In this section you find all the relevant guidelines concerning the Competition - the criteria, joining instructions, requirements for submitting the company report and the business presentation. All participants should read this information carefully and consult any need for additional details with their JA Member organisation.


Any Member of JA Europe sends a team. A Mini-company should not participate in the Competition more than once. 

The number of official participants per JA Mini-company is limited to min. 3 and max. 5 students. A student may NOT attend as an official participant if he/she has participated as a member of a team in any of the past Competitions. 

If additional achievers from the same mini-company attend the event, they may NOT participate in any part of the competition (during on-stage presentation, at the stand presentations, or during the interview).

Age of Participants

Achievers representing their Companies in the competition must be at least 15 years old and no more than 21 years old as of the date of the JA Europe Competition. 


The official language of the Competition is English. Teams who are not fluent in English are allowed to make use of an interpreter and/or a dictionary. The Competition is not designed to be a test of English. A good command of conversational English does not necessarily mean that team members are able to understand and convey quite complex business concepts in English. 

However, a certain minimum level of English is expected. It does not have to be perfect but shall allow for normal/basic communication including a basic command of business terminology (such as revenues, costs and margin; and ability to explain the difference between them). 

An important portion of the competition criteria relates to presentation skills, which includes making a first impression on an audience. It is difficult to expect good results if the audience needs to wait until the communication has been translated. Students who cannot speak English will also be disadvantaged at the networking events and will not be able to benefit from the opportunities this Competition provides to them. It is advised to have these facts in mind at the selection process for the Competition at the Member levels.

Stages of the Competition

The Competition takes place during 2-3 consecutive days and includes the following stages:

  • Submission of written Company Report (prior to the onsite part of the competition)
  • Panel Interview with the Judges
  • Stage Presentation – an oral presentation before an audience 
  • Interview at a Company Exhibition Stand – a trade fair exhibition settings

Each stage is assessed by the jury. A specific set of criteria has been developed to assess the companies in all stages. The criteria are published in the Criteria section of this website.

There is no winning formula. Each JA Mini-company is different and must use its judgment to decide how to best convey to the judges the information about the strength of its members’ experiences and present appropriate elements of their unique story through the competition stages. 

The Guidelines available in this section of the website provide guidance to the teams on how to prepare for and deliver their part in each stage of the Competition. They also explain to the teams what the mandatory parts of each stage are and what the rules for presenting each stage are. On the other hand, the Guidelines do not provide guidance on what facts the teams are supposed to present. It is up to the teams to choose the appropriate facts and convince the judges that they have met all judging criteria.

Full competition guidelines & stage details can be found in PDF here.

Company Report

Each mini-company is responsible for submitting the Company Reports in time to assure that the jury receive their copies and all necessary information for evaluating the company reports three weeks prior to the event. The report must be submitted in PDF format to the host Member through the participating Member office, at least four weeks prior to the Competition, unless otherwise agreed with the host Member. Detailed guidelines for all stages are available for download here

The reports of the top three companies will be published on the JA Europe website after the event. All remaining reports will be available to JA staff in the JA Europe library.

Panel Interview

Each Mini-company will have an interview with its panel of judges, lasting up to 10 minutes (or up to 15 minutes in the case of teams with interpreters). The topics may range from points of clarification arising out of previous stages to more searching questions on the wider application of the understanding achieved through running their mini-company. The interview is an opportunity to get more information about and revise the opinion judges created on the team in previous stages. The interview is also an opportunity to motivate the students by giving them positive feedback on their achievements.

Detailed guidelines for all stages are available for download here.

Stage Presentation

The teams are expected to make a professional presentation of their product/service in the context of the value they have created and their experience.

Use of videos/multimedia – the jury will carefully consider how much the multimedia support or distract the overall presentation.

Hand-outs are allowed and they should be handed, in at least five copies, to the MC or to the support team during the rehearsals. The jury group secretaries will distribute them to the judges prior to the presentations. 

The technology of the presentation (PowerePoint format is required this year) is not to affect the score the judges assign.

There will be an official time-keeper (for each parallel group of presentations if applicable) to ensure that students do not exceed the time allowed. The students will be ‘forced’ to interrupt the presentation at the end of their allocated time and leave the stage. 

Company Exhibition Stand Interview

The judges will interview the mini-companies that have been assigned to their group for up to 10 minutes per mini-companies. 

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