Generation Z ready to seed the change in Europe

10 June 2016

15 years old Spanish students founded Growink and won the 2016 European Finale of Social Enterprise 360, a social entrepreneurship education programme organised by JA Europe.
Social Enterprise 360 is a programme funded by the European Commission via Erasmus+ programme which aims to provide students practical entrepreneurial experience and opportunity to develop transversal skills around a social business project.

Brussels, 10 June 2016: Young social entrepreneurs team Growink from Spain won the 2016 edition of Social Enterprise 360 (SE360). Based on their innovative social enterprise concept, the winning team (composed by Gema Gubianas, Santi Pujol, Sara Grau, Carla Llorens and Rita Terradas) started running their own business this academic year. They developed a compostable pen, which transforms itself into fertilizer as it also includes a seed.


Growink team shared feedback on their experience: “Growink is committed to care about the environment by offering a simple product which can have a huge impact. This was a big challenge for us, but also a huge opportunity. With this experience we have learned how to work as a team, make big decisions, negotiate with enterprises, satisfy the customers’ needs, and most importantly, we have learned that even with lots of effort and sacrifice, nothing works out without passion.”

National winning teams from Romania, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Malta, and Belgium (Vlajo) were invited to compete in the European SE360 online finale. Jury members included: Simone Baldassarri, Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG GROW), Risto Raivio & Dana Verbal, experts at the European Commission (DG EMPL), Christina Jager, Director Strategy and Business Development at Grameen Creative Lab, Slavica Singer, UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship Education, at the University in Osijek (Croatia), Francesca Casalini from Bocconi University in Italy and Brandie Conforti, Global Head of Development, JA Worldwide.

The winners will be invited to showcase their mini company at the occasion of the Social Enterprise 360 European Summit, in Bucharest (Romania) on 30 June. The Summit will gather teachers, business volunteers, social entrepreneurs, educators, national and European policy-makers. It aims to highlight the results and the impact of Social Enterprise 360, share best practices, listen to student’s stories and look into the scalability and the replicability of the programme moving forward.

Simone Baladassari, jury member expressed his enthusiasm about the competition: “what impresses me is that those young people reflected the best image of entrepreneurship: creative ideas developed with passion while aiming to address societal needs. At the European Commission, our goal is precisely to allow all young people to have a chance to develop entrepreneurial skills by having at least one practical entrepreneurial experience while at school”.

Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe, concluded: “SE360 helps students leverage their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to solve the world's most pressing problems, thanks to new business models empowering the most vulnerable groups and providing long-term sustainable societal impact. This programme is not about charity business but about creating real impact at local level while contributing to job creation”.

Second place goes to Denmark (Team Rinnovo) and third places go to Italy (Team Faberja) and Malta (Team Elevate)

About SE360

The SocialEnterprise360 programme aims to engage students (aged 15-19) to work on a business idea that can solve a societal challenge. The hands-on entrepreneurial experience runs throughout one academic year in a short and full version, during which students will experience first-hand how an entrepreneur analyses opportunities, comes up with an idea and creates a business. The countries running the project are: Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Spain and Romania. Four more countries joined the project in the academic year 2015-2016 to support and prove its need in the education system: Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Serbia. The implementation period is 2 years, from September 1, 2014 to August 30, 2016, and the project involved 450 teachers and 5625 students from 300 high schools.

About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries. JA Europe 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 Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. 

For further information, please contact:
Mathilde Poncelet
+32 2 893 4436

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