COVID-19 has reshaped the educational system around the world as it transitioned from in-person classes to virtual learning. Students have had to overcome distractions at home, deal with connectivity issues, and learn to stay motivated despite the lack of physical interaction with teachers and schoolmates.

But Princess Gurrea has proven that learning is not confined to a classroom and that online platforms such as FedEx JA International Trade Challenge, a global competition that nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit and business skills of young students, provide opportunities to expand one’s horizon. Princess is one of the grand prize winners in the recently concluded 15th edition of the competition.

For the second consecutive year, the FedEx/JA International Trade Challenge was held virtually due to the pandemic, and included workshops and sessions led by APAC industry experts and mentors from FedEx who volunteered their time. All the virtual activities and collaborations that Princess attended with her fellow innovators helped her and her partner, Chaerin Park from South Korea ,conceptualize the market strategy that won them the grand prize. Their innovative idea for Seed Link Greeting Cards, a product designed to connect families and comfort the elderly during this pandemic, impressed the judges.

Princess’ participation at the ITC helped her and the rest of the aspirants to learn key concepts in logistics, finance, and global trade, a valuable experience for anyone who dreams of establishing their own business that can reach both local and international markets.

Princess Gurrea is one of the grand winners at the 2021 FedEx Express/JA ITC

A born Entrepreneur

Princess is a Grade 12 Accountancy, Business and Management student at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, she is constantly in9uenced and inspired by the people around her to think like an entrepreneur.

“In elementary school, our classroom was far from the canteen so I sold snacks and baked goods to my classmates right in class. It was a hit!” shared Princess.

This simple idea helped her to earn money which she used for her school projects. She was also able to open a savings account with the guidance of her parents who were proud of her accomplishment.

Education in the New Normal

The shift to online classes and self-learning modules has proven di=cult for Filipino students to cope with. Princess recalled her personal struggles while doing online classes and shared how it affected her academic performance.

“Online classes have been a challenge considering that it’s my first time doing this. It took a whole semester for me to adjust, and my performance and grades in class were affected as a result.”

Despite the challenges of online learning, Princess focused on adapting to the new normal in order to stay at the top of her class. She concentrated on the positives of remote learning and made it work to her advantage.

“Remote learning provided me with a platform to overcome barriers of place and time. With online classes, I can easily access resources and delegate more time for studying.”


Winners of the FedEx Express/JA International Trade Challenge 2021 AMEA Finals

No borders in learning

As a student on a business academic track, Princess aims to learn more about entrepreneurship and financial management. When she had the chance to join the ITC, she seized the opportunity, knowing that it would push her to conquer her fears and achieve personal growth.

“Before joining, I was a laidback student. I didn’t like to pressure myself and I only stayed in my comfort zone. With this experience, I realized that I can successfully complete projects even under a lot of pressure – this gave me a new kind of confidence.”

Princess appreciated that her peers and mentors during the competition from their virtual meetings made the environment comfortable, boosting her confidence and openness to learning. She also gained insights from the speakers like Neptune Factor, Founder and CEO of eCFULFILL who talked about his inspiring entrepreneurial journey, “I was amazed by how he was able to turn a problem into something profitable which I consider as the true essence of being an entrepreneur.”

Journey to Success

The FedEx-/JA ITC became an avenue for Princess to discover new skills and conquer tough challenges as well as develop resilience and a strong business mindset. She learned how to cope with stress, overcome adversity, and enjoy the better days to come.

As a steadfast supporter and advocate of small and medium-size enterprises(SMEs), FedEx continues to work with JA Philippines with the aim to educate and inspire Filipino youth and encourage them to discover their potential of becoming successful entrepreneurs.

“This is a great platform for students as it empowers us to showcase our talents and ideas in the world of business. Joining this competition allows me to challenge myself and it brings out the fullest of my potential as a young entrepreneur,” concludes Princess.

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