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Bubbles from Denmark is JA Europe Company of the Year 2020

Lisbon, 24 July 2020

Speaking at the Award Ceremony of the 2020 JA Europe Company of the Year Competition, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared that “now is the time for new thinking and novel approaches. This crisis offers us an opportunity to reframe traditional business models, and to reset the business agenda by building the capabilities and systems that will foster breakthrough innovations.” Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, echoed this message: “We need your energy, your skills, your entrepreneurship and your capacity. We can only achieve a real recovery with a strong contribution of all citizens and especially the young generation. This is why we called our recovery plan The Next Generation EU.

As the Covid-19 pandemic is still ravaging the world, and as our economies are increasingly feeling its impact on their labour market and businesses, JA student entrepreneurs aged 15-21 showcased their business ideas at this year’s virtual Company of the Year Competition European final. The resilience and innovation of these young entrepreneurs, and the 355,000 young people who created over 30,000 mini-companies across 40 countries in Europe, is truly amazing considering the context of school closures and strict lockdown measures during the past school year.  

The winning company of this year’s competition, Bubbles” from Denmark, supports children with learning difficulties by providing a technology to improve communication between educators and ADHD-students, demonstrating the importance of leveraging technology while addressing a real-life social problem. 

This week we as jury members were really impressed with our future European leaders!”, said João Pedro Tavares, President ACEGE and Chair Judge of this year’s competition. He continued: “Our young students of COYC from 39 countries are so passionate to promote a better world, presenting great ideas to improve health life or innovative solutions to address SDG. Keep living your dreams and never give-up. You'll be all winners in life.” 

Other speakers at this year’s Company of the Year Competition included Prof. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Portugal, as well as Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education & Youth. Their endorsement of Junior Achievement’s mission is crucial for ensuring that young talent everywhere is given the opportunity to develop their skills and to fully embrace their potential.  

This competition has once again shown that the JA Company Programme is a key tool to equip today’s youth with the wide range of skills and experiences needed in today’s competitive jobs market, including resilience and innovation to thrive in times of disruption”, said Adam Warby, Chairman JA Europe. “Junior Achievement calls for broad engagement of the business sector to create such opportunities for all young people in Europe. Our common ambition is to ensure the next generation of leaders is able to face the challenges of tomorrow by leveraging technology. If not now, when?” added Salvatore Nigro CEO of JA Europe.

As the virtual competition hosted by JA Portugal concluded, its CEO Frederico Fezas Vital stated: “Being able to transform the world we live in is not as hard as one might think. You start with yourself, then you grow your actions in your surroundings. You started now. My hope in the future and my belief lies in all of you”.

Join us in celebrating the winners of this year’s European competition and all the young achievers of the JA Company Programme 2019-20!

 

Main Awards

JA Europe Company of the Year 2020

The Company of the Year Award recognises the mini-companies that succeeded in demonstrating the outcomes of the JA Company Programme. The main jury assessment is based on a list of criteria that require the students to demonstrate or explain their achievements in learning and their acquired individual and group development. The three best mini-companies are awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the competition.  

Public Choice Award

The Public Choice Award seeks to make students learn how to market their product or service in order to gain votes. All mini-companies competing in the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition had a profile on the event website with a “vote” button, and the mini-company collecting the highest number of votes wins the Public Choice Award. 

JA Alumni Leadership Award

The Alumni Leadership Award is given to outstanding individuals showing that extra initiative and leadership during the programme, which only 10 students receive at the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition. The holder of this award certificate is recognised as a JA Alumni Leader, standing out as an individual showing role model behaviour, possessing leadership skills, team solidarity and real JA Alumni spirit. 

Winners:

  • Alex Blandon, Slovakia
  • Jonty Bregazzi, Isle of Man
  • Tayla Evans, United Kingdom
  • Loran Geskens, Belgium
  • Lara İçli, Turkey
  • Luna Jonker, Malta
  • Sara Meister, Switzerland
  • Agné Marija Mokrikaité, Lithuania
  • Clémence Tirot, France
  • Viktoria Trifonova, Bulgaria
 

European Signature Awards 

AT&T Excellence in IT Award

The AT&T Excellence in IT Award recognises the efforts of the student company that demonstrates the best innovation-driven concept, with strong business potential and sustainability, as well as viability and scalability.

Citi Foundation Client Focus Award 

The Citi Foundation Client Focus Award recognises student enterprises that place the client at the heart of their business. 

Delta Air Lines Innovation Award 

The Delta Air Lines Innovation Award is given to the student company which has an innovative or effective approach for solving a problem or developing further a product, a functional business model and whose idea has a potential to prosper, an international prospect and is easy to implement. 

FedEx Access Award 

The FedEx Access Award puts the principles of global connectivity at the forefront of young people’s minds – to inspire tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and leaders with the scale of what is possible. 
  • Winner: Echooo, Belgium (LJE) 

ManpowerGroup ‘Ready for Work’ Award 

The ManpowerGroup ‘Ready for Work’ Award recognizes those teams that have best built work readiness skills and learnability during the competition. 
  • Winner: Echooo, Belgium (LJE)

 

National Signature Awards 

Fundação Ageas Social Innovation Award

Fundação Ageas gives its Social Innovation Award to the mini-company that best addresses societal challenges while having a realistic plan for today’s market. 

EDP Green Entrepreneurship Award 

The EDP Green Entrepreneurship Award goes to the mini-company that embodies the principles and spirit of green entrepreneurship to the highest extent. 
  • Winner: REN, Slovakia 

SONAE Social Entrepreneurship Award 

Sonae gives the Social Entrepreneurship Award to the mini-company which best demonstrates a passion to change social patterns to make them more inclusive and environmentally friendly by introducing new products / services or technologies, or by having a different approach than the traditional one. 

  • Winner: Sigma, Israel 

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About JA Company Programme 
Since its launch in 1919, the JA Company Programme offers students aged 15-18 the opportunity to learn how to move a business idea from concept to reality. Over the course of a school year, students develop a product or a service, create their own company and manage their business from start to finish. In 2019-2020 school year, 355,000 students from 40 countries across Europe took part in the programme, creating 30,000 mini-companies

About JA Europe 

JA Europe is the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide, which for 100 years has delivered hands on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Last school year, the JA network in Europe reached more than 4 million young people across 40 countries with the support of 140,000 business volunteers and 130,000 teachers/educators. 

About JA Portugal 

Junior Achievement Portugal is a non-profit organization, created in 2005 with the mission to provide entrepreneurship education programs for young people. With the support of its associates and around 2,000 volunteers, JA Portugal impacts more than 36,000 students in three levels of education (basic, secondary and university) every year. Through the principle of learning by doing, students have fun, hand-on, high-impact experiences that give them a taste of life in the real world, motivating them to acquire the skills they need to succeed in their future career. 

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