FedEx Express and Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe have named RikuCo, a retro video game trading company from Finland, as winner of the prestigious FedEx Access Award. The accolade is given to the JA-YE student company which best demonstrates astute business acumen, an international orientation, strong presentation skills and all round professionalism. Meanwhile, TogetherElinikaProjects, an innovative tourist information portal from Slovakia, scooped the FedEx Joint Venture Award for the company’s high potential for global impact, strong business case and impressive mastery of collaboration and communication.

RikuCo surpassed the judge’s expectations with a strong understanding of the positive impacts of global trade. Also grasping the dynamic role of SMEs and the part youth entrepreneurship can play, RikuCo offers innovative solutions and services suited to the global marketplace.

“The secrets behind my company’s success are active construction of networks and contacts and collaboration,” said Riku Korhonen, founder and CEO of RikuCo. “Our customer base consists of European collectors of retro games, video game enthusiasts, and people wishing to revisit the good old days with memorable games.”

“We are delighted to see that once again, the spirit of innovation and business acumen shown by Europe’s young entrepreneurs at this year’s JA-YE event is first-rate. Tomorrow’s business leaders understand that global trade offers great opportunities for growth and expansion,” said Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, Managing Director, Communications, Brand and Digital Access Marketing, FedEx Express Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.

The awards were handed out at the Company of the Year Competition, run in parallel with the Global Leaders Forum (GLF), a Junior Achievement Worldwide initiative focusing on ‘The Crisis of Global Youth Unemployment’. Taking place against the backdrop of record unemployment levels across the region, the GLF brought together leaders from both the public and private sector and civil society for substantive discussion. The unemployment rate for youths (15-24 year olds) in the European Union stood at 23.5% in February 2013 and in the UK the unemployment figure for 16-24 year-olds for February to April 2013 was close to one million*.

“The solution lies in building partnerships with the business world. At Junior Achievement we are dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in the global economy and together with businesses we have an opportunity to reconnecting company success with social progress,” said Sean C. Rush, CEO JA Worldwide.

For more than 17 years, FedEx has been supporting the JA-YE Awards. This year’s winners were announced at an award ceremony that marked the end of the three-day-long JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition 2013, hosted by JA-YE in the UK in London where the best from more than 35 nations compete for several different awards.

The small business sector is a key focus market for FedEx. The business start-up rate in the regular population in Europe is 6%. In the UK for example, SMEs make up more than 99.9% of all private sector businesses across the UK, generating a combined turnover of £1,500 billion**, and represent one of the most powerful sources of industrial growth, entrepreneurial skills, innovation and employment in the country.

For former participants in JA-YE student companies the percentage of the population starting their own businesses jumps to 26% over the age of 29. In the last five years alone, more than one million students have taken part in the Company Programme and with these increased start-up rates they will go on to have a significant positive impact on the economy of Europe.

Notes to Editors

FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $44 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit newsroom.fedex.com/newsroom.

JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)

JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organisation dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, more than 10 million students are served by JA Worldwide operations in 120 countries. For more information, visit www.jaworldwide.org

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* Source: www.parliament.uk

** source: Federation of Small Businesses 2012