On Thursday, 10 December 2015, Junior Achievement (JA) Cyprus organised a press conference announcing the launch of the third consecutive year of its signature “Company Programme”, as well as the piloting of a new primary school programme, “More than Money”.
The press conference, entitled ̎Student Entrepreneurs – Inspiring the youth of today to create a world full of possibilities̎, took place at the main headquarters of Cyta, and was attended by representatives from the public sector, business sector, academic community, as well as by members of the press.
This is the third year that JA Cyprus cooperates with both public and private high schools, as well as vocational schools from all over Cyprus, through the Company Programme. The programme aims to offer high school students, aged 15-18, the opportunity to learn through practice how to develop and implement a viable business idea, from concept to actuality, by forming and running their own real company for an academic year.
This year, 62 groups of students from 32 schools in Cyprus created their own student company, launching innovative products and services. The student entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase these at a trade fair organised by JA Cyprus in April 2016. The ten most successful business ideas will move on to participate in the “Company of the Year” Competition that will be held on Friday, 22 April. The winning team will be invited to represent Cyprus in the “European Company of the Year” Competition, organised by Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) in Switzerland, in July.
Moreover, JA Cyprus will pilot a new programme in primary schools, entitled “More than Money”. This is scheduled for the first half of 2016, and will be launched thanks to the support of the Association of Cyprus Banks. The programme aims at familiarising 5th and 6th year primary school students with concepts related to the management of money, such as income, expenses and savings.
Speaking at the press conference, the Chairman of JA Cyprus, Mr. Andreas Papadopoulos, stressed that “the organisation’s principal goal involves supporting educational institutions to run programmes promoting entrepreneurship, creativity and the practical application of finance, with the overall aim of reinforcing Cyprus’ competitiveness”.
On behalf of the Minister of Education and Culture, the General Entrepreneurship Unit Coordinator, Mr. Constantinos Georgiou, underlined the Ministry’s intention to build a more effective collaboration between education and the business world, through the application of educational programmes, such as those run by JA Cyprus.
Mr. Giorgos Appios, CEO and First Executive Director of Piraeus Bank Cyprus, the strategic partner of JA Cyprus, stressed that Piraeus Bank believed in the JA programme from the beginning. “We are the organization’s strategic partner and we have been a JA companion for the last three years. Apart from monetary support, we provide student-entrepreneurs with mentoring and guidance”.
On behalf of Cyta, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michalis E. Achilleos, highlighted that Cyta “dynamically supports JA Cyprus, by promoting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship culture in Cyprus; starting with primary and secondary education, then through a programme encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in the National Guard.” He also referenced their collaboration with universities for knowledge exchange and new service development. Lastly, Mr. Achilleos mentioned how Cyta fosters the creation of successful start-ups by young entrepreneurs.
On behalf of the General Director of MetLife Cyprus, Mr. Antonios Karpasitis, Mr Christodoulos Ellinopoulos underlined the decisive contribution of entrepreneurship, and mainly youth entrepreneurship, to economic development and to combating unemployment, expressing his happiness that MetLife Cyprus continues to support JA Cyprus for a second consecutive year.
Mr Evgenios Evgeniou, the CEO of PwC Cyprus, JA Cyprus’ new partner, stressed that all members are proud of their company’s contribution to the reinforcement of youth entrepreneurship through its collaboration with JA Cyprus, stating that “the promotion of entrepreneurship is the only solution for a country pursuing sustainable growth”.
On behalf of the University of Nicosia, the Director of Institutional Excellence & Business Services, Dr. Alexandros Antonaras, stated: “Nowadays, more than ever, we need to focus on youth, the fundamental economic resource of our society. Dr. Antonaras also spoke of the University’s ties to the organisation, as one of its founding members: “We are extremely proud that the University of Nicosia reached out to Junior Achievement Europe in 2010 and played a key role in the establishment of JA Cyprus”.
On behalf of the General Director of the Association of Cyprus Banks, Mr Michalis Kammas, Ms Christina Pieridou stated that thanks to the support of the Association of Cyprus Banks, financial literacy has been promoted for the first time in Cyprus through the programme “More than Money”.
In closing, Ms Eloiza Savvidou, CEO of JA Cyprus, presented the ‘Company Programme’ as well as the new programme “More than Money”.
Photos from the press conference
Source: JA Cyprus