The initiative will encourage young entrepreneurs across EMEA to develop responsible business leadership skills and to engage in social and environmental responsibility practices.
To kick off the competition, a dedicated website (www.responsible-business.org) has been set up to inform and guide students through the key elements of the competition. The website will also provide general information and guidelines on how to run a responsible company, as well as examples of HP‘s best practices in corporate responsibility.
This is the first time the competition will run in full. It will be based on a pilot, which took place during JA-YE Europe’s 2006 Company of the Year Competition in Interlaken Switzerland in August. The winners of that first Responsible Business Award were the Estonian student company VOLLI, who had created trendy, modern, light and comfortable wallets made of empty, used juice-cartons.
The 2007 competition will run in 9 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovakia) and consists of several components including:
- Responsible Business Award, the main component of the competition. The website will provide information about the terms and conditions to qualify for the annual award which is an integral part of the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition and will be given to student companies who do the best job at integrating the following criteria into their business plan and operations: strong financial performance, social responsibility and environmental excellence.
- Online Business Ideas Contest giving students aged 15-18 participating in JA-YE programmes the opportunity to submit and compete “online” with their ideas for a responsible product or service. The competition will be open from 1 December 2006 to 31 May 2007 and the top 10 submissions will be awarded prizes in 2007.
- Responsible Business Certificate which is available for everybody who visits the website and will be awarded to those who have completed the responsible business quiz which allows them to learn about different aspects of responsible business practice, global social and environmental issues through a series of questions.
“We are working together with JA-YE on this competition to support Europe’s future business leaders and entrepreneurs in developing business practices that are good for society and the environment," said Gabriele Zedlmayer, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Global Citizenship, HP EMEA. “HP is committed to improving the communities in which we work and this competition closely fits with our values. That is why we are also encouraging our employees to contribute to the programme by volunteering.”
Additional activities that HP is planning around the contest will include school visits by HP volunteers to deliver in-class presentations to students involved in the programme. HP will work in close collaboration with JA-YE in carrying these out.
“Initiatives like this competition are highly relevant and send an important and positive message to young people about what modern business is all about,” said Caroline Jenner, Chief Executive of JA-YE Europe.
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