News & Events

Northwood students win Citi Remarkable Service Award at European Final

JA Europe’s ‘Company of the Year Competition’ brings together over 200 students from 36 European countries

Student-run Young Enterprise company Orenda won the ‘Citi Remarkable Customer Service Award’ at the 26th annual Company of the Year Competition (COYC) between 28 – 31 July. The students, from St Helen’s School in North London, impressed the Citi Signature Award jury with their strong attention to the customer experience. Orenda created vibrant and practical Sip ‘O’ Snack water bottles with a multi-purpose compartment, enabling you to “enjoy your favourite drink whilst munching on a tasty snack”.


Having recently been named Company of the Year at the Young Enterprise UK Final, supported by HSBC, the St Helen’s team joined over 200 COYC students in Berlin, Germany to celebrate the best mini-enterprises from across Europe. 37 student-teams from 36 countries competed as part of JA Europe’s flagship Company programme, which gives them an opportunity to set up and run a real business with the support of business mentors.

Jaznique Arora, Orenda team member said: “Customer service is something that is very important to our company, having that relationship with our customers and getting the right message across is something that’s really valuable to Orenda. Getting this award shows that we have the ability to do this, and it’s incredible!”

In the 2014-2015 school-year more than 275,000 students participated in the JA Europe Company programme. The Citi Foundation collaborated in 17 European countries, and with the support of 214 Citi business volunteers, equipped 51,566 secondary school students with important entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.  The Company programme is the flagship programme of Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity. Company is funded nationally by HSBC, and regionally by local businesses and volunteers.

The ‘Citi Remarkable Service Award’ recognises students that seek to foster greater customer value. The students can do this by demonstrated efforts to understand their customers, achieve customer satisfaction by anticipating and serving needs, and working to improve their experience through innovation.

Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “I, and the judges, were hugely impressed by Orenda’s product – a must-have for busy people on the go. It takes a huge amount of work to produce such an innovative design and brand so I’d like to congratulate the team on making ‘Sip O’ Snack’ such a success and for more making the UK very proud at the European Final.  I would also like to thank Citi for their commitment to supporting and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Christoph Schlueter, Director, Head of Corporate Communications Germany & Austria, Citigroup Global Markets Deutschland AG, shared: “We are really impressed in general how well many of the students have already developed into proper customer service experts. Keeping customers happy is the key task and very often a challenge in business life. We take pride in sponsoring this award and believe that those who have positioned customer happiness as a priority right from the beginning have put things right and have all chances to go a long way in business.”

Since its start, the JA Europe Company programme has worked to equip over 3.5 million students across Europe with the right skills to start-up or become gainfully employed. Research has shown that alumni of the Company programme are more likely to start their own business and have a higher average income than their counterparts.

Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe, added: “By bridging the gap between education and business, we help students connect the theory they learn in school and the practice they’ll need for the ‘real-world’. Thanks to partners like Citi Foundation, we are able to ensure that our students develop key entrepreneurial competences necessary for future success.”

Read the full press release