skip to Main Content

This page provides the criteria for the Uskalla Yrittää semi-finals, according to which the regional judging panels operate. The criteria direct the operation of the judges, but each judge’s personal experiences will also affect their evaluations and emphases.

Please note that all competition categories may not be used in each semi-final event. The information of the semi-final events can be found on the semi-finals page.

Learning objectives for the JA Company Program
  • The student recognizes the requirements of entrepreneurship and is able to assess their strengths and areas of development
  • The student improves their entrepreneurship skills, which could include sales, teamwork, problem-solving, communication, and presentation skills
  • The student builds cooperative networks that promote business operations
  • The student recognizes and evaluates their operation within the company as part of a team
  • The student is able to plan the business operation of a company
  • The student is able to use tools related to planning business operations and to produce documents pertaining to the establishment of a company
  • The student is able to create a business model and plan to support their idea as well as to develop it during the operation
  • The student understands the basics of business operations and is able to assess and develop the operation of their company
Characteristics of a good JA company
  • A functional and viable idea and product or service.
  • An operating plan where the practicality of the idea has been evaluated and its practical implementation has been planned.
  • A versatile and well-managed practical implementation of the company (planning, production, marketing).
  • A strong desire to keep learning and developing in the future as well.
  • Enough turnover/customers and a positive result to prove the viability of the idea and the members’ personal initiative in solicitation of customers.

THE BEST JA COMPANY

The Uskalla Yrittää semi-finals are organized in partnership with Municipality Finance. The best JA companies from the semi-finals (comprehensive, upper secondary, and higher education) are awarded the #Huomisentekijä title and a place in the Uskalla Yrittää final.

In their evaluation, the judging panel will focus on the following aspects:

Business idea and model 

  • An interesting, important, and topical business idea
  • The idea has an audience, i.e. customers, and there is demand for it.
  • The company’s product/service is realized in an innovative manner.
  • The company has identified their key target groups.
  • The company is able to explain why the product/service is needed and what is the customer’s problem that the product/service solves.
  • The company has identified and employed sales and marketing channels and is able to explain why the chosen channels are used.
  • The business idea has been considered from the perspective of a potential customer and the company is able to explain the added value provided to the customer.

Goal-orientation and determination

  • The company has created a clear business plan, according to which the operation has been developed.
  • The company has set goals for itself and monitored them actively throughout the operation.

Finance

  • The company understands the key financial figures of their operation.
  • The company is able to explain the profit margin of their product/service.
  • The company recognizes the financial factors that affect the price and costs.

Team

  • The company is based on a strong and competent team (at least 2 members), who have the desire and a plan to improve their business operation.
  • The members of the team have clearly defined roles and the competence of the team is considered in the planning of their operation.

Learning and interaction

  • The members of the company are able to explain what they have learned during the operation of the JA company.
  • The company is able to explain the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them.
  • The members of the company are better able to identify their strengths and skills.
  • The company interacts and presents itself in a convincing manner.
  • The members of the company operate in an entrepreneurial manner and demonstrate an excellent entrepreneurial attitude.

BEST BUSINESS IDEA

In some semi-finals, the JA company with the best business idea is awarded. A good business idea is based on the customers’ existing problem that requires a solution. The Best Business Idea competition seeks an idea that is topical, solves a practical problem, and is realized by a functioning company.

In their evaluation, the judging panel will focus on the following aspects:

  • The company has identified an issue and provides a solution for it.
  • The operation of the company provides additional value to the customer and the company recognizes its key target groups.
  • At the very least, the company has produced an initial version (Minimum viable product, MVP) or a prototype of their product/service.
  • The company is based on a strong and competent team, who have the desire and a plan to improve their business operation.
  • The company has calculated financial figures and how the idea could be made financially viable.

BEST PRODUCT

The best product is innovative, responds to a practical problem or is a novel way of accomplishing something. The best product is user-friendly, has a good price-quality ratio, and its design is functional. Further credit will be given if the product and its various processes consider sustainable development (social, economic, and ecological).

The judging panel will focus on the following aspects when choosing the best product:

  • The product has novelty value and provides an innovative solution to the customer’s problem.
  • The company has identified the key target groups of the product and assessed the needs of the target groups.
  • The product is user-friendly, and it has been developed in a customer-oriented manner.
  • The product has a clear and justified pricing model.
  • The commercialization of the product has been carried out well and the concept has been developed further during the operation.
  • The judging panel will give further credit to the team if their product and its processes have considered the various aspects of sustainable development.

BEST SERVICE

The best service is innovative and responds to a practical problem. The best service can also consist of a new innovation or an approach that is better than existing solutions. The qualities of the best service include functionality, reliability, price-quality ratio, and clarity from the customer’s perspective. For the company, the best service must be a profitable and clearly defined entity (price-quality ratio from the company’s perspective).

The service may also include a product, but in this case, the manufacturing costs of the product must be minor compared to the price of the service (for example, a coffee drink in a café may cost €4, most of which consists of service costs). The implementation of the service cannot be dependent on the specific skills of a single individual (such as a singer or a magician). 

  • The service has novelty value and resolves the customer’s issues identified by the company.
  • The company has identified the key target groups of the service and assessed the needs of the target groups.
  • The purchasing process of the service is clear and made simple for the customer.
  • The service has a clear and justified pricing model.
  • The commercialization of the service has been carried out well and the concept has been developed further during the operation, for example on the basis of customer feedback.
  • The service provided by the company is a clearly defined entity.
  • The judging panel will give further credit if the service considers the circular economy.

BEST SOCIAL COMPANY

Sustainable development and responsible operation have become part of the culture and approach of many companies. The Best Social Company award is given to the JA company whose business idea considers sustainable development.

Sustainable development refers to global, regional, and local societal change in a guided and controlled manner, whose objective is to safeguard the opportunities of current and future generations for a good life. Sustainable development considers ecological, economic, social, and cultural sustainability.

In their evaluation, the judging panel will focus on the following aspects:

  • Is the business idea (service/product) itself sustainable?
  • Has the company made conscious sustainable decisions in their production and operation?
  • Is sustainability used to increase marketing and sales?
  • Is the company able to reconcile profitability with sustainability?
  • Has the company considered one or more of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in their operation?

BEST EXHIBITION STAND

The Best Exhibition Stand award is given to the JA company with the most impressive and comprehensive stand. A good exhibition stand is an entity that complements the product or service provided by the JA company.

In the semi-finals, each company has access to identical tables which can be dressed up according to the company’s vision and complimented by a roll-up, for example.

In choosing the best exhibition stand, the judging panel will focus on the following aspects:

  • The exhibition stand is a clearly defined comprehensive entity, which includes:
    • Presentation of the products,
    • Price list,
    • The team and their outfits,
    • Graphic design.
  • The stand invites customers to come and see the company.
  • The exhibition stand supports the product or service of the company as well as its image.
  • The company is able to explain their planning for the stand; why certain things were done and how they benefit the company.

BEST SALESPERSON

Even the best product or service cannot sell itself, which means that active sales work is an important part of the success of any entrepreneur. The Best Seller award is given to a JA company that demonstrates superb selling skills.

A good salesperson is able to talk about the product and the company, listen to the customer and their needs, and explain why the product or service offered by the company is beneficial to the customer. In addition, the salesperson must be able to conduct themselves in a proper manner, to talk clearly, and to discuss the business affairs of the company. The Best Seller award can be presented to an individual or a team.

The judging panel will focus on the following aspects when choosing the best seller:

  • The company has an active but customer-oriented sales style.
  • The seller is able to explain the solution offered by the company and its benefits to the buyer.
  • The seller has excellent listening and negotiation skills.
  • The seller aims to provide a solution and to close the deal.

BEST SALES PITCH

The best sales pitch is a tight, well-organized package that raises the interest of the listener. During the semi-final, each participating JA company is able to pitch their company on the event stage and the best pitch will be awarded.

The judging panel will evaluate the pitches using the following criteria:

  • Memorable opening and closing.
  • Well-thought-out and clear contents.
    • What is the problem solved by the company?
    • Who are the customers of the company?
    • What does the product/service cost?
    • Why is the company unique?
Back To Top