36 student-teams competed as part of JA Europe’s flagship JA Company Programme, which gives them an opportunity to set up and run a real business.
In particular, the Alumni Leadership Award supported by AXA recognised 10 standout individuals for their remarkable leadership skills, role model behaviour, team solidarity and enthusiasm.
The award was judged by Claudia Bienentreu, Head of Open Innovation at AXA and Svea Meier, Startup and Open Innovation Developer at AXA, Daniil Golubev, Communication Manager JA Alumni Europe and Matej Kaposvary, President of JA Alumni Czech.
It was a great pleasure for us to meet all these young entrepreneurs, talk to them and listen to their future plans. I always get fascinated by the ambitions and exceptional mind-set of the students participating at the Company of the Year Competition, and it's always extremely difficult to choose just 10 of them to give out our special Alumni Leadership Award.
This competition is a team effort, but together with AXA we want to celebrate all the individuality and leadership that makes it all happen. Young people sometimes underestimate that having an entrepreneurial attitude can represent one of their best assets, not only when entering the workforce but in everyday life, too. AXA is fully committed to equipping young people with the practical training and skills they need to be prepared for today's economic challenges.
Congratulations to the winners of the Alumni Leadership Award 2016:
- Alexander Gram Jensen from Denmark
- Ulrika Heikkinen from Sweden
- Iveta Liovinaite from the UK
- Katerina Sugarkova from Czech Republic
- Michal Pandy from Slovakia
- Alina Anete Birnika from Latvia
- Maria Kokala from Greece
- Helmi Nurkkala from Finland
- Leonora Skopren from Norway
- Tudor Popa from Romania
Speaking about the award, Svea Meier said: “JA Europe is truly making a great change for the lives of young people. They’ve brought together all the potential Europe has to offer and it’s such an honour to interview these inspiring and authentic young entrepreneurs.
We are happy to support them and hope to give the 10 most promising talents an extra boost with the Alumni Leadership Award powered by AXA. We truly hope this is not the end of our journey with them.”