Winners of Europe’s largest youth entrepreneurship event unveiled

MicroGreens has been named the winner of the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition in the business category, after competing it out with Europe’s best young entrepreneurs in Gen-E 2022, the largest entrepreneurship festival across Europe. 

Noll Deponi from Sweden, instead, who provides a service to recycling centres, to help reduce wast has been recognised as the most innovative JA Company

At a time when Europe is impacted by various crisis, inflation and sky-rocketing energy prices while still recovering from the Covid-19 crisis, Gen-E 2022 gathered Europe’s best 800 young entrepreneurs in Tallinn, Estonia hosted by JA Estonia.

The winners of the Company of the Year Competition for Upper-secondary level entrepreneurs were as follows:

  • 1st – MicroGreens (Greece) With Microwonders, Microgreens help you to upcycle and grow your own superfood. By creating a fully-automated climatic chamber for growing microgreens, you can have a gourmet meal ready to harvest in just 4 days.
  • 2nd – Drinkhalm (Austria) is the new way to pack drinks, space-saving and plastic-free. A paper straw filled with drinking powder, wrapped up in a packaging that can be used as a straw too. All consumers need is water to create a fizzy, refreshing drink in 7 fruity flavours. From 0 to 100% of taste in just 1.8 seconds
  • 3rd – Carducation (Germany) have created a card game for team players to save the planet, despite hurdles, financial constraints and natural disasters.

The winners of the JA Europe’s Innovation of the year, for university age entrepreneurs were as follows: 

  • 1st - HearNprotect (UK) is an ear insert model of ear protection that allows noise to travel through the ear providing near maximum hearing, whilst protecting the ears.
  • 2nd - Arkai (Belgium - Flanders) launched its first product; an adjustable bra for young women. The bra will grow with teenagers from a size 70A till size 90C, without decreasing in quality over time.
  • 3rd – Drug n Drop (Greece) created a complete smart system for the managements of expired medicine, capable of collecting and processing data, thanks to integrated sensors and scanners.
  • ZandZwiffer from the Netherlands wins the title of Start Up of the Year for showing the most viable and sustainable business with its solution to roadworkers, gardeners and earth moving companies.

JA Europe, which organized the largest European Entrepreneurship event, is Europe‘s leading non-profit  dedicated to creating pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Its network operates across over 40 countries and last year, its programmes reached almost 6 million young people with the support of over 100,000 business volunteers and 140,000 teachers and educators.

Salvatore Nigro, CEO of JA Europe said: “We are delighted to announce this year’s winners of the JA Company of the Year Competition and Enterprise Challenge. We are creating the future right now, together with the winning JA student entrepreneurs selected from over 370,000 JA youth across Europe.

"Each year students across Europe battle it out by designing their own mini companies and start-ups to compete at Gen-E, Europe’s largest entrepreneurship festival.”, said Salvatore Nigro, CEO at JA Europe.

He continued: “At Gen-E, we ask today’s youth what future they are creating for the future generations. Our intention is always to help boost career ambitions and improve employability, entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.

"Young entrepreneurs have so much to offer our society, and every year we see a new wave of enthusiasm towards solving societal problems with their own entrepreneurship.

"It’s reflected in the winners again this year, that young entrepreneurs not only see business as a means to a financial end, but as a platform by which to improve society and help people around them.”