Enterprising students help close the transportation gap with ‘Schoolgo’Brussels, Belgium, 30 June 2015
Spanish students win first place at the 2015 European Final of the Global Enterprise Project (GEP). Seeking to close the skills gap between business and education, business volunteers from a variety of global companies work together to equip young people with entrepreneurial competences and foster a greater world-view.
Competing against students from 13 countries, this year’s winning team ‘Dink’ won based on their ‘Schoolgo’ application, which helps facilitate transportation to and from school or recreational sports. Their application’s aim would be to save time and money for families, reduce city traffic and environmental impact, as well as increase the overall safety of students. This would be achieved via the application’s different modes: Car-sharing and secondary students accompanying young children to their activities.
The students shared: “GEP has given us the opportunity to not only work with students from other countries – introducing us to different mentalities and cultures – but it has also taught us how to adapt our product for different markets, giving us a global perspective. This programme has been a very enriching experience, giving us the tools and confidence to follow for our dreams!”
The 2015 GEP European Final took place online and included the following jury members: Thomas Leubner (Chief Learning Officer, Siemens AG), Reza Solhi (Corporate Social Responsibility, EMEA, SAP), Maria Isabel Fernandez Alba (Director of International Organisations and European Affairs, Repsol), Elisabeth Eude (Director of Alcatel-Lucent Foundation), Rudi Broos (Innovation Director, Bell Labs Belgium, Alcatel-Lucent), , Steven Stoffer (Group Vice President, Smurfit Kappa Group) and Erik Van Den Bos (HR Director Paper Division, Smurfit Kappa Group), and Julio Calvo Bodan (Divisional HR Coordinator, Paper Division Europe, Smurfit Kappa Group).
“At SAP we value the Global Enterprise Project (GEP) as a powerful tool to equip talented, aspirational young people with the digital skills and entrepreneurial mindset they need to build a positive future. Through support of such programs and the engagement of our SAP volunteers, we aim to embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe’s DNA.” – Karolina Telejko, EU Government Relations Manager, Global Corporate Affairs at SAP
During the 2014/15 school-year over 4,000 students from 13 countries participated in the GEP programme with the mentorship and support of over 140 business volunteers. However, since its inception in 2011, GEP has engaged more than 20,000 secondary students and over 800 business volunteers.
A unique project under the JA Company Programme umbrella, students are able to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set, learn the workings of large companies and public institutions, as well as manage their career paths and lives.
“GEP builds a bridge between school and industry and helps to promote greater understanding and awareness among young students about the needs and expectations of the global economy.” – Ruth Schless, Human Resources, People and Leadership, Siemens AG
The project, led by JA Europe and the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), is additionally supported by eight major European industries: Siemens, SAP, STMicroelectronics, Alcatel-Lucent, Repsol, SmurfitKappa, SONAE and Total. By bringing the education and business communities together, GEP works to equip young people with the skills required for success in the fast-changing global economy of today.
“Young people will be entering an economy that is not just fast-changing but global. It's important that they understand the opportunities that brings and the skills it requires. In GEP we encourage them to think big!”- Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe
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’.
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