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The best JA companies in Finland are selected in the Uskalla Yrittää final. The grand prizes are JA Company of the Year, awarded to the best primary or secondary school company which will then go on to compete in the European Championships, and JA Enterprise of the Year, awarded to the best higher education company which will then represent Finland in the European Championships. The Finnish champions are selected by a jury composed of business professionals who will become familiar with the companies over the course of two days.

In addition to the grand prizes, the sponsors of the event will give out their signature awards to companies. The juries of the signature competitions are appointed by the companies themselves and work separately from the main jury of the competition.

BEST JA COMPANY IN FINLAND

ELEMENTRY SCHOOL & SECONDARY SCHOOL | JA COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2021

The grand prize for primary and secondary school  JA companies in the Uskalla Yrittää final is an invitation to the European Company of the Year competition in July 2021 and a financial award of EUR 1 000.

  1. Pitch deck (in Finnish, in Swedish or in English) / GUIDELINES HERE
  2. Trade Fair activities (the jury visits the virtual fair stands of the companies to interview them and assess their activities)
  3. Jury interview with 15 finalists (in Finnish, Swedish or English)

Pitch deck

The jury assesses the following factors:

  • Is the pitch deck clear and briefly summarizes the key information?
  • Does it describe the essential, relevant information about the company and its activities?
    • What is the main target group of the company and why?
    • Who are the competitors of the company?
    • What are the main marketing channels of the company and how have they been decided? Have they been effective?
  • What does the JA company offer its customers?
  • What are the competitive advantages of the company over its competitors?
  • How has the product/service been priced and how has the price been determined? Is the price competitive?
  • Has the JA company clearly described its financial situation in the report?
    • Have the key figures of business operations been presented?
    • Have the key figures been explained in more detail and analyzed?
    • Are the financials provided correctly or are there mistakes?
  • Have the company structures been described?
    • Do members have clearly assigned roles?
    • Is the report structured in a sensible manner?
  • Does the report show that the company understands its operations, its productivity and its potential to succeed as a real company?

Trade Fair activities

During the Trade Fair, the jury monitors the following:

  • How well do the members of the JA company work in cooperation?
  • How well does the JA company succeed in presenting its products and the company at the virtual Trade Fair?

Jury interview

The jury assesses the following factors during the interview:

  • How do the entrepreneurs describe their personal experiences of the JA year? What have they learned (as individuals and as a group) and how can they use these lessons in the future?
  • Has the company had goals during the year? What challenges have there been during the year and how have they been overcome? Have the roles between the company members been clear during the year?
  • Can the company state what added value it produces for its customers? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the company? Can the company describe its financial key figures (margin and how it is formed, turnover)? Who are the customers of the company and how are they reached? What should the company do differently to succeed as a real company?
  • What is the attitude of the entrepreneurs like? What future plans do the entrepreneurs have? Do they intend to continue as entrepreneurs after the JA year? Does the company have a clear view of the development prospects of the operations?

 

In the final, the jury assesses the JA company’s operations and learning.

Assessment of activities

Innovation, value production, marketing

  • Is the product/service of the JA company innovative?
  • Could the business idea of the JA company also succeed outside Finland?
  • Is the marketing of the JA company organized in a sensible manner?
  • Has the JA company studied the market or asked for feedback from customers? Has the product/service been developed on the basis of the feedback?
  • Which marketing channels does the JA company use? Why are these channels used? Have customers been reached through these channels?
  • If the JA company practices retail, in what ways does it produce added value to its customer?
  • Can the students state why their product/service is needed? What customer problem does it solve?

Product/service, development, customer-orientation

  • Where did the idea originally come from and how has it been transformed into a business?
  • Who is the customer of the JA company’s product/service?
  • Has the product/service been designed from the perspective of its potential customer? What added value does it bring to the customer?

Goal-orientation, systematic approach and administration

  • Does the JA company have a clear plan of action?
  • Has the JA company set itself goals and have they been actively monitored during the school year?
  • How has the JA company been set up? Do all the members have a clear role?
  • In what ways did the JA company monitor its activities? Did it use some kind of system?

Financial success

  • What are the most important financial key figures of the JA company? What margin does the product/service have?
  • Do all the members of the JA company understand company finances?
  • Does the JA company know the financial factors that affect price and costs?

The turnover and profit of the company in the school year must be taken into consideration, because it shows the potential of the company and is proof of the work that has been done. However, the amount of profit as such is not that important, because ideas are different and their earnings potential during a school year may also depend on the place of residence.

Assessment of learning

Teamwork

  • Have the members of the JA company understood the importance of teamwork and how an individual can contribute to team activities?
  • Have all the members been actively involved in the activities of the JA company?
  • Does the JA company as a whole take pride in its work and achievements?
  • Has the JA company worked in cooperation and formed networks also with others? Such as entrepreneurs in its region.

Reflection and assessment of individual learning

  • Can the JA entrepreneurs describe what they have learned during the JA year?
  • Have the JA entrepreneurs learned from each other and supported each other during the year?
  • Has the JA company faced challenges during the school year? How were they overcome?
  • Has the JA company made mistakes? What was learned from them and did they affect business activities?
  • Has the JA company improved its activities during the year?

Performance and interaction

  • Is the performance of the JA company convincing?
  • Do the JA entrepreneurs demonstrate an entrepreneurial attitude?
  • Is the interaction of the JA company clear?

Elementary and secondary school category

For the Finnish competition in the elementary and secondary school category the age limit comes directly from the European championships’ age limits. JA Europe’s official rule is:

Achievers representing their Companies in the competition must be at least 15 years old and no more than 21 years old on the 31st of July of the year of participation. Younger or older students will be automatically asked to withdraw from the competition.

For this reason secondary school JA companies which want to compete for the title of Finland’s best JA company and go forward to the European competition must not have participants who are over 21.

**

In the European final of the secondary school category, the lower age limit is 15 and the upper age limit is 21. If a JA company has a member who is above or below the age limits, this limits the possibility of going forward to the European competition.

If the JA company wishes to go forward to the European competition final, such a person may not participate in the company’s operations in the final at any level. He or she may be a guest at an open event, such as fairs and company presentations. He or she may not, however, present himself or herself as a representative of the JA company.

The JA company may participate in the final with all its members, regardless of age, but in such a case the JA company may not represent Finland in the European championships. The JA company is involved in all other categories, however.

HIGHER EDUCATION | JA ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR 2021

The grand prize for higher education JA companies in the Uskalla Yrittää final is an invitation to the Enterprise of the Year competition in July 2021 and a financial award of EUR 1 000.

  1. Pitch decksubmitted as a pre-assignment (in Finnish, Swedish or English) / GUIDELINES HERE
  2. Trade Fair activities (the jury visits the virtual fair stands of the companies to interview them and assess their activities)
  3. Jury interview (in Finnish, Swedish or English)

The stages are weighed as follows:

  • Pitch deck 40%
  • Jury interview 40%
  • Fair activities 20%
  • Throughout the judging process, the judges think of themselves as potential investors or partners in the company and the team that participates in the final.
  • Judges evaluate the learning or the whole team during the NY Start Up –program and the change this experience has had to every member of the team.
  • In company point of view the main aspect judges look at is the Value (Financial, cultural or social) each start-up is creating and its potential to grow and the team behind the idea. Is the idea viable, has the team learned during the year and has the team showed a commitment to deliver their promises?
  • The company who has met the formal criteria and received the best scores from highest number of judges will win the final.

You can download the official jury criteria (in English) here.

For the Finnish competition in the higher education category, the age limit comes directly from the European championships’ age limits. JA Europe’s official rule is:

Achievers representing their Companies in the competition must be at least 18 years old and maximum 30 years old on the date of the competition. Younger or older students may not participate in any part of the competition.

For this reason higher education JA companies which want to compete for the title of Finland’s best JA company and go forward to the European competition must not have participants who are over 30.

**

In the European competition final, the upper age limit is 30 years. If a JA company has a member who is above the age limits, this limits the possibility of going forward to the European competition.

If the JA company wishes to go forward to the European competition final, such a person may not participate in the company’s operations in the final at any level. He or she may be a guest at an open event, such as fairs and company presentations. He or she may not, however, present himself or herself as a representative of the JA company.

The JA company may participate in the final with all its members, regardless of age, but in such a case the JA company may not represent Finland in the European championships. The JA company is involved in all other categories, however.

OTHER AWARDS

BEST SALES PITCH

When the final fair is being held, each participating JA company will get 30 seconds to deliver a sales pitch on stage in Kamppi, with the best receiving a prize.

The Best Sales Pitch competition is open to all JA companies regardless of category. Companies do not register separately for the competition; rather, all companies are part of the competition. The sales speech may be delivered by one or more speakers; however, please note that there is a strict 30 second time limit. The competition is held jointly for all categories.

The Best Sales Pitch competition has a dedicated jury of 2–4 persons who will listen to all the sales speeches and choose the best one. Beforehand, the jury will read the JA companies’ presentations on their websites. In this competition, only your sales speech, your pitch, counts!

The best sales pitch is a concise, clearly structured presentation that sparks the listener’s interest. The jury will assess the sales pitches using the following criteria:

  • Memorable start and finish
  • Clear, carefully considered content
    • What problem does the company solve?
    • Who are the company’s customers?
    • How much does the product/service cost?
    • What makes the company unique?

The competition has a financial award of 300 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

In the Most Liked Social Media competition, JA companies collect likes and similar signs of liking for their team picture. The competition is an opportunity to spread the word about your own team’s participation in the Uskalla Yrittää final. The winning company will be the one whose picture gets the most likes and similar signs of liking in the Nuori Yrittäjyys ry event album.

The Most Liked Social Media competition is open to all JA companies regardless of category. Companies participate in the competition by sending in a team picture (see the advance task here) by 26 April 2019. The competition is held jointly for all categories.

Nuori Yrittäjyys ry will publish an album on Facebook with pictures of all the finalists. The album will be uploaded on 28 April 2019 and it will be possible to like it until 23:59 on 8 May 2019. The winning JA company will be the one whose picture gains the most natural likes and similar signs of liking. Paid advertising for the picture is not permitted, but the picture may also be shared on other social media platforms.

When the competition period has ended, Nuori Yrittäjyys ry will check which JA company has the most likes and favorites in the album.

The winning JA company in the competition will receive a €100 prize.

The JA company must invoice Nuori Yrittäjyys ry for the prize money after the final and no later than 31 May 2019.

BEST VIRTUAL FAIR STAND

The aim of the Best Virtual Fair Stand competition is to find the JA company with the most impressive, memorable virtual stand.

The Best Virtual Fair Stand competition is for primarysecondary and higher education JA companies. There is no separate registration, but all JA companies take part in the competition. All levels of education compete in the same category.

The main jury for the competition is responsible for judging the Best Fair Stand competition. The jury will assess the stands during the fair and choose a winner.

A good virtual fair stand is a graphic package that complements the product or service that the JA company provides.

When choosing the best virtual stand, the jury will pay attention to the following:

  • The virtual stand is a clearly coherent whole made up of
    • an introduction to the team
    • a graphic image.
  • The virtual stand invites the customer to learn more about the company.
  • The virtual stand supports the company’s product or service and the company image.
  • The company is able to describe the plan behind the virtual stand.

In the final, the remote stand hosted by the JA company as a team or individually can be decorated in the style of the company, and a roll-up, for example, can be included to support the stand.

The competition has a financial award of 100 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

BEST SALES TEAM

The aim of the Best Sales Team competition is to find the JA company with a good command of sales skills. A good salesperson can talk about their product and their company, listen to the customer and their needs and explain why the company’s product or service would benefit the customer. In addition, a good salesperson should have good manners, speak clearly and be able to represent the company in business negotiations.

The Best Sales Team competition is intended for JA companies in the elementary school, secondary school and higher education categories. Companies do not register separately for the competition; rather, all JA companies are part of the competition. In the competition, winners are selected from all categories.

The main jury for the competition is responsible for judging the Best Sales Team competition. The jury will assess the JA companies’ sales and negotiation skills during the fair and choose a winner.

Not even the best product or service can sell itself, meaning that active selling is crucial to the business success of every entrepreneur.

The jury will assess the following matters when choosing the Best Sales Team:

  • The company has an active, but customer-oriented sales approach.
  • The salespeople are able to describe the solution the company offers and its benefits to the buyer.
  • The salespeople have excellent listening and negotiation skills.
  • The salespeople try to offer a solution and close the deal.

The competition has a financial award of 200 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

BEST SERVICE

The aim of the Best Service competition is to find the JA company whose service business idea stands out from the others in the final.

The Best Service competition is for primarysecondary and higher education JA companies. There is no separate registration, but all JA companies whose business idea involves offering some kind of a service take part in the competition.

The main jury of the final is responsible for judging the Best Service competition. The jury will assess company operations and the business idea based on the pitch deck and the fair activities and choose the winner.

The Best Service is innovative and addresses a practical problem. The Best Service can be a new innovation or a way of doing things that is better than the current solution. In terms of the customer, the Best Service should be functional, reliable, have a good price-quality ratio and be a clear service. For the company, the Best Service should be profitable and a clearly defined package (price-quality ratio for the company).

The service may also involve a product, but the manufacturing costs of the product should be small compared to the price of the service (for example, specialty coffee in a coffee shop may cost EUR 4 and most of it is made up of the cost of the service). Providing the service may not be dependent on the special talent of one person (such as a singer or a magician). 

The jury will pay attention to the following when assessing the service:

  • The service has novelty value and solves customer problems identified by the company.
  • The company has identified the key target groups of the service and examined their needs.
  • The process of buying the service is clear and made easy for the customer.
  • The service has a clear, justified pricing model.
  • The commercialization of the service has been done well and the concept has been developed during operations, for example on the basis of customer feedback.
  • The service provided by the company forms a clear whole.
  • The jury will consider taking the circular economy into account an extra merit.

 

The competition has a financial award of 200 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

BEST PRODUCT

The Best Product competition searches for the JA company whose product stands out in the final.

The Best Product competition is for primarysecondary and higher education JA companies. There is no separate registration, but all JA companies take part in the competition. All levels of education compete in the same category.

The main jury for the competition is responsible for judging the Best Product competition. The jury will assess the companies’ operations and product on the basis of the company’s report and performance at the fair, and then choose a winner.

The Best Product is innovative and addresses a practical problem or provides a new way of doing things.

When choosing the Best Product, the jury will pay attention to the following:

  • The product has novelty value and offers an innovative solution to a customer problem.
  • The company has identified the key target groups of the product and examined their needs.
  • The product is user-friendly and has been developed in a customer-oriented manner.
  • The product has a clear, justified pricing model.
  • The commercialization of the product has been done well and the concept has been developed during operations.
  • The jury will consider the ecological features of the product and taking the circular economy into account an extra merit.

The competition has a financial award of 200 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

BEST AD VIDEO

The idea of the Best Ad Video competition is to produce a max. 30-second ad video of your JA company.

The Best Ad Video competition is open to all JA companies regardless of the level of education. The competition is voluntary and companies participate by submitting a link to their ad video with their pre-assignments. The deadline for submissions is 7 April.

  • The ad video is uploaded to the JA company’s YouTube channel. The video can also be shared on other social media platforms, but paid advertising of the video is not permitted.
  • The top 10 most viewed YouTube videos will be shown on the commercial breaks of the award ceremony of the Uskalla Yrittää final.
  • View an example of the ad video made by last year’s Best JA Company Jalo NY

The jury for the ad videos assesses the following factors:

  • How is the product/service of the JA company displayed in the video?
  • What innovative perspectives are included in the contents of the video?
  • How does the video spark the viewer’s interest and make them consider buying the product/service?

The jury for the ad videos chooses the best ad and the winner gets a video product package worth 500 euros and coaching for making videos.

JA ALUMNI AWARD

JA Alumni Finland is an independent association managed by active former JA entrepreneurs. All the members of the association are former JA entrepreneurs who have wanted to continue learning by doing and grow their networks with other JA alumni. The JA alumni therefore share an entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm and an attitude of learning by doing.

JA Alumni Finland is an independent association managed by active former JA entrepreneurs. All the members of the association are former JA entrepreneurs who have wanted to continue learning by doing and grow their networks with other JA alumni. The JA alumni therefore share an entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm and an attitude of learning by doing.

The JA Alumni Award is given to enthusiastic JA entrepreneurs who make a favorable impression during the final. There is no separate registration for the competition, but the JA alumni board chooses the winners during the final. The competition is open to all JA companies regardless of the level of education.

You’ll meet JA Alumni representatives in the fair.

The competition jury pays attention to the following factors in its assessment:

  • Brilliant networker, meaning a company/person who openly presents their idea and gets to know other JA entrepreneurs. A brilliant networker does not pretend to be someone they are not, but always behaves in a polite and friendly manner.
  • Entrepreneurial attitude, meaning that the company/person believes in their idea and is excited about it.
  • Courage, meaning that the company/person has shown courage during the JA year, for example by boldly developing their business idea, by continuing the business despite difficulties, or by otherwise stepping outside their comfort zone.
  • Good team player: team members who support one another and bring out each other’s strengths.

Will be confirmed at the event.

SIGNATURE AWARDS

The following awards are available for higher education students.

ELO - Unelmat Elossa

Elo is a large Finnish employment pension insurer. Elo makes sure that its customers receive the pensions they deserve. Elo helps its clients succeed and meet the challenges of a changing work life. One in three Finnish companies and about 40 percent of entrepreneurs have chosen Elo as their employment pension partner. Elo is currently responsible for the future pensions of approximately 477,000 employees and entrepreneurs, taking care of 240,000 pensioners and approximately EUR 26 billion in investment assets.

Elo is the main partner of the JA Finland and in the final we will award the best higher education company that shows entrepreneurial spirit and fire for entrepreneurship.

The competition is for higher-education JA Companies.

There is no separate registration for the competition, but all companies in the final will be entered into the competition.

There is no age limit in the competition.

The Dreams Alive competition is looking for a JA company that, in the opinion of the jury, has developed a business idea that has the potential to succeed as a real company and a clear business model has been built around the business idea.

When looking for the best higher education company, the jury will pay attention to the following:

Problems & Solutions

The company has identified the problem and is offering a solution that is different from its competitors.
The company has developed at least an MVP (minimum viable product) or prototype.

Business model

  • The company generates added value for the customer and the company has identified its most important customer target groups.
  • The company’s business model is clear and the company has the potential to grow into a larger business.
  • The company understands the most important financial key figures of the operation and is able to tell what kind of margin the product / service has.

Purposefulness and planning

  • The company has had a clear action plan according to which operations have been developed.
  • The company set itself goals and actively monitored them throughout its operations.
  • The company presents concrete measures to ensure a real and sustainable business. For example leadership, recruitment, decision-making and operational activities.

Entrepreneurship and the future

  • The company operates in an entrepreneurial manner and shows an excellent entrepreneurial attitude.
  • The company has a future plan for business development and the next steps.

The competition has a financial award of 500 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

OP - Yrittämisen arvoinen idea

OP’s mission is to promote the sustainable financial success, safety and well-being of owner-customers and the operating environment. Our operations are guided by the values: closeness to people, responsibility and success together. Dreams give birth to entrepreneurs and we want to make entrepreneurs successful. All entrepreneurial stories are important to us. We support your business both online and locally so you can focus on the essentials.

op.fi

op-kevytyrittaja.fi

The Idea Worth Doing -competition is for all JA companies with 1-2 members.

There is no separate registration for the competition.

OP’s expert evaluates the companies’ activities at company presentations and trade fairs, and selects the winner on the basis of them.

The jury will pay attention to the following issues in the evaluation:

  • The company is able to clearly communicate and justify its own strengths and skills and how it has utilized them in its own business.
  • The company’s business idea has users, i.e. customers, and there is a demand for it that is proven by sales.
  • The company has a plan and a desire to continue doing business after the Year as an Entrepreneur program in some form.
  • The company has 1-2 members.

OP Light Entrepreneur service free of charge for one year and mentoring classes on entrepreneurship with Markus Series (Markus Series, Business Lead, OP Light Entrepreneur)

EIT SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Nuori Yrittäjyys ry is involved in the international Young Innovators project, which is funded by EIT RawMaterials. A high-level JA company that has taken into account the various elements of the circular economy in its operations will be awarded.

The competition is for higher-education JA Companies. There is no separate registration for the competition, but all companies in the final will be entered into the competition. There is no age limit in the competition.

The jury will pay attention to the following issues in the evaluation:

Circular economy
Ideas that look at the entire value chain and life cycle of a product or service, such as design, delivery and / or manufacturing, and responsible consumption and / or recycling.

Building a sustainable future
We look for ideas that use design or creative thinking to develop smart solutions for sustainability, especially those that take into account resource efficiency or product substitution.

Possible change of values
Ideas that have an ambitious or creative concept and that have a particularly significant social or environmental impact.

Business opportunities
The size of the market and whether the idea has competitive advantages as well as financial chances of success.
Quality of presentation and presentation
We are looking for dynamic, creative, interesting and effective Teams who know how to communicate their thoughts forward.

The competition has a financial award of 500 euros, which is granted to the winning JA company.

The JA company should invoice the prize money from Junior Achievement Finland after the final, but no later than 15 May 2021.

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