This year’s Junior Achievement fair took place at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre on 5 March, where the theme was Entrepreneurship for Real. Junior Achievement gives high-school students the opportunity to set up, run and wind down companies within an academic year. The JA fair brings together 1,200 young people from 44 schools in the Gothenburg region to exhibit, display and sell their products and services. This year’s fair was a big success, drawing a record number of exhibitors.
There was non-stop activity at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre on this Monday afternoon. The students, who have spent the past year developing their companies, are very enthusiastic about selling their products. Some use flyers or attractive stands to grab attention, while others stand in the aisles and try to entice potential customers. Among the 323 exhibitors we meet high-school students Ella Landqvist, Karin Nilsson and Cornelia Hernheimer from Mikael Elias Gymnasium. They are behind the company Green Taste, which offers an environmentally inspired tea kit. Their kit includes a mug with a pattern they designed themselves, a selection of organic teas and home-made chocolate truffles. The fair has been a success for them, they explain with big smiles.
“It’s actually a lot of fun standing here. I thought it would be quite hard work standing here for seven hours, but it’s great fun meeting new people. We’ve sold more than we expected, which is a bonus!” says Ella Landqvist, webmaster at Green Taste UF, Junior Achievement.
“Lots of people want to get in touch and talk – you can discuss your product or stand, get new perspectives on them and learn how to evaluate your product. It’s very rewarding,” adds Karin Nilsson, who is CEO of the JA company.
The Trade & Industry Group is a partner to Junior Achievement, as well as hosting the big JA Company of the Year competition, in which the Safe Steps JA company from Engströms Gymnasium won the gold medal. Safe Steps manufactures a training vest with reflectors and an embedded panic alarm. The company wants to draw attention to violence against women and influence attitudes in society. The prize was awarded by Christian Westerberg from the Trade & Industry Group, who explained the choice as follows:
“By creating a solution to a clear problem the company has shown impressive entrepreneurship. They have laid the foundations for their success with a thorough market survey. They have completed the Junior Achievement year with style, from start to finish. Above all, they let everyone feel they are on a safe track, for as long as is needed. The track now leads straight to the Swedish championships!”