Europe (English)


Bucharest, July 22 — FedEx Express and Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe have named the “Vitamin Boom” from the UK as winner of the prestigious FedEx Access Award. The FedEx Access Award recognizes the JA-YE student company which best demonstrates a strong understanding and application of global access, leveraging international trade to create jobs, grow small businesses, expand global development and improve the environment. “Vitamin Boom” earned this prestigious distinction for its packaged ‘Super-Froo Tea’, a tea drink containing the African ‘super fruit’ baobab. Manufacturing was completed by a local business, Bensons Apple Juice.

The winners were announced at an award ceremony that marked the end of the three-day-long JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition 2012, hosted by JA-YE Romania in Bucharest, where the best from 34 nations compete for several different awards. The winning team for the FedEx Access Award demonstrates astute business acumen, an international orientation, strong presentation skills and all round professionalism. The teamsurpassed the judges’ expectations with an early understanding of the positive impacts of global trade and the dynamic role SMEs and youth entrepreneurship can play in it by offering innovative solutions and services suited for the global marketplace.

“Winning the award means a lot to us, because its specifically for global development and helping small business, which have been 2 key facts for our company ethics, and its relevant to our company. The award stands for the same value as us, and our company, and it’s probably the best award that we could have won,” said Cicely Elliott-Berry, managing director of The Vitamin Boom.

“Undoubtedly, the innovation demonstrated by Europe’s young entrepreneurs at this year’s JA-YE event is of world class caliber. Our region’s young business leaders understand that global trade offers unparalleled opportunities for growth and expansion and that small and medium enterprises are crucial players in the continued dynamism and vitality of the global marketplace and European economy” said Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, Managing Director, Communications, Brand and Digital Access Marketing.

The small business sector is a key focus market for FedEx. The business start-up rate in the overall population of Europe is 6%. For former participants in JA-YE student companies who are now over the age of 29, the percentage of the population starting their own businesses jumps to 26%. 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.

The demand for a more entrepreneurial workforce in government and in the private sector, for more job creation, for new businesses, for social enterprises is too great. The skills gap is too ominous. We have to look at ways to ensure more young people have access to entrepreneurship education while they are still in school. The key to generating the outcomes we want is to start young, maintain this close human collaboration between business people and educators, but also to scale it up and sustain it year after year,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe.

The JA-YE Company Programme itself provides students aged between 15 and 21 with in-depth experience of hosting a range of entrepreneurial functions from project conceptualisation right through to design and production. Students were also given the opportunity of creating a management team, negotiating wholesale and retail prices, calculating break-even points, preparing budgets, paying wages, conducting market research, creating advertising and selling products. At the end of the programme, students liquidated their company, prepared a profit and loss statement and balance sheet and reported on their key lessons learned to a panel of their shareholders.