500 Young Entrepreneurs show off innovation at European Trade Fair
JA-YE Europe held its 2006 European Trade Fair from 23 to 25 March in Zagreb, Croatia. The event brought together 500 young entrepreneurs from 22 European countries, representing 70 student companies. The event was an opportunity for JA-YE secondary school student companies to show off their innovative ideas, to sell their products and services in a public setting and share their entrepreneurial spirit.
Educating young people about entrepreneurship will undoubtedly produce successful leaders who will shape the future of the Europe. In order to reach the ambitious goals of 10 million jobs by 2010, set up by the European Council on March 23rd we need grassroots initiatives and decisive action to develop entrepreneurial mindsets among young people. We need more people who are willing to put ideas into practice, who dare to take risks, be innovative and to go on where others might stop: entrepreneurs!
“Young people are our greatest asset. No country can afford the waste of talent and energy which youth unemployment represents. That is the reason why sometimes the best solution is not to become job seekers. You need to become job creators!”, said Ms Doris Pack, Member of the European Parliament.
“Enterprise and entrepreneurship need to be brought out of the closet and put back on our list of educational priorities.” said Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe. “The public and private sectors must cooperate with one another to deliver the best quality entrepreneurship education possible. More must be done to open the doors of Education Ministries to the business world. Notably teachers are not made sufficiently aware of the benefits of entrepreneurship education and of how to implement such programmes successfully—even in primary school.”
“Such bottom-up organisations are an asset to the European agenda because they have tremendous grassroots support and they are major multipliers. Our problem is that entrepreneurship is on the agenda at the European level, but it is not being taken on board in all the National Action Plans. We must do everything we can to promote and encourage the growth and sustainability of initiatives like JA-YE. They are playing their part in meeting the objectives all of us share,” said Prof. Maria João Rodrigues, Senior Adviser to the European Commission for the Lisbon Strategy.
Rewarding outstanding achievements
Prizes were awarded for outstanding achievement. The panel of judges assessed each student company on innovation, originality and presentation of products and services. Company “Enjoy J.A.” from Italy was named as best company with the best business plan, market analysis and innovative product. They designed vending machines for snacks and franchised them to schools and other locations.
"Enjoy J.A. promotes an innovative and enterprising formula: through the creation of a European network it will be possible to provide everyday products through these vending machines" explains Anna Ferrari, the Managing Director (age 17). “This is fun to do. The dispenser is specially designed by us.”
Other prize winners included:
• Most Innovative Product – “Tøtta UB” from Norway sold natural Norwegian drinking water, recognized internationally for its quality. “With our natural raw material, which officially is rated Norway’s purest water, «Tøtta Clearest» will come forward as the #1 choice for modern living people!”, said Eivind Sørheim, Managing director of Tøtta UB.
• Best Sales/Marketing – “Peu Pele” from Denmark designed fashionable wallets and belts made of black turkey skin and ostrich legs characterised by high quality and beautiful designs.
• Best Stand – “Besida” from Croatia created the first ever guide for the island of VIS. The guide not only explains the history, tradition and culture of the island but also provides info about current businesses.
Diana Filip | alfa