- The Euronext Blue Challenge aims to encourage young entrepreneurs’ awareness of the Blue Economy and foster sustainable marine-based businesses in Europe
- Euronext volunteers will mentor students in 7 countries pursuing Blue Economy projects to boost financial literacy and encourage innovation
Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Oslo and Paris – 20 January 2021 – Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today announced a partnership with JA Europe, the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship, to promote the Blue Economy by encouraging financial literacy amongst European youth across seven of its main countries.
The programme aims to inspire students about sustainable finance whilst helping them develop core skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and entrepreneurial skills. Through this collaboration, Euronext underlines the important role of the financial sector in boosting the Blue Economy by contributing to the promotion of financial literacy and innovation among students aged 16 to 18. In this regard, the JA Company Programme provides a unique opportunity for engagement in the area of mentoring and coaching the next generation of European citizens.
Starting in February 2021, 175 JA Company Programme students from 7 countries (Belgium, France, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) will participate in a series of activities providing exposure to the Blue Economy, including the promotion of financial literacy, and culminating in a final European-level competition. The Euronext Blue Challenge will include thematic e-mentoring and webinars provided by Euronext volunteers in two key areas:
- Blue Economy (oceans, seas and marine resources): with all participating countries adjacent to the ocean, 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 in order to address the threats to the oceans and contribute to enhanced coastal resilience.
- 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 school community at large.
Furthermore, in April-May 2021, JA Europe will organise national selections from a pool of 35 applicants, resulting in one mini-company per country competing in a final online challenge on World Oceans Day, 8 June 2021. For the first time, Euronext will give the “Blue Innovation Award” to the mini-company that best embodies a sustainable use of the ocean resources for economic growth.
Salvatore Nigro, CEO JA Europe said “Our new collaboration with Euronext allows young people in Europe to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our times through an entrepreneurial approach”. He added that “the combination of entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills for the benefit of the Blue Economy is a win-win for the future generations, our planet and our economies”.
Stéphane Boujnah, CEO of Euronext, said: “The Euronext Blue Challenge is a unique programme that equips youth across Europe with concrete business skills and inspires them to innovate and strive to protect marine. It represents one of the major ESG community initiatives we want to develop within the Sustainable Finance pillar of our Let’s Grow Together 2022 strategic plan. With the support and commitment of our volunteers, this partnership with JA will help ensure the new generation develops the financial literacy needed to successfully contribute to and advance the Blue Economy in the future.”
About JA EuropeJA Europe is the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide® which for 100 years has delivered hands on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Last school year, the JA network in Europe reached almost 4 million young people across 40 countries with the support of nearly 100,000 business volunteers and over 140,000 teachers/educators.
Notes to Editors:
1 Blue Economy - As an Official Supporter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative since 2015, Euronext is firmly commited to the UN’s “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, being one of the Sustainable Development Goals embraced in its ESG roadmap: “Goal 14: Life Below Water”. On 2 June 2020, Euronext became the first exchange to sign the nine Ocean Principles with the ambition to take a leading role in advancing the Blue Economy. Euronext contributed to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Oceans Business Group formalising the UN Blue Bond principles, available since April 2020.
2 Our Society - In Euronext's “Let's Grow Together 2022” strategic plan, Sustainable Finance is one of the six key pillars, and the commitment to developing ESG initiatives has been formalised around five impact areas: Our Markets, Our Partners, Our People, Our Society and Our Environment. The Euronext Blue Challenge is part of the company’s Our Society ESG material impact area, one of five comprising Euronext’s Empowering Sustainable Growth dual ambition: “drive investment in innovative, sustainable products and services through secure and transparent markets, in continuous collaboration with our financial community”; and “inspire and promote tangible sustainable practices within the company and towards our community, by respecting and developing our people and by supporting our ecosystem”. Under the Our Society scope, Euronext supports institutions in each of its main locations, focusing on two key areas: financial literacy and the Blue Economy, including oceans, seas and marine resources, with Euronext employees actively encouraged to contribute to local communities.