For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2009
Los Angeles-Area Team “Higher Grounds Café” Wins HP’s Responsible Business Ideas Contest
Innovative young entrepreneurs excel at business and social responsibility.
Colorado Springs, Colo. — Junior Achievement and HP have announced the winner of the North American HP Responsible Business Ideas Contest. The contest recognizes students across the United States and Canada for business ideas that best combine business practice with social and environmental responsibility. The award will be formally presented this Friday, July 17, at Junior Achievement’s North American Student Company of the Year event at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.
The Higher Grounds Café, developed by high school students from Chaminade College Preparatory School in West Hills, California, took the award with an innovative business model that combines education and capitalism—which the students have termed “educapitalism.” The company sells its own private label coffee that is certified “Fair Trade” and “Organic.” Higher Grounds Café runs a campus retail operation that sells hot, iced and blended coffees that are specialty grade. It also sells packaged coffee to organizations in the community and offers coffee, tea and cocoa gift baskets.
“We are proud to say that our JA company is growing and going strong,” said Kaitlyn Martin, president of Higher Grounds Café. “Our mission is to provide education and experience in social entrepreneurship while supporting farmers in poor countries through the sale of high-quality, Fair Trade products. That is why our motto is ‘Higher Quality. Higher Cause.’ “
The company has been remarkably successful, providing Chaminade investors with a 15-percent return. One of the goals of the Higher Grounds Café’s educapitalism is to repay donors who provided start-up capital or additional resources. To fulfill this objective, the company will present the school with a check for $20,000—representing a return on the original $8,000 investment and $9,000 in remodeling for a sales space, plus a stockholder dividend of $3,000.
“Higher Grounds Café exemplifies HP’s vision of a strong commitment to global citizenship and social and environmental investment. Creating a sense of responsibility while developing entrepreneurial and micro-business skills is of paramount importance,” said Yvonne Hunt, director, social investment, HP. “Through our partnership with Junior Achievement, we can help educate tomorrow’s business leaders to safeguard our world and our shared economy. “
“The HP Responsible Business Ideas Contest targets the development of business and work-readiness skills while teaching the value of corporate social responsibility,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. “We are grateful to HP for its commitment to educating youth about entrepreneurship and global citizenship, and to supporting Junior Achievement’s mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.”
Notes to Editors:
Responsible Business Ideas Contest
This competition was open to JA students from the North American Region aged 15-18. The ideas were judged on the following criteria:
- Demonstrate strong market potential: showing the ability to be profitable and competitive.
- Demonstrate social responsibility: meeting the wider concerns of stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers and local communities.
- Demonstrate environmental excellence: preventing pollution, optimizing resource efficiency and developing products with minimal environmental impacts.
- Be innovative: innovative approach of business solution.
The winning team will receive an HP product for each member of the team (max. 5), and each member of the team (max. 5) will be invited to attend the North American JA Company of the Year Competition 2009 which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, July 16-19, 2009.
About JA Worldwide® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring
and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated
volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school
programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness,
entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Today, 137 individual area operations
reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional
five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For
more information, visit www.ja.org.
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.