The Isle of Man was among 31 nations represented at the JA-YE Europe Company of the Year 2012 competition in Romania.
Held in Bucharest over three days at the end of July the competition saw Junior Achievement Isle of Man Company of the Year winners Rejuven8 from Ballakermeen High School compete alongside the best student companies from across Europe.
Rejuven8 - Katie Banks, Tegan Dixon, Noura Gomaa, Joe Hillard, Sophie Kermode and Chloë Shimmin - won the PDMS-sponsored Company of the Year competition in March this year with their themed sweet and party bags, slogan: ‘The answer to handy candy’.
The team joined other finalists to be judged on a range of skills from communication to teamwork, management to product development. Winners of the Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe Company of the Year was Sign4Life, a team from Ireland, who devised a sign language app.
Junior Achievement chief executive Sue Cook was part of the JA group that accompanied the students to Romania. She said: ‘Our team may not have brought home the trophy, but they performed outstandingly well and are still very much winners. Their trade stand attracted a great deal of interest from the judges who returned to it on a number of occasions which was enormously encouraging.
‘Meeting with students from across Europe and facing intense scrutiny over three days from such a high-level panel of judges makes for an invaluable experience for these young would-be entrepreneurs. In an uncertain economic climate the grounding in entrepreneurial and business skills provided by the JA company programme goes a long way towards giving young people a head start in the race for jobs. This is against a background of the business start-up rate in Europe overall standing at six per cent, whereas for former participants in JA-YE student companies that figure rises to around 21 to 29 per cent.
‘Simply put Junior Achievement has the power to motivate and inspire young people to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and, in the long term, make a positive impact on the economies of Europe.’
Photo caption - Rejuven8 team members Joe Hillard, Tegan Dixon, Sophie Kermode, Katie Banks, Chloë Shimmin and Noura Gomaa, all from Ballakermeen High School, at their trade stand in Bucharest.