The competition criteria require the students to demonstrate or explain their achievements in learning and their individual and group development as acquired while running a mini-company.

  • Innovation, Value Creation and Entrepreneurship 
  • Product/Service Development and Customer Focus 
  • Financial Performance 
  • Objective Setting, Planning/Review, and Company Administration
  • Ability to Demonstrate Achievements in Learning

In the criteria, judges will be looking for innovative approaches to meeting the challenges of running a company as well as for understanding of the value that the product/service brings to the market.  They will also assess the impact of the ‘learning by doing’ experience. In scoring each criterion, judges will assess how well the mini-company performed against it and to what extent mini-company members have shown that they understand their performance and the business principles involved.

It is not expected that all criteria will be covered at every stage. Companies should consider how best to communicate their performance in each of the criteria across the different judging stages. For example, the members of one mini-company might give prominence to the mini-company’s financial performance during their stage presentation to strengthen their response to that criterion. The members of another mini-company may choose to emphasise the research and development of their product range as a key element of their stage presentation.

Full criteria details can be found in PDF here.

The Competition

The dual-purpose of the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition is to: 

  1. Demonstrate learning outcomes and impact of the Company Programme on the students and award those who have excelled in doing so.
  2. Create visibility for the JA Network, recognizing the contributions of donors and volunteers as well as raising awareness towards potential supporters.

The competition is JA Europe’s annual celebration of the achievements of its students and their Mini-Companies across Europe. It is also one of the key moments during the year when we can give important visibility to donors and partners and showcase JA to potential supporters. 

The JA Europe Company of the Year Competition is not simply a business competition for young people. We attempt to balance the business achievements of each team as a whole with their members’ individual personal development. Therefore, for a team to win this award, it is not sufficient just to run a financially successful Mini-company or to have created an exciting product or service. Mini-company members must also demonstrate that they understand how and why the Mini-company performed as it did and understand the differences and similarities between their mini-companies and the real companies on their markets. 

The Judges will assess how the Companies succeeded in demonstrating the outcomes of the Company Programme. They will look for evidence that the mini-companies experienced the whole life cycle of a mini-company during the Programme year and learned from each phase of it as opposed to completing a business planning exercise only or achieving only a research and development stage of their project.

Judges will also look for evidence of innovation and the successful exploitation of new ideas in all aspects of running a Company. They will look for understanding that continuous improvement through innovation is essential to the success of a business. 

How the companies will be judged

The teams are evaluated based on how they have performed against the competition criteria. In the evaluation process, the judges assess, by assigning scores, to what extent the evaluated mini-company meets the competition criteria. 

The evaluation of the companies is undertaken in stages against each of the criteria listed in the Annex B: Competition Criteria of this manual. The four stages are: 

  • Company Report 
  • Panel Interview 
  • On-stage Presentation
  • Trade-stand Interview

At each stage of the competition, the judges make an assessment of the mini-company’s performance against the criteria as revealed at that stage and score the mini-company performance. The scores will be amended (could be up or down) at each stage as the judges learn more about the mini-company. 

Each criterion is given equal weighting. 

It is not expected that all criteria will be covered at every stage. Companies should consider how best to communicate their performance in each of the criteria across the different judging stages. 

Full guidance on the stages and criteria is presented in the Guidelines of this website. At each of these stages the judges assess all aspects of the Company performance against the Competition criteria. 

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