Yiq Zhenn Leong is a high school student in Malaysia who encourages other young people to cultivate entrepreneurship and financial literacy through his work with Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAWorldwide). Working in over 100 countries, JAWorldwide is one of the world’s most impactful youth-serving NGOs, nurturing young people’s self-belief and equipping them with the entrepreneurship skillsets and mindsets they need to succeed. The organisation is supported by nearly half a million volunteers and reaches more than 12 million students each year, helping build a brighter future for the next generation.
For the last three years, Yiq Zhenn Leong has held official responsibilities with JA Malaysia and JA Asia-Pacific while maintaining excellent performance in his school studies. Beginning in 2018 with an internship, he strategized efforts to build a JA Malaysia Alumni Community and helped deliver financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs. In 2020, he conducted workshops for both primary and high school students and mentored JA Malaysia interns on data analysis, branding, digital solutions and startup culture. The e-commerce platform he created, JAMall, helps JA Company Program students manage an e-commerce business so that they are more prepared in the era of digitalization, and Yiq Zhenn Leong also personally mentors students on how to run their online store more effectively. In 2020, Yiq Zhenn Leong was named the Alumni Ambassador to JA Worldwide for the Asia Pacific region – a position that promotes lifelong learning amongst like-minded entrepreneurs. In this role he interviewed and showcased successful JA Alumni across the Asia Pacific region, creating marketing materials and digital content that helped reinforce JA Alumni branding in 110 locations worldwide.
Yiq Zhenn Leong sees his work with JA as making a small contribution towards reviving economies and creating a properly educated and informed citizenry. He has done all this while fighting the discrimination that he is exposed to in the Malaysian education system as an ethnically Chinese student – as well as winning the top community service awards in the Leo Club program and building one of the top Leo Clubs in the world from the ground up.
In addition to his voluntary work promoting entrepreneurship, Yiq Zhenn Leong has also worked for BOLD.Pay – improving user experience and creating a framework to tap into the Thai, Philippine, Indonesian and Singaporean markets – as well as planning events and creating digital content for Event Plus Marketing. If he wins the Global Student Prize, he will donate a portion of the funds to JA Malaysia’s Company Program for rural schools, a further sum to JA Worldwide/Asia Pacific, and use the rest to fund his own higher education – which he will begin with an Economics honours degree starting in 2021.