The European Company of the Year Competition (COYC2015) gathered over 200 youths from 36 countries to Berlin at the end of July to compete for the title of the best European JA Company. RAUTECK, by a group of young Germans, took the first place with their idea to manufacture accessories and tools from recycled car parts, such as tires and seat belts.
A total of 37 student companies participated in the three-day competition. The young entrepreneurs had all participated in their respective countries in JA Company Program, Europe’s largest entrepreneurship education program, during the last academic year. Finland was represented by DimenoSafety NY from the Vocational Education Centre Sedu from Kurikka. The company provides different security services to companies and residences.
“We learned a lot from this experience and we have even more faith in what we do after receiving feedback from the jury. We increased our presentation skills. These kinds of possibilities should offered to youths more often,” the young entrepreneurs Noora Latvanen, Meri Lehtonen and Dita Nyman summarize.
The Company Program takes students out of the classroom, to a real working environment and provides an experience based on practical work. The Europe-wide JA network gives pupils and students a chance to work together and create new companies and jobs both on the nationally and globally.
“I was surprised at how important European decisionmakers find supporting youth entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education,” says DimenoSafety NY’s teacher Jari Salo.
“Students have to be genuinely active,” comment head of training Mia Jokinen and entrepreneurship teacher Tuulikki Lahtinen, who worked in the support group.
“It’s great to see youths gain self-confidence when they get to assume responsibility for their own learning through practical work. These are the skills they will need in working life. It’s easy to participate in the program, since the JA organization provides all the materials and the network,” Jokinen continues.
[su_box title=” ” box_color=”#fffff” radius=”2″]According to a Finnish survey, about 11% of participating students go on to found a company soon after their JA year, 67% will consider founding a company, and 89% feel they learn working skills. During the 2014-15 academic year, over 275,000 students from all over Europe participated in the JA Company Program. This includes the 4,500 Finnish participants, who founded 1,500 companies.[/su_box]
Interested in JA Company Program? Participate in our free program training sessions this fall and incorporate the program into your teaching! Read more on our upcoming training days and sign up. (in Finnish)
Welcome to start a new academic year!