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Social Innovation Relay: youth impulse for a better tomorrow


19 Jan 2016


Social Europe & Jobs

JA Europe and NN Group are partnering to implement the sixth edition of the Social Innovation Relay (SIR), a global initiative which brings together experienced business mentors and students to advance real world social problem-solving in their local communities and beyond.

“Considering the delicate social crises we are facing today in Europe, inspiring young people to develop creative solutions could well be the basis for one of the EU’s next big solutions,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe. “Looking at last year’s SIR global winners and their innovative job-matching service HopJob, aimed at promoting social inclusion and livelihood development, one can begin to connect the dots and see how relevant these innovations are.”

The SIR programme’s ambition is twofold:  while aimed at preparing secondary school students with essential skills, it also stresses the role business can play in addressing social considerations. Connected by leading technologies, students around the world collaborate with NN mentors to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges in education, health, livelihood development, social inclusion, sustainability.

This spring, the best 20 solutions from each participating country will be shortlisted. The selected teams are then paired with NN business volunteers who act as e-mentors in the implementation phase of their concepts. A national competition will then narrow the team to the top 10, allowing them to continue and develop their project. Finally, the winning teams from each country will compete against each other in a global online final, 23 June 2016.


During the 2014-2015 school year, the partnership between JA Europe and NN Group reached more than 6000 students, 226 schools and 199 teachers around 350 social innovation ideas. “As a student, my curiosity and passion for new things led me to register to the Social Innovation Relay competition. Now, I feel lucky and proud of myself for doing this. I had the chance to learn so many things about social entrepreneurship and how it can change lives and how beneficial it is. In addition to that I discovered inspiring people who created successful businesses and from whose experiences I had to learn a lot about being a good entrepreneur, but also to think about the social aspects and impact too” said a former student from Romania.

Who said 21st century was all about individualism?

For more examples of inspiring ideas that were created during SIR programmes, please visit our website:


About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries in 2014. It was founded in 2001 when Young Enterprise Europe and Junior Achievement International Europe merged. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA’s activities have been endorsed as best practice by the European Commission. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

About NN Group

NN Group is an international insurance and asset management company, active in more than 18 countries, with a strong presence in a number of European countries and Japan. With around 11,500 employees the group offers retirement services, insurance, investments and banking to more than 15 million customers. NN Group includes Nationale-Nederlanden, NN and NN Investment Partners. NN Group is listed on Euronext Amsterdam (NN).


For more information please contact

Marie Hargitt
Digital Media & Communications, JA Europe
+32 (0)2 893 4436


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