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Spanish students create a companion-matching app for seniors

Brussels, 30 June 2016

Brussels, 30 June 2016 – SOSElder, a students' company from Spain won first place at the 2016 European Finale of the Global Enterprise Project (GEP). Over 2000 students enrolled in the programme this year were offered several types of activities including a globalisation quiz, access to a resource center about globalisation, a case study delivered by 108 business volunteers, a practical entrepreneurial experience (JA Company Programme) as well as the participation to the Globalisation National & European Awards.

 "Just like we build playgrounds for the children, we should build "playgrounds" for the creative generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. Science parks, innovation hubs and business launchers should be the new universities in Europe. The Global Enterprise Project can provide the blueprint for such a transition and enable small companies to play globally."– Andrey Novakov, Member of the European Parliament and jury member.

Competing against students from 3 other countries, this year’s winning team SOSelder won based on their application for mobile devices created to help elderly people with certain needs to request some companionship for their daily tasks. In collaboration with its Norwegian partners, SOSelder is adapting and expanding its distributing in the Nordic countries.


The students shared: “We have learned how to work together with colleagues from other countries, having different background and different mentality. We have also learned how to adapt our service to a global market composed of older people from different countries. And we think that this is a very important skill for us in a globalized world like ours. Thanks to GEP, we believe we are now well prepared for our future and have increased our employability. Our next step? Put on the market a new version of our app by mid-October”.

The project, led by JA Europe is supported by Fundacion Repsol, Nokia, Siemens, SONAE, SmurfitKappa and TOTAL. The 2016 GEP European Finale took place online and included the following jury members:

  • José-Ignacio Redondo Sierra, Mentor in Entrepreneurs Fund at Fundacion Repsol;
  • Felipe Fernández Lores, Director of Technology, Refining and Marketing at Repsol;
  • Thomas Schoenberg, Lead Customer Delivery Manager Deutsche Telekom Group, NOKIA;
  • Thomas Leubner, Chief Learning Officer Siemens;
  • Mariana Santos Carnido, Corporate Communication and Sustainability at Sonae;
  • Mariana Silva Pereira, Corporate Responsibility Coordinator at Sonae;
  • Gianluca Castellini, Group VP Human Resources at SmurfitKappa;
  • Steven Stoffer, Group VP Development at SmurfitKappa;
  • Erik van den Bos, Group Head of Recruitment and Employee Engagement at SmurfitKappa;
  • Andrey Novakov, Member of the European Parliament.

Jury members praised SOSelder’s impactful project which aims to solve a current demographic challenge for Europe: the ageing population. They were impressed by their pitch, their robust business plan including a partnering with a team from Norway, showing their intention to go global. Finally, jury members acknowledged the team’s understanding of the added-value of international collaboration and team spirit.

Young people will be entering an economy that is not just fast-changing but global. The Brexit referendum showed young people voting for more interconnection and more cooperation. The Global Enterprise Project is all about helping young people appreciate both the challenges and the opportunities of our global world. We want them to have the skills they need to succeed and we encourage them to think big!”- Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe.


About the Global Enterprise Project

Discover some stories and testimonies from students and volunteers:

About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries. JA Europe brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’.

For further information, please contact:

Mathilde Poncelet
+32 2 893 4436

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