Pupils and entrepreneurial spirit: The new mini company of the Entrepreneurial School of Junior Achievement Europe

Article published on April 14, 2016
Article published on April 14, 2016

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

beLIVE: A social enterprise with a product against danger! Are you in jeopardy and want to send an SOS?

Check out what a team of students just prepared.

They are 20 -17 years old- students and already entrepreneurs of the 1st Arsakeio Lyceum of Psychico in Athens, the «Entrepreneurial School» of Junior Achievement Europe.

What they think of: “We cut our path to success, we acquire new skills and we sharpen our business acumen by participating for the 8th year in a row in the “Company Program”, organized by Junior Achievement Greece in partnership with the Ministry of Education. The teacher in charge of the company program is (our teacher) Ms. Angeliki Zisi, Coordinator of the Entrepreneurship of the group of Arsakeia Schools in Greece and National Trainer of Junior Achievement.

During this year, we have created a social enterprise called «beLIVE» and we have produced a technological product that protects us in cases of danger whenever and wherever we are.

Our product is an innovative application, available for Android software (4.4.1+), with which you can send an SOS text message when you are in danger with the use of a special device. Our application is called “exodus” and is symbolized with the Greek letter «ξ».

If you feel that you are in danger and you want to call for help, just click the button of the special device! The application is immediately activated and the SOS message is sent to the persons of your choice. The recipients receive not only the SOS text message, but also a link to Google Maps where they can see your exact location and come for your rescue!”, Katerina Stathakarou, Production Manager, explains.

-Why a social enterprise?

Simply because we are young and we want a better “today”! Our goal is to protect people and we take social responsibility very seriously as Anastasia Georgiadou, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility says. As a famous Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis has said «Love the others because they are you!»

We took a lot of risks but we learned that we achieve nothing if we don’t take risks”, as Iakovos Papaioannou, CFO, says. “We mostly faced financial risks because of the lack of financial resources and of the costly production. Due to the economic crisis it was extremely difficult for us to find sponsors, but we are persistent and we succeeded in it and we are very proud of that”, comments Kalypso- Sofia Sdrali, PR Manager.

What I have learned from this program”, summarizes the CEO Sofoklis Tentomas, “is the importance of team spirit! We have to be united no matter the circumstances and have our goal in our minds, which is to acquire entrepreneurial skills and become the masters of our fate!”

"It’s not easy to create a product", as Penelope Stergiou, Director of Research and Development states. “We were brainstorming for three months, we faced difficulties but we never gave up. That is the meaning of Junior Achievement, you have to learn how to react and interact with others even in the hardest of situations! What our teacher, Ms. Zisi, taught us is that we should never stop fighting for our goals!

The most important fact is that this product is our brainchild and we are more than proud to have created it! It costs 10 Euros. A price that guarantees the sustainability of our social enterprise and at the same time a product that is not expensive because we know that the economic crisis prevents people from buying costly products”, Manolis Pantelakis, Sales Manager, says. “We will wholeheartedly donate the profit to the Floga Association, a Pan Hellenic parents association of children with cancer embracing thousands of families all over Greece.

 “What I have learned through this process is that twists may occur anytime and we should be ready to face them and find the best possible solution.

We also participate in the program “Enterprise without Borders” of Junior Achievement to communicate with other mini companies from various European schools”, Vassiliki Kouri, Director of European and International Relations states. What’s more, we take part in the program “social enterprise 360” and in SIR (Social Innovation Relay) of Junior Achievement.

We are also going to test our new skills through the certification of the Junior Achievement program, «Entrepreneurial Skill Pass». This certification will be an extremely important part of our CV and consequently for our professional career”, Danae Nikolopoulou, Human Resources Manager and Head of the Information Systems ads.

During all this process we have people who support us in every possible way. Our headmistress Ms. Amalia Mavroeidi, who runs the «Entrepreneurial School», the whole community of our school and our parents, who believe in the vision of the  entrepreneurial education of Junior Achievement, the local community such as universities, organizations, companies, freelancers, the Media and the Organization of Culture, Sports and Youth of the City of Athens.

We consider our teacher, Ms. Angeliki Zisi to be our edifier and business companion. She firmly believes in team spirit, the importance of fruitful communication between the members of this company and the cohesion of our team. She makes the best of each student’s talents so that the each one of us is positioned to the domain that suits him best and she combines our skills in order for the team to become powerful and bring about the best result!

We would like to thank our volunteer-consultant, Zisis Vasileios, (Ph. D.) Assistant Professor in Accounting Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus.”

Official page of the application: http://belive.gr/index.php

FB page of the application https://www.facebook.com/belive1516/?fref=ts, http://belive.gr/index.php