The Junior Achievement Europe Company of the Year Competition showcases some of the youngest and brightest minds of Europe. After winning the top title in their respective countries, teams of young entrepreneurs ages 15- 20, joined to compete in a culminating event attended by political, business, and society leaders such as King Philippe of Belgium himself. Young entrepreneurs have a wide range of products each year, however this year many of the entrepreneurial ventures mainly revolved around eco friendly products and tech.
The Estonian company “Festera,” won the Company of the Year Competition with their invention of bio boxes, a variation of a compost bin, that allows for the creation of a compost based fertiliser. The bio boxes come in a kit along with two organic substances used for compost production. The young entrepreneurial team consisted of members ages 18-19 who proudly report that their products created a 8% decrease in the ecological footprint of their clients.
Israel placed second runner up with their company “PICNIC” which creates dynamic outdoor picnic blankets that can also be used as trash bags. Sold for 5 euro each, the blankets are designed with interactive board games for family activities and are made from recyclable material.
Other environmentally friendly products that go without notice include Bulgaria’s E Food Scanner, which aims to promote mindful eating by telling you about harmful ingredients in your food before or after purchase. The app scans a food label and then immediately tells you if there are chemical additives in the product. “The main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle,” says Alexander Chaushev, Bulgarian team member.
Cyprus’ Grow Green company took home the FedEx Access Award for their flower pots made by coffee grounds, known as green boxes. After melting coffee grounds, the flower pots are placed in an oven and moulded into four different sizes for customers to choose from. The purpose of the flower pots is to replace plastic flower pots by reusing food waste.
Team Meira of Iceland took home the Citi Client focus award with their financial app that sends users financial goals based on things they wish to buy. Taking into account money and time frame, Meira aims to help you cultivate discipline in order to accumulate savings. The Meira app is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, which helps target college students and families as well.
JA Europe is “Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.” Working with over 30,000 schools, the organisation helps young people turn ideas into action.