JAYE Malta this year hosted its National Finals online to counter the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and winners of some of its entrepreneurship programmes are now set to take on another virtual competition, this time on a European level.
At the JAYE Malta National Finals held each May, student teams from the StartUp and Company Programmes present their work to expert independent judging panels to compete for places at larger European competitions. This year, however, the social distancing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to JAYE Malta continuing the programmes, and hosting the Finals, online.
“Following the COVID-19 outbreak, JAYE Malta ensured that this year’s programmes kept progressing, delivering all content online to safeguard the welfare and health of our students, with the full support of our sponsors,” explains JAYE Malta CEO Fiona Captur. “The Finals were also held online on Sunday 3 May, and the students adapted beautifully to their new circumstances, focusing largely on the preservation of Maltese culture and the environment in their presentations. In fact, the judges commented that the situation has clearly inspired better team dynamics, adaptability, and resilience – JAYE Malta alumni are now even better equipped to adapt to an ever-changing business world.”
The Finals resulted in winners across a series of categories. All the students, mentors, volunteers, link teachers and staff members of 2019-2020 for the Company programme and StartUp programme received the John Harper Award, while the Phillip Bonnet Award for Perseverance went to Enable of St Aloysius College on the Company Programme.
On the StartUp programme, the Start-Up of the Year Award went to Stiles from the University of Malta, with first runner-up as Convex and second runner-up as MPAL, both also from the University of Malta. The Taking Your Brand to Market Award, sponsored by Switch and Traction Academy, likewise was presented to Convex from the University of Malta, while the PwC Concept Validation Award sponsored by PwC went to Tutors+ from the University of Malta.
Those on the Company Programme were also award-winning. The Company of the Year Award was won by UniStory from Verdala International School, while first runner-up was ForWorld from St Edward’s College, and second runner-up was Enable from St Aloysius College. The Farsons ‘Readiness for Work’ Award went to Type Walrus from Junior College, and the Deloitte Best Business Plan Award was presented to B-Eco from Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary. Lastly, the EFQ Quality Excellence Award by EFQ Management Consultants was given to UniStory from Verdala International School and the Atlas Digital Marketing Award by Atlas Insurance was presented to Bloom from De La Salle College.
Moreover, as it does every year, HSBC is providing JAYE Achievers with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience with them. This year HSBC has offered 11 Internships and opened up the opportunity to StartUp students as well as Company Programme students for the first time.
Following their success at the JAYE National Finals, two winning teams will now go on to compete virtually at two prestigious European competitions. UniStory from Verdala International School will be participating in the European Company of the Year Award Virtual Competition that will be hosted online by JA Portugal on 22-24 July 2020. The winners of the StartUp of the Year Award, Stiles from University of Malta, will also be competing in the JA Europe Enterprise Challenge hosted virtually by JA Greece on 24-26 June 2020.
“Through the difficulties faced by all companies in these times of crisis, we learned the importance of a company’s flexibility to overcome issues,” explains a member of the UniStory team. “In the business world, entrepreneurs face issues daily in which they are not protected by an external source such as JAYE. It was up to us to make the changes needed, which is a valuable lesson that was taught. Now we are venturing into our new journey awaiting us at the international JAYE competition.”
The Stiles team agrees that their JAYE Malta experience has paved their way for international success; “The JAYE StartUp Programme taught us that assertiveness is an entrepreneur’s greatest trait – if you want to do something, just do it!”
More information about JAYE Malta may be found online at www.jayemalta.org