Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

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Written by Daniela Goldman, Senior Project Manager – Global Public Affaris, JADE

When we think about the Junior Enterprise movement, a lot of things just jump into our minds: Entrepreneurship, social impact and mostly, making the difference. The Junior Enterprise Movement is at its peak in 2015, with Canada joining as confederation with the other 3 already established: JADE (Europe), Brasil Junior (Brazil), and Junior Enterprises of Tunisia (Tunisia). When we take a look at the last two, we can see that they each represent one single country, whose Junior Enterprises are fighting for the same cause, yet when you look at the European Movement we must understand its intrinsic feature: high internationalization.

In JADE, unlike other confederations, there is more than just one country fighting for one cause: we can see students all over Europe, with different cultures and different life experiences, joining in big events such as JADE Spring Meeting to be capable of generating global impact. The European movement is one of the strongest and well-developed in the world, having the biggest part of his recognition lined in partnerships with global institutions and corporations, being able to generate opportunities for all students inside our network.

Connected with the academia world
JADE englobes twelve countries in Europe in 2015; in these countries we have Junior Enterprises in private and public universities. These universities have a high percentage of students that are engaged in Erasmus projects, besides many other international exchange programmes and projects. The main economical and engineering universities in Europe are connected with JADE through Junior Enterprises in various ways, the best case being when scholars become actively involved in spending extra hours to teach the Junior Entrepreneurs more business skills that helps them grow.

JADE’s mission, aligned with global efforts
JADE’s mission is very internationalization oriented through its enlargement efforts all over the globe. Together with Brasil Junior, the Cooperation Agreement and the Ambassadors Programme have been settled and with them, the world map has been “divided” between the two confederations in order to foster entrepreneurship to non-member countries. The results can be seen in the new Canadian confederation, and various new Junior Initiatives (the stage before becoming a Junior Enterprise) being brought to life in South America, Africa, and even Asia with the newly born Chinese Junior Enterprise.
Since last year, we have also been developing the Promotion Program. The main idea of the programme is to help people all over the world, mainly through the support Erasmus+ cultural exchange programme, to be able to open their own Junior Enterprises, bringing Junior Entrepreneurs to these countries and giving them all the support and the documents they need to reproduce our model in their own universities.

Internationalisation in the reports
Studies show that 25% of JADE Alumni successfully manage to broaden their career prospects by getting to work abroad for at least 6 months.  This is an important figure that shows mainly that if students get to experience internationalization in their university years, they can get comfortable enough with the idea of taking a leap forward and moving to work far away from home. As JADE actively encourages quality of processes and innovation, this also means that students in Junior Enterprises become visibly more adaptable, and ultimately more successful entrepreneurs.

During Generations Club 2014 on “Youth Perception on Entrepreneurial Skills”, JADE gathered together 12 of Europe’s leading student organisations (representing 14 million students) in an effort to concentrate the essence of entrepreneurship for young people is a list of conclusions and recommendations for the public and private sector. One of the conclusions was that formal education is not vastly superior to non-formal or informal (self-directed) education when it comes to developing entrepreneurial skills. Another very strong point was that international experience is a must have for youth entering the labour market. This is data coming from the young leaders, not from companies or teachers. And this is something that should send to all countries a strong message: that youth are starting to move and learn from the world by themselves, and they are creating more possibilities everywhere they go.

JADE meetings: making internationalization a reality
Our network is also known because of our several events. One of the main meetings is JADE Spring Meeting. Here Junior Entrepreneurs meet and discuss the way things go in their Junior Enterprises and establish friendly relationships that may lead to international partnerships and cooperation. Junior Entrepreneurs from outside Europe are also invited. On the other hand leaders of each national boards gather in the General Assembly, where decisions are taken for the future, in terms of how JADE can become more successful in representing both each country and Europe altogether for policies in favour of Junior Enterprises.
The same thing happens with Summer JADE Meeting and Junior Enterprise World Conference (the biggest congress of Junior Entrepreneurs on the planet). But they have a distinct feature: both are organised by a different Junior Enterprise or group of Junior Enterprises each year, meaning that every single Junior Enterprise part of JADE gets the chance to host at least 200 foreign students each year.

Celebrating the end of a great event: The Junior Enterprise World Conference in Geneva, Switzerland
Through the Junior Enterprise World Conference, which is hosted every two years, one time in Brazil, and the other time in Europe, the opportunity to unite two continents is even more challenging and more rewarding. Moreover, each of our confederations has also their own national meeting and the participants are also from all around Europe.

JADE Excellence Awards play also an important role in this international movement. The project aims to reward the Junior Enterprises that have the best practices in some specific categories. Rewarding the best Junior Enterprises grants them recognition in front of our main partners and also market positioning, as they compete with real companies on their local market. The Excellence Awards emphasize what our network values: two of the most important categories are “The most Entrepreneurial Junior Enterprise” and “The most International Junior Enterprise”.

Conclusion
As far as previous years of the Junior Enterprise movement have shown us, the role of internationalization in an entrepreneurial ecosystem is essential for youth to acknowledge how different approaches to similar problems can be and how to turn these differences into strengths in the future. This is what JADE fosters and will always try to do, by bringing a 360 degree experience of entrepreneurship to thousands of students in a unified Europe.  Because TOGETHER WE GROW!

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