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Around 3,000 students gathered at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre on 7 October for the annual kick-off of the Junior Achievement “Startup” fair. The event combines advice on setting up and running a startup company with inspiration from entrepreneurs and advisers who have taken part in the young enterprise journey themselves.

Photo: Christopher Busck/Ung Företagsamhet

“Startup” is the annual student kick-off for any students who want to start a Junior Achievement company during the academic year. In the 2019/2020 academic year, 3,000 high school students from 45 schools in the Gothenburg region will set up and run a JA company.

“During the school year the students will write business plans, contact suppliers, sell their products or services, write competition entries, exhibit at trade fairs and gain experience in all aspects of entrepreneurship. With the help of advisers who listen to their ideas and share their own knowledge and experience they learn to run a business, which is so exciting!” said Johan Sandahl, regional manager of Junior Achievement in the Gothenburg region.

Apart from the information activities, another goal of the kickoff is to inspire students through stories of successful young entrepreneurs who left school just a few years ago. Lina Thunberg, age 24, talked about her journey from JA entrepreneur to apprentice and then sales manager of the skin and hair care company Löwengrip during its growth phase. Lina has now set up her own company and she sees many similarities between running a JA company and a startup. Her advice includes encouraging students to see themselves as “beta versions”, and continuing to improve themselves every day.

Photo: Christopher Busck/Ung Företagsamhet

From skin and hair care products to tech and business. Tech entrepreneur Josef Fallesen, age 26, inspired the students with his story of how he set up and ran Businesspodden, the biggest podcast on entrepreneurship in the Nordic region. Josef now works as a tech partner and investor at CG Partners.

Photo: Christopher Busck/Ung Företagsamhet

On 2 March 2020 the big regional Junior Achievement fair will be held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. The fair gives students an opportunity to exhibit, present and sell their products and services to the public. The winners in various categories will be announced at an evening event, and they will then go on to the Swedish championship final. This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Photo: Christopher Busck/Ung Företagsamhet

Junior Achievement is an apolitical, not-for-profit educational organisation. Since 1980 it has been preparing high school students for entrepreneurship through experiential learning in the Junior Achievement network.

Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group is a partner of Junior Achievement and also hosts the prestigious JA Company of the Year competition.