News & Events

JA Europe Company of the Year 2016 – Changing dyslexics’ life thanks to SubReader

SubReader has excelled in the European competition, after impressing the judges with their strong business concept. Their app helps dyslexic people to read subtitles on international TV and movies aloud. It operates independently of TV or other media and does even not require any setup. Meanwhile, the UK Company of the Year Enlighten Hope were awarded third place in the Company of the Year Awards with Iveta Liovinaite’s individual contribution also being recognised with the Alumni Leadership Award.


Over 200 students gathered in Lucerne between 25-28 July to celebrate the top mini-companies from across Europe. 36 student-teams competed as part of JA Europe’s flagship JA Company Programme, which gives them an opportunity to set up and run a real business.

“We are very proud to win the main Company of the Year Competition this year. This prize rewards the huge amount of works we have dedicated to this new business. Competing here in Lucerne was mind blowing. It was fantastic to meet peers from across Europe, to learn from them as well as from the jury members,” shared the three team members.

Learning to run a company from top to bottom, JA Company Programme students create and market real products and services. The success of the programme is largely due to the wide support from business volunteers, who act as mentors, offering expert advice to the students. Partnerships between education and business are essential to closing the gap between classroom theory and real-world challenges. In the 2014-2015 school year, more than 313,000 students across 40 countries in Europe participated in the JA Company Programme.

“The JA Company Programme brings entrepreneurship into the classroom. Student teams have to reach a consensus on the business idea and to put it into practice. The learning process covers raising capital, developing a product, successful sales and much more. Mini-entrepreneurs must continuously be in control of all processes and at all times, ranging from accounting to marketing, purchasing as well as intellectual property and liability. Seeing the continuous personal development of the participating students and the progress of their mini-enterprises amazes me and makes me proud, year after year,” Ruedi Noser, CEO, Noser Management AG, Switzerland – Jury President

Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe, shared: “The JA Company Programme has existed since 1919 and continues to inspire thousands of young people year after year. It is global (120 countries) and driven by local partnerships between businesses and schools; a unique real-world programme that develops young people’s entrepreneurial competences, financial capability and builds key skills for the workplace. JA Company Programme alumni are twice more likely to start a business later on than non-participants and are less likely to be unemployed.”


  1. Winners: SubReader, Denmark
  2. Second place: Irdify, Slovakia
  3. Third place: Enlighten Hope, UK

Signature Awards

  • ‘AT&T Excellence in IT Award’ recognises the student-company that demonstrates the best innovation-driven concept, with strong business potential and sustainability, as well as viability and scalability.

Winner: Team Oculus, Romania


  • ‘Citi Client Focus Award’ recognises student enterprise that excel at creating value for their clients, listening to their clients and walking in their shoes to understand their world, anticipating and serving their changing needs.

Winner: Update UF, Sweden


  • ‘FedEx Access Award’ is given to a JA student company which has the most comprehensive understanding of global trade and related concepts. The students must show they grasp the global nature of today’s business world.

Winner: FormUp, Belgium


  • ‘MetLife LifeChanger Award’ recognises student companies which best embraces the concepts social impact, financial performance and innovation in their business strategy while remaining a realistic plan in today’s marketplace.

Winner: SmileyBin, Greece

The Alumni Leadership Award supported by AXA is given to 10 standout individuals competing at the Company of the Year Competition.

Winners: Alexander Gram Jensen from Denmark, Ulrika Heikkinen from Sweden, Iveta Liovinaite fron the UK, Katerina Sugarkova from Czech Republic, Michal Pandy from Slovakia, Alina Anete Birnika from Latvia, Maria Kokala from Greece, Helmi Nurkkala from Finland, Leonora Skopren from Norway and Tudor Popa from Romania