The Blue Challenge

A unique programme that equips youth across Europe with concrete business skills while inspiring innovation in the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth.
Press Release

The Blue Challenge is an entrepreneurship education programme, launched by Euronext in partnership with JA Europe, the largest non-profit organisation in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship.  The programme aims to inspire students aged 16 to 18 about sustainable finance and help them develop core competencies such as teamwork, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills.

The Euronext Blue Challenge is the flagship initiative of Our Society, one of five material impact areas within our ESG strategy. Through this collaboration, we will be able to boost financial literacy and encourage innovation to limit climate change and to promote the blue economy amongst young entrepreneurs in nine countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In the course of the academic year, over 250 students will learn about sustainable finance while working on their own business projects supported by mentoring and webinars from Euronext volunteers. After national selections in April, country finalists will compete for the Euronext “Blue Innovation Award”.

The Blue Innovation Award

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The Blue Innovation Award is given to the mini-company that best embodies a sustainable use of the ocean resources for economic growth, following the selection of one mini-company from each participating country, to compete at a European level.

Last year’s winning project came from Norway, Marival UB, an innovative youth enterprise formed by students who study at Romsdal upper secondary school on the north-west coast of Norway. Focusing on the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, their product reflects sound waves, allowing fishermen to locate lost equipment immediately thanks to an echo sounder. 

On 8 June 2021, also known for the World Oceans Day, finalists' teams were invited to present their work virtually in front of a high-level jury.

If you are curious about their ideas you can view their presentations made during the Blue Innovation Award Final Webinar.

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Webinars

Over the academic year, themed e-mentoring and webinars are provided by Euronext volunteers in two key areas:

  • Climate change and the Blue Economy: All participating countries are adjacent to the ocean, and it is vital to protect the resource base on which economic activities depend. Euronext’s goal is to be a leader in advancing the Blue Economy to address the threats to the oceans and contribute to enhanced coastal resilience. View a replay of the Blue Economy webinar.
  • Financial literacy: As a market infrastructure, Euronext is at the centre of financial markets and communities. Improving the financial knowledge and skills of young Europeans will impact the broader community of stakeholders at the local level, including businesses, teachers, parents and the wider school community. View a replay of the Financial Literacy webinar.
Stéphane Boujnah
The programme is unique in equipping youth across Europe with concrete business skills while inspiring innovation in the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. It allows the participating students to take advantage of the mentorship from Euronext volunteers, benefitting from their mentors’ real-life experiences as they build their ideas. I am sure that it helps each of these students, as individuals, to reflect personally on their next steps, on how to combine motivation and drive to create something with a larger purpose that can be beneficial for society and, hopefully, the planet as a whole.
  • Stéphane Boujnah
  • CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of Euronext N.V.
Salvatore Nigro
The blue economy is key to the global efforts of climate change mitigation and developing sustainable future business models. Together with Euronext, we want to inspire the next generation of Europeans to embrace the opportunities of the blue economy while ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary financial literacy skills to develop viable businesses.
  • Salvatore Nigro
  • CEO JA Europe
Blue Challenge winners Bell and Gong

Bell and Gong ceremonies with the country winners of the Blue Innovation Award

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Euronext ESG strategy

ESG | Empowering Sustainable Growth

The world is facing pressing challenges to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. The finance sector is a vital contributor to the global sustainability agenda. It can empower sustainable finance, by incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decision-making. It can also support the allocation of capital to sustainable initiatives.

Euronext has a special position in the financial ecosystem. It serves the real economy by bringing together buyers and sellers in transparent, efficient and reliable trading venues. In this key role, Euronext has a responsibility to the whole finance community, not only to ensure financial stability, but to contribute decisively to a sustainable growth model in the countries in which it operates.

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