Estonia hosts JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition

PDMS's Chris will be sitting on the Junior Achievement Jury as one of ten senior business people to judge the JA-YE European Student Company of the Year in Estonia later this month.  Chris was nominated to the Jury by Junior Achievement Isle of Man (JA IOM), after his contributions as Chairman to JA IOM last year.  The jury reflects the geographical and cultural diversity of JA-YE Europe and aims to provide valuable feedback to teams as well as ideas to improve the competition.

JA-YE Europe is Europe's largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes for young people, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 different countries last year alone.  Funded by businesses, foundations, institutions and individuals, bringing together public and private sectors to help inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Every year student companies compete against other national teams to earn a place in the European championship.  They are then judged by the jury on their annual reports, marketing and sales strategy, objective setting, financial systems, personnel management, company presentation, product or service development and customer focus. There will be 200 students (just under 40 teams) in this years' championship.

Commenting on the forthcoming competition Chris said, "Junior Achievement is an absolutely fantastic initiative. It encourages students to think outside the box and make things happen - there are no textbook answers in this competition - just like in real life.  Overcoming obstacles, learning fast and taking risks are paramount to success and the possibilities for those students taking part is enormous". 

Joining Chris from the Isle of Man will be the Ballakermeen High School team 'Simple Minds'.  Chris would like to wish good luck to everyone taking part in the championships.  

Q & A with Chris

We couldn't resist finding out more about the championships and so our marketing team caught up with Chris to ask him some questions.

What qualities are you looking for in the winning company?

The main qualities I would like to see from this year's students is the strong element of team work. This competition isn't about individual based success and the most important part of this process is the journey - what the students have taken away from the experience and how they have developed their business skills throughout the process.

Will you be looking for a technological element in the teams?

It will be interesting to see how the students use technology in their businesses, including novel applications of technology and their interaction with it. I would expect companies to be using technology in one way or another, but it won't determine the winner.

Do you have any advice to give to the students?

Yes - inspire, amuse, surprise and interest! But mostly, having gotten even this far in the competition, all students should be extremely proud of their achievements. Take away as much as you can from the experience - learn from one another, connect with people from different countries and cultures and continue to grow.

Estonia hosts JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition quote image
Junior Achievement is an absolutely fantastic initiative. It encourages students to think outside the box and make things happen - there are no textbook answers in this competition - just like in real life. Overcoming obstacles, learning fast and taking risks are paramount to success and the possibilities for those students taking part is enormous Chris Gledhill Managing Director, PDMS