Race is on the find best student company of the year!

JA-YE Europe Company Competition 2010

Brussels, 15th July – There is nothing like competition to focus the mind! Over 175 students running 34 Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise (JA-YE) student companies are feeling the heat as they enter the final rounds of the annual contest to find the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year. The 34 companies, winners of their national competitions, will be invited to the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition, hosted by JA Italy in Cagliari on July 20-23.

The enterprising secondary school students have all been running a JA-YE business through the ‘Company Programme’ and they have each received the support of their teachers as well as guidance from volunteers from the business world. Each student company offers real products and/or services and they have all successfully dealt with the challenges of setting up and running a business. 

The teams represent a wide range of sectors ranging from music events, board games and energy consulting to international study support and a dvd to educate people about a specific learning disability. Each team’s challenge will be to present their enterprises to a panel of judges and they will have several opportunities to make a good impression.  Each company has already submitted their annual report in advance and then, at the event, they will make a 4-minute stage presentation.   Following that they will be grilled in an intensive interview process where the judges will probe deeper into their business operations to find out what the students have learnt, how they have applied that knowledge and how they have worked as a team. There will also be an exhibition where the public and judges can visit each company’s trade stand. 

 “A winning JA-YE company is no different from any other winning business,”
explains Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe. “Success is as much about the passion of the people involved and how its employees communicate with each other, learning and developing with the business, as it is about performance.  Being immersed in a very real world situation is a great way to learn and they are developing vital skills for their future career, no matter what it might be.”

"A practical proposal to develop the entrepreneurial talent of young people in Europe,"
said Stefano Scabbio, president of Junior Achievement Italy and Managing Director of Manpower. "For the first time in our country, the event represents an authoritative opportunity to sensitize institutions, opinion leaders, media and business community about the National and the European importance of entrepreneurship education in schools can stimulate creative thinking of our young, approach the business world, help them and recognizing their potential, prepare them in a conscious way the labor market and its future might be.”

The jury will examine each company’s approach to communication, teamwork, problem-solving, objective-setting, planning and review, administration and financial systems, personnel management, product development, customer focus, marketing and sales, as well as financial results. How the students have developed their business skills will also be assessed and taken into account to determine who will receive the title of JA-YE Europe Company of the Year 2010.

During the competition other special juries will also decide the following European signature awards:


  • The FedEx Access Award will be given to the JA-YE student company which best demonstrates their understanding and application of global access, leveraging international trade to create jobs, grow small businesses, expand global development and improve the environment.
  • The HP Responsible Business Award will be given to the JA-YE student company which demonstrates the most comprehensive approach to social and environmental responsibility at the event.

The winners of the following European online awards will also be officially recognised at the event:


  •  Accenture Enterprise without Borders High Potential Award which will recognise the joint-venture that has the highest business potential.
  • HP Responsible Business Ideas Contest which will be awarded to the student company that have best combined business with social and environmental responsibility in the Responsible Business online ideas contest.

Also during the competition other special juries will also decide the following local signature awards:


  • Bata Best Sales & Marketing Award will recognise the company which has the most comprehensive understanding of sales and marketing techniques.
  • Città dell’Impresa “Innovation Award will be given to the team who best demonstrate they understand the importance of innovation in all aspects of business.

In the last 5 years over 1 million students in Europe have participated in the Company Programme and gained firsthand experience of setting up and running their own real business.  An estimated 15% of those students will go on to set up and run an enterprise after their education which will positively impact Europe with 150,000 new businesses providing vital employment opportunities and a real boost to the economy.


Notes to Editors

JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition
July 20-23, Cagliari, Italy, Event hosted JA Italy 

Student companies from 34 European countries, winners of their national competitions, will be involved in the 21st JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition.

Over 175 participants will take part in the event and in total over 231,000 secondary school students have set up JA-YE student companies this academic year in Europe, offering everything from clothing and accessories for construction workers, a solution to secure private car parks, an interactive manual for education, re-useable multi-purpose bag to a mini-hole punch. These projects are being promoted by JA-YE Europe to help develop the entrepreneurial spirit in the EU, thereby boosting the creation of jobs.

JA-YE Europe (www.ja-ye.org) is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.1 million students in 38 countries in 2009. Funded by businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals, JA-YE 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-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JA-YE Europe is the European headquarters for JA Worldwide.

Media Contacts
Penny Perry
JA-YE Europe
M: +41 (0)79 368 9761