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JA Impact: The Next Big Thing

Photo: JA Student Company BASECAMP Cards executives Maya Gay and Rachel Birrell

November 25, 2015

A JA Company Program participant from Okanagan Mission Secondary in Kelowna is truly “the next big thing.” Maya Gay started BASECAMP Cards with classmate Rachel Birrell and they created a product that has everyone talking – fun playing cards that incorporate conversation-prompting questions into a classic deck. The cards appeal to a wide target market including travellers, families, schools and even corporations.

The effective business planning skills that Maya and her partner learned through the JA Company Program elevated them to many successes including the Ledcor Regional Company of the Year Award in 2015, and Best Trade Show Booth and First place in Central Okanagan School District’s Dragons Den Young Entrepreneurs Competition. Maya also won a trip to the JA Next Generation Leaders Forum sponsored by The Keg Spirit Foundation.

Most recently, Maya bought out her partner and hired her brother Aidan. Together they received a 2015 fellowship with The Next Big Thing (TNBT) – the two will receive mentorship and guidance from adult entrepreneurs that will take their business to the next level.

Thanks to the foundational start-up skills that Maya learned through her JA Company Program experience, BASECAMP Cards is poised for significant business growth in the not-so-distant future.