Russian innovation wins Responsible Business Ideas Contest

JA-YE Europe and HP today announced the winners of the European Responsible Business Ideas Contest 2010. This contest awards students across Europe for business ideas that best combine business practice with social and environmental responsibility.

The Russian ‘Let’s help the Cedar Grove’ team took the first place with their innovative concept to preserve a local and unique natural treasure – the Cedar Grove – by organising week-end excursions where elementary and middle schools students and their families learn more about the environment and take part in conservation and preservation activities. These students came from Ninzhnya Salda in the Sverdlovskaya region of Russia. They won out over hundreds of ideas from throughout Europe and representatives of the team will travel to the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition in Italy in July to receive their award.


“Addressing some of the bigger needs in society in a most innovative  way is a very motivating task for young entrepreneurs,” said Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President, HP Office of Global Social Innovation and member of the board of JA-YE. “There should be no trade-off between achieving business performance and meeting environmental and social goals. The student ideas put forward in this online contest showed not only a great business sense, but also a desire to achieve something innovative for their community by turning it into a more sustainable place to live.”


“We want young people to experience how rewarding entrepreneurship can be and that business can thrive in a socially responsible and innovative way. Young people need proper training and education to be ready for the world of work and personal experience of entrepreneurship so that they can make proactive career choices in the future,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe.


The submitted ideas went through many rounds of judging by a team of volunteers from HP and the top ten ideas were decided as follows:


1.    Let’s Help the Cedar Grove – Russia
2.    Green for us – Czech Republic
3.    2E (Education through experiment) – Romania
4.    SK Constructions – Romania
5.    ‘Remote Energy’ as the way of responsible business – Poland
6.    Aqua Energies – Germany
7.    Orange Peel System – Lithuania
8.    Super School – Romania
9.    Best Cleaning & Recycling – Romania
10.    Ariadna – Poland

The Responsible Business Challenge and the Responsible Business Ideas Contest are part of the Responsible Business Competition, a flagship programme of HP and JA-YE Europe, JA Latin America and JA U.S. The competition encourages students in JA-YE and JA entrepreneurship education programmes to consider social and environmental responsibility. This year for the first time the competition took a global dimension with the launch of a Facebook Responsible Business Challenge. Students were asked to consider the world in 2020 and submit business ideas that could have a positive effect on the general public and the world around them. 1878 young people took up the challenge and 130 of those submissions were shortlisted. The winners came from Romania, Canada and India.


ENDS


Notes to Editors

Responsible Business Ideas Contest


This competition was open to European students aged 15-18.
The ideas were judged on the following criteria:
1.    Demonstrate strong market potential: showing the ability to be profitable and competitive
2.    Demonstrate social responsibility: meeting the wider concerns of stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers and local communities
3.    Demonstrate environmental excellence: preventing pollution, optimising resource efficiency and developing products with minimal environmental impacts
4.    Be innovative: Innovative approach of business solution


Time Frame: September 1st, 2009 - May 31st, 2010
The winning team will receive an HP product for each member of the team (max. 5) and each member of the team (max. 5) will be invited to attend the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition 2010 which will take place in Cagliari in July 20-23, 2010.
More information: www.responsible-business.org/europe/ideas.html


Responsible Business Facebook application

At the start of the new academic year HP and JA-YE Europe launched a new educational Facebook application – The HP Responsible Business Challenge – to encourage even more students around the world to take social and environmental responsibility into consideration as they enter professional life.


Through the application students up to the age of 25 were challenged to submit business ideas for the Year 2020 that could have a positive effect on the general public and the world around them. Ideas were open to public voting and people were able to comment on each others ideas.
With ideas being submitted from as far afield as Sri Lanka, Romania, United States and Kenya the Challenge had a wide global reach.  


All the ideas were judged by a panel of volunteers from HP who scored the innovations and awarded points for environmental benefit, social benefit, innovation & creativity and feasibility & potential.


The three top ideas were announced on 31st May:-


Iulia GhiĆŁescu, Bucharest, Romania  
Idea for a responsible business in 2020: Using GPS in mobile phones to enable people to more easily live an eco-friendly life. By simply installing Iulia’s application people would be able to work out the most environmentally friendly route between places, track down local recycling facilities and locate bio food and product retailers.

Vallabh Rao, Bangalore, India
Idea for a responsible business in 2020: to connect people from all over the world with a virtual workspace that they can access from their phones which will be more advanced than the high end computers we see today. The concept would use an augmented reality 3D virtual screen which helps people interact with colleagues easily without having to travel. Apart from an increase in productivity, Vallabh also thinks the idea would help companies save money and reduce the impact of traveling.


Leah Osterhoudt, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Idea for a responsible business in 2020: ‘Clean Business’ – a concept that envelops all stages of business from raw materials right through to the final product and encourages entrepreneurs to think holistically about how they can positively impact their suppliers, workforce and the environment.

Each winner will receive an HP Mini Notebook.

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.

For enquiries contact:-

Penny Perry
JA-YE Europe
M: +41 (0)79 368 9761
penny@ja-ye.org