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36 young people become leaders for one day

Brussels, Belgium, 15 October 2015

36 young leaders from 14 European countries, recipients of the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass got the chance to step in the shoes of business and policy leaders for one day. Leaders-for-a-Day provides young Europeans, who have completed entrepreneurship education programmes and obtained the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass certification, with the opportunity to learn from a top leader by shadowing him/her during an entire working day.

As part of this certification process, selected candidates who already took part in the JA Company Programme at school and passed the examination of their business, economic and financial knowledge are offered the possibility of further opportunities to discover small and large businesses, top higher institutions and international organisations across Europe.

Organised by JA Europe in cooperation with the British Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Accenture and Microsoft, this experience aims to inspire young people to be entrepreneurial and encourage mentoring between young people and experienced professionals. It additionally helps them expand their network and better position themselves to enter the labour market. “At Microsoft, we have long been devoted to be a key partner to the numerous stakeholders, including policy-makers, NGOs and education bodies in facilitating the transition from education to the working world,” said Trudi Norris-Grey, Managing Director at Microsoft. “Together, we can ensure that students leaving school in Europe have the skills they need but thinking ahead, we should also commit to offer them further opportunities to gain skills and knowledge,” she added.

In the presence of representatives from the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, JA Europe Board Members and business partners, the young people and their leaders gathered in Brussels at the end of their working day to share their experience and exchange views during a cocktail celebration hosted by White&Case. 

“It was great having Tilde in the office today. Accenture is involved in Leaders-for-a-Day because we understand the importance of mutual learning – not only does it provide young people with great work experience, it also helps us as employers learn from and stay relevant to people we want to work with in the future. Such initiatives, and collaboration between business and schools more generally, should be encouraged across our education systems,” concluded Jo Deblaere, COO of Accenture.

Further to the European launch event, Leaders-for-a-Day events were hosted by national Junior Achievement organisations in The Netherlands, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Finland, Czech Republic and Latvia. 

All companies and organisations participating in the event in Brussels are Accenture, AmCham EU, AXA, AT&T, BMW, British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, Cambre Associates, EUK Consulting, EurActiv, Euroclear, EuroCommerce, European Banking Federation, European Commission, European Parliament, FleishmanHillard, Food Drink Europe, Hill+Knowlton, HP, HSBC, Le Soir, Manpower, Microsoft, New Europe, Nestle, NYSE Euronext, Porter Novelli, Telefonica, The Fry Group, UCB, Vialegis. 

Find the full list of leaders and their JA alumni shadows here.

Discover our #jaL4D Storify. 


About JA Europe

JA Europe (www.jaeurope.org) is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries in 2014. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA’s activities have been endorsed as best practice by the European Commission. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) is an international qualification that certifies that students (15-19 years old), who have had a real entrepreneurship experience, hold the necessary knowledge, competences and skills to start a venture of their own or be successfully employed. ESP includes a full-year in-school JA Company Programme experience; an examination of business, economic and financial knowledge; the possibility to access further opportunities offered by small and large businesses, top higher institutions and international organisation across Europe.


Media contact:
Mathilde Poncelet
Policy & Communications Officer, JA Europe
+32 2 735 9720


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