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80 university students from 14 European countries compete with their business projects during two-day Enterprise Challenge

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 04 July 2014

An energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution for the maritime sector, a revolutionary service for the logistics sector, an innovative solution for the construction sector are just a few of the business ideas that were presented between 2nd to 4th July 2014 from 80 university students in front of a jury who acted as potential investors.

The students who came from 14 countries demonstrated how they can boost European innovation and growth with their start-ups while unleashing their entrepreneurial potential during the Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise (JA-YE) European Enterprise Challenge that took place in Amsterdam.

"Many lament the lack of entrepreneurial culture in Europe, but we see there are plenty of people with great ideas and initiative. Programmes in schools and universities along with mentoring is key. 54% of young entrepreneurs in a recent WEF survey said that entrepreneurship education was critical to their success. Europe needs to scale up these opportunities for young people if it wants to improve its competitiveness ,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO JA-YE Europe.

The new report by World Economic Forum (WEF) Fostering Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship in Europe also reveals that there is a tremendous appetite from the private sector to help solve the issue of creating a friendlier ecosystem - 87% of respondents from private sector across Europe said they would finance and coach young prospective entrepreneurs. Policy makers also join calls for tailoring existing curriculum to the needs of entrepreneurial careers. A study by the Stockholm School of Economics showed that 20% of past participants in entrepreneurship education programmes like this will go on to start their own businesses which is far more than the European average. Higher penetration of entrepreneurship education will result in thousands of new startups

In the last 10 years more than 100,000 students took part in the Start-Up Programme across Europe and competed at the European Enterprise Challenge.

This year team COOL4SEA from Denmark won the European Enterprise Challenge Award for their energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution for the maritime sector. COOL4SEA has patented a unique climate solution that gives the maritime sector a financial advantage.

“We all believe in the business. We learned about leadership, taking responsibility and working in a team. The immediate next step is to finish the testing of our product and deliver the first secure product to our customers. It was an amazing opportunity to contact leading companies in our industry and we highly appreciate the mentoring we have received. We also owe big part of our success to our teacher who showed us how to develop an innovative idea and market it,” said Hans Nikolai Lundsgaard, Responsible for Patent and Sales

The jury was very enthusiastic about the entrepreneurial spirit the students showed. “The presentation was authentic and the team stepped out of their comfort zone. Their solution demonstrated high impact for end users in environmental and costs savings. It was a well-researched solution with a clear addressable market and a sustainable business model supported by industry interlock,” explained Jacqueline Zuidweg, entrepreneur, chairwoman of the Jury.


Notes to editors

Jury members:

· David Caro, President, ESBA (European Small Business Alliances),

· Yin Mon Myint (Yupar), Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning | University of Cambridge Judge Business School, Ignite Programme,

· Maria van der Sluijs - Plantz, Board Member TMF Group,

· Bas Kortenhoff, Head of Issuer Services, Euroclear,

· Piotr Pluta, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs – Europe, CISCO,

· Jacqueline Zuidweg, Director, Zuidweg & Partners

· David Dechamps, MasterCard, Country Manager Benelux

To learn more on the EEC, visit the EEC website or go to www.jongondernemen.nl.

JA-YE Europe Enterprise Challenge Awards:

Winner: COOL4SEA (Denmark)

1st runner up: BoxyCare (Denmark)

2nd runner up: Contra (Norway)

European Signature Awards

Hyundai Brilliant Entrepreneurs Award: recognizes the best start-up enterprise that has demonstrated business potential, innovation in their sector and a clear plan for becoming a real business.

Winner: COOL4SEA (Denmark)

Intel Innovation Award: is given to the JA-YE student company which best proves how effectively their innovation addresses its stated objectives, which may be to improve efficiency, increase marketability, effect cost savings, achieve environmental goals or improve market position.

Winner: FlipShip (Spain)

Local Signature Awards

NN Care and Impact Award: recognizes the start-up enterprise which best embraces the values “care and impact” in their business strategy while remaining a realistic plan in today’s marketplace.

Winner: Easybloc (Netherlands)

BCD Best International Entrepreneur Award: GoHisto (Lithuania)

Special Award

Alumni Leadership Award was given by the European Alumni Organization to 10 exceptional students competing at the Enterprise Challenge competition.

About JA-YE Europe

JA-YE Europe is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.1 million students in 39 countries in 2013. Funded by businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals, JA-YE brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with experiences that promote the skills, understanding and perspective that they will need to succeed in a global economy. The JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JA-YE Europe is the European Regional Operating Center for JA Worldwide®.

About Jong Ondernemen

Jong Ondernemen inspires and challenges young people to build an entrepreneurial future. Young people can set up their own busing during their education via the programmes of Jong Ondernemen. Jong Ondernemen says that you can not (only) learn entrepreneurship in theory, but you should DO it. Especially that Jong Ondernemen develops its emphasis on 'learning by doing' programmes. The organization seeks a substantial contribution from a better economic future of the Netherlands. The future depends entirely on the degree of entrepreneurship of young people now.

Jong Ondernemen provides entrepreneurship programmes at all educational levels. Through continuous learning and close involvement from the business development annually almost 26,000 pupils and students from primary school to university entrepreneurial skills. This school doing nearly 500 rural primary schools with dozens HAVO VWO schools and more than 1,300 secondary vocational (MBO) and degree (HBO) / science education (WO) Student Companies.

For more information please contact us

Marie Hargitt
JA Europe Communications
Tel: +32 2 893 44 36

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