positively impact aspiring entrepreneurs through the FedEx Junior Business Challenge. We’re absolutely thrilled to see the innovation and forward-thinking presented by JA students at the finals today.”
In the three seasons of the FedEx Junior Business Challenge the program has impacted hundreds of students across the United States and Canada, donating nearly a quarter of a million dollars to participating JA chapters to help positively impact the next generation of entrepreneurs. Since 1996, FedEx has donated nearly $16 million to JA Worldwide in support of small businesses and future entrepreneurs.
The FedEx Junior Business Challenge program is part of the newly launched FedEx Cares 50 by 50, a journey to deliver hope, change and new possibilities for 50 million people by the company’s 50th anniversary in 2023. FedEx launched the new strategy after exceeding its goal to invest $200 million in 200 global communities by 2020 six months early.
The JA Worldwide network reaches more than 10 million young people in more than 100 countries, making JA a natural fit for FedEx Cares 50 by 50.
With FedEx as the official sponsor of the PGA TOUR since 2002, FedEx and the PGA TOUR have a long-standing relationship. In 2007, the PGA TOUR introduced the FedExCup as the first season-long competitive and promotional platform, transforming the competitive landscape of professional golf. The performance-based point structure culminates with the FedExCup Playoffs, a four-tournament playoff at the end of the season to determine the FedExCup Champion.
See highlights from this season’s FedEx Junior Business Challenge on Facebook, Instagram via @FedEx and on Twitter via @FedEx, and join the conversation by using #FedExJuniorBiz on Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about the FedExCup, visit PGATOUR.com/FedExCup.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $70 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 450,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.
About JA Worldwide
As one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs, JA Worldwide prepares young people for employment and entrepreneurship. For 100 years, JA has delivered hands on, experiential learning in work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. We create pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Each year, our network of over 450,000 volunteers serves more than 11 million students in over 100 countries. For additional information, visit jaworldwide.org.
About PGA TOUR
By showcasing golf’s greatest players, the PGA TOUR engages, inspires and positively impacts our fans, partners and communities worldwide. The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Series-China. Members on the PGA TOUR represent the world’s best players, hailing from 27 countries (90 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to 226 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as nonprofit organizations to maximize charitable giving. In 2018, tournaments across all Tours generated a record $190 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.84 billion. The PGA TOUR’s website is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.