August 3, 2017
Team Meira of JA Iceland Wins Citi Client Focus Award
For the past 30 years, Citi and the Citi Foundation have been working with JA to help manage and scale JA’s network and ensure pathways to opportunity and upward mobility for young people around the world. To celebrate, we're launching a series of Citi-JA stories about JA students, Citi volunteers, and others who have been inspired by a JA initiative funded by Citi Foundation. Here's our first, on Team Meira from JA Iceland.
Through the JA Company Program, students create and market real products or services and run the company from top to bottom. Business volunteers, who act as mentors, offer expert advice to students, and support them as they compete in local and regional Company of the Year competitions. The result is a real-world, experiential program for young people that puts entrepreneurship within their reach.
Each year, more than 2,000 Citi employees volunteer to be JA mentors, and over the last three decades, these volunteers have devoted over 150,000 hours of their own time. In addition, Citi has created a Signature Award, presented at regional Company of the Year competitions, that recognizes student companies that focus on clients and deliver remarkable service.
At the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition in Brussels this summer, where over 200 students from 36 countries participated, one student company—Meira of JA Iceland—won the Citi Client Focus Award, supported by the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative. This award recognizes student companies that are client-led and that excel at creating value by listening to their clients in order to understand, anticipate, and serve their evolving needs and circumstances.
What is Meira? A simple app that encourages users to set cost-saving goals for themselves, and them helps them achieve those goals. It’s mission? To change the way young people save money. Both the app and the team impressed the Citi Signature Award jury, especially because of Meira’s strong attention to customer service, a must in today’s app-crowded field.
Fabrice Novel, Director France Securities Country Manager, Citi, was delighted that Meira won this year’s Citi Client Focus Award. “As a company,” he said, “they demonstrated real client-led innovation and entrepreneurial skills, and they embodied the spirit of the JA Company of the Year Programme.”
Meira stood out during the judging as an example of the importance of entrepreneurship education, which Citi and Citi Foundation support through Pathways to Progress.
Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe, agrees: “Together with Citi Foundation, we aim to prepare and inspire the next generation of client-conscious entrepreneurs. Being able to adapt your skills, competences, and business strategy to the needs of society is crucial in today’s fast-changing markets. Citi has a long history of volunteering and this is one of the most powerful ways to make this message resonate with young people.”