Brussels – Junior Achievement today (July 18) announced the winner of the second annual Social Innovation Relay, a global challenge developed by Junior Achievement and HP for secondary school students to create and develop new business concepts intended to have a positive social or environmental impact.
Emulsified Environmentalists, a team of students from South Africa, won the competition with a concept for a solar-powered lamp that will bring electricity to poor people, while also eliminating the environmental and health damage caused by traditional kerosene lamps. Working with an HP mentor, the team developed their concept in response to the problems of electricity shortages and growing respiratory problems in South Africa. Teams from China and Slovakia were runners-up.
With over 20,000 students from 13 countries participating, the Social Innovation Relay is the largest global educational initiative to be run with a blend of virtual and face-to-face mentoring, providing young people with hands-on skills and entrepreneurial expertise to compete in the 21st century workforce. 1,564 teams around the world registered for this year’s relay. The top 20 teams in each country were paired with HP, who connected with the finalists to help them bring their concepts to life. 13 teams competed in the final round of the competition.
“The Social Innovation Relay is designed to equip secondary school students with the entrepreneurial and ICT skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. This year’s exceptional entries prove that with the right education and resources, today’s youth has the power to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.” Caroline Jenner, CEO Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE Europe)
Globally, the gap between those who have access to technology and those who don’t is widening, putting digital “have-nots” at a disadvantage in the modern job market. The Social Innovation Relay seeks to close this gap by bringing innovative technology and hands-on educational programmes to schools, equipping students with technological and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in school and beyond.
The Social Innovation Relay was first launched in 2010, and over the past two years more than 30,000 students and 300 HP mentors have participated, submitting nearly 1,000 socially innovative concepts.
“The quality of innovative, socially orientated business ideas and increasing numbers reflects a successful collaboration with Junior Achievement. The Social Innovation Relay is part of HP’s commitment in applying our expertise and technology to help students everywhere gain vital IT and business skills, leading to a future with many more bright entrepreneurs.” Jeannette Weisschuh, director, Global Education Programs, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP
Junior Achievement and HP have worked together for 20 years on youth-focused programs, enabling thousands of students to receive real-world skills and hands-on training that focus on entrepreneurship and ICT.
HP plays an active role in these programs and goes beyond traditional corporate sponsorship by not only donating funds and equipment, but also tapping into its vast technology expertise and mobilizing members of its more than 300,000-employee workforce to participate via mentoring and volunteering.
About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization 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 which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 124 individual area operations reach 4 million students in the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 119 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.jaworldwide.org
Photo from Junior Achievement Young Enterprise.
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