SMK Abdul Rahman Talib, Pahang Crowned As The Winner Of The 2023 Teenage Entrepreneur Challenge

The 2023 Teenage Entrepreneur Challenge, organized by Ascendance ended with iCandleMelts emerging as the champion. This remarkable achievement earned them an RM2,500 cash prize, Ascendance’s merchandise, and a Certificate of Achievement.

Participated by students from Malaysia and Indonesia, the program garnered support from the Malaysian Ministry of Education and sponsorship from Excellence Unbounded, The Brooker Group Public Company Limited, M31 Capital, Annycent Capital, Stonebriar Wealth Management LLC, QuikMaster, Indorama Corporations, and Avery Dennison.

Harsha Ravindran, CEO of Ascendance, emphasized the competition’s significance, stating that it not only nurtures entrepreneurship but also instills essential values of community, cross-cultural understanding, and global connections. It empowers students to explore their passions, transform ideas into ventures, and make a meaningful impact on their communities and causes they are passionate about. He also announced the ‘Best Mentor Award’ during the finale.

The Teenage Entrepreneur Challenge distinguished itself through its unique format, spanning several pivotal stages. The journey commenced with the Induction Program, where teams meticulously assembled and deliberated over company names, products, or services. What set this competition apart was the integration of a social cause into its framework, with each team dedicating 10% of their profits to a chosen cause.

The subsequent Skills Workshop featured industry experts generously sharing their knowledge on various aspects of business operations, including production, finance, sales, branding, and marketing. VP/General Manager (ASEAN) at Avery Dennison,Darren Milligan, praised the students for their dedication to their business ventures and for developing skills that will serve them in their careers.

In the Mentor Matching phase, students were paired with accomplished mentors from Ivy League institutions, providing invaluable guidance. The cornerstone of the program was the personalized attention each team received from mentors, who were university students themselves, offering guidance and support.

Finally, the heart of the program was the Business Execution stage, where teams dedicated 12 weeks to turning innovative concepts into reality, culminating in captivating exhibitions at their respective schools. The impact of the program was evident, with 89% of students expressing their desire to continue their businesses with guidance and support from Ascendance.

Arrysa Sofea, CEO of iCandleMelts from SMK Abdul Rahman Talib in Pahang, emerged as one of the program’s shining stars. She clinched the 1st prize, earning an RM2,500 cash prize, Ascendance’s merchandise, and a Certificate of Achievement. Arrysa expressed her gratitude, thanking Ascendance for making their team’s success possible.

Khim Tan, Founder of QuikMaster and a judge, praised the impressive capabilities of the young participants, highlighting their ability to present, come up with products and ideas, and create marketing plans.

The top five teams received well-deserved recognition, and they showcased their entrepreneurial prowess and commitment to making a positive impact on their communities. Homenature from SMA Negeri 2 in Bandung (Indonesia) secured 2nd place, K-Journal from SMK Raja Mahadi in Selangor (Malaysia) proudly secured 3rd place, and Yummice from SMK Pesanteran Abdul Taib Mahmud in Sarawak (Malaysia) took the 4th place. Two outstanding 5th place winners were recognized – Perfect One Merchandising from SMK Nan Hwa in Perak (Malaysia) and Lavie’s Cottage from SMK Taman Daya (2) in Johor (Malaysia).

With the successful completion of the 2023 Teenage Entrepreneur Challenge, Ascendance continues to inspire and empower young minds to dream big and take bold steps toward entrepreneurship. The program marked a transformative journey for 320 students, wrapping up the challenge with 41 teams from 8 participating schools.

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