UniCredit Foundation and Junior Achievement Europe launch “Re-power your future”

Brussels and Milan, 12 July 2023 – A 6.5 million euro program to empower youth across 10 European countries

UniCredit Foundation, the Corporate Foundation of UniCredit Group whose purpose is to unlock the potential of Europe’s next generation, and Junior Achievement Europe, the largest organisation in Europe dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed, launch “Re-power your future” to prevent early school leaving.

Through this partnership UniCredit Foundation will invest €6.5 million to promote a three-year program, across ten UniCredit countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Designed for 10–19 year-old students – an age that is critical for further education and the future labour market integration – the initiative aims at re-engaging students in school, improving outcomes, preventing dropouts and inspiring students to find careers they are passionate about.

More in detail, the proposed programs will be implemented through partnerships with schools, businesses, and community organizations and will be structured into a triple approach with activities across “Inspire”, “Prepare” and “Succeed” pillars.

Through the “Inspire” and “Prepare” sessions JA Europe Member organisations together with UniCredit mentors and advisors will empower participants with essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to seize control of their future and accomplish their aspirations. Meanwhile, the “Succeed” session aims to provide comprehensive support to students as they transition from the realm of learning to earning, bringing them closer to securing valuable opportunities such as internships, job placements, or even embarking on an entrepreneurial journey. These activities will include an extended “Job Shadow Week”, engaging internships, and enlightening “Incubation” workshops.

Andrea Orcel, Chairman of UniCredit Foundation, said: “UniCredit is united behind a collective Purpose, to empower communities to progress, and the UniCredit Foundation’s work in education is essential to this. It is more important than ever that we are committed to building brighter futures for our youth and their communities through education, paving the way for future growth and development. The Foundation’s partnership with JA Europe will help us to do this by directly combatting one of the major challenges our continent’s educators face at this moment: school dropout rates, which stifle employment opportunities and leave a lasting impact on lifetime earnings. Through this new partnership, the UniCredit Foundation and JA Europe aim to reach over 400,000 students in ten countries, empowering them through the transformative power of learning.”

Salvatore Nigro, CEO JA Europe, highlighted: “We can achieve a more equal and prosperous Europe only when every young European has access to opportunities and resources to thrive and succeed. Our collaboration with UniCredit Foundation is historical because of its scale and ambition to address the most vulnerable segments of Europe’s youth. Together, UniCredit Foundation and JA Europe have the ambition to change the landscape of Europe’s education systems by significantly preventing and reducing the current rates of school dropout. We expect a huge spillover effect from this activity in terms of higher youth employment and entrepreneurship rates, more innovation and bigger numbers of Start Up activity in Europe.”

The partnership has been announced during “GEN-E” 2023, Europe’s largest entrepreneurship event organized in Istanbul by JA Europe and JA Türkiye

About JA Europe

JA Europe is the largest and leading organisation in Europe dedicated to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. For over 100 years, JA Worldwide has delivered hands-on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial health. In the last school year, the JA Europe network provided over 6.6 million learning experiences for youth in online, in person and blended formats. For two consecutive years, Junior Achievement has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its global reach, youth economic empowerment delivery at scale, and ability to find unity in diversity.

About UniCredit Foundation

UniCredit Foundation Third Sector Body (TSB) is the corporate Foundation of UniCredit Group whose purpose is to unlock the potential of Europe’s next generation. Its mission is to empower young people across Europe by enhancing equality of opportunities in education and to support them in making their way in life and professional world. The Foundation’s initiatives aim at combating school drop-out, enhancing employability, encouraging university attainment, and promoting study and research. The Foundation is committed to supporting communities in all countries where the UniCredit Group operates.

Media Contact

Minna Melleri, Chief of Advocacy and Growth, JA Europe, minna@jaeurope.org

Barbara Calosso, Media Relations, UniCredit Foundation, barbara.calosso@unicredit.eu