SUPERJAM founder Fraser Doherty was the keynote speaker at Junior Achievement’s 30th anniversary celebrations at the Palace Hotel, sponsored by the Capital International Group.
The 23-year-old from Edinburgh set up his jam company aged 14 and now sells to more than 2,000 supermarkets in the UK and has plans for expansion into Europe, the US and Canada.
Before the young entrepreneur recounted his ‘kitchen to supermarket’ success story Capital International Group’s chief executive officer and JA board member Anthony Long welcomed guests and praised the Junior Achievement team and volunteers for their work in schools to help equip young people with the entrepreneurial and work readiness skills they will need in a global economy.
Mr Long also took the opportunity to congratulate Junior Achievement Isle of Man on becoming one of only 12 countries in Europe to have been accorded model nation status in recognition of its impact locally and contribution to the overall success of the JA-YE Europe network.
Fellow JA board member and Boston Group chief executive officer Greg Ellison echoed Mr Long’s sentiments and spoke of how Junior Achievement was ‘leading through change’, inspiring young people to become financially literate and develop entrepreneurial flair against the background of an increasingly competitive jobs market.
Fraser Doherty told the audience he was ‘a huge fan’ of Junior Achievement and that he had taken part in the company programme in his not-so-distant school days.
The entrepreneur and now philanthropist then went on to recount ‘The Adventures of Jam Boy’.
A fledgling entrepreneur at the age of 10 he started a chicken farm, preparing a box of eggs for hatching by keeping them warm on the top of the TV. Four eggs hatched but his career as a chicken magnate was cut short, as were the lives of his feathered charges, when a fox ate the chicks.
At 14 his entrepreneurial flair started to ‘bear fruit’ in his grandmother’s kitchen where he used her recipes to make jam.
The evening also provided an opportunity for the 2012 Junior Achievement Company of the Year winners, Rejuven8 from Ballakermeen High School, to outline the process that led them to win the title in March this year and saw them go on to represent the Isle of Man in the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year competition in Bucharest in July.
Junior Achievement must raise more than £300,000 every year to deliver its programmes in primary and secondary schools across the Isle of Man that will help young people gain the essential skills they will need when they leave full-time education. To find out more contact Sue Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jaiom.im
You can also follow the team on Facebook on their page: Junior Achievement Isle of Man.