An interactive window to my future and the real business world

Evgenia Kotopolou, senior student at A’ Arsakeio Lykeio of Psychiko in Athens, Greece

Evgenia Kotopoulou is a former participant of the Global Enterprise Project (GEP). A unique pan-European programme that equips students with key business and entrepreneurial skills, helping them make informed decisions about their future careers. In May 2014 she participated in the GEP European Final in Madrid, where 75 students from 13 countries worked collectively to design solutions that would help young people be more successful in finding employment and more proactive in creating jobs for themselves.

Eight major European industries (Siemens, SAP, Repsol, Total, SmurfitKappa, STMicroelectronics, AlcatelLucent and SONAE) have supported the project, which is run JA-YE Europe, the largest entrepreneurship education provider in Europe, and the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT).

Last year, Evgenia took part in the Company Programme, acting as Chief Financial Officer for her mini-company. Her team created a social enterprise that sought to make education accessible to vulnerable social groups by providing educational material to children affected in the economic crisis. Through their entrepreneurial journey they received support and mentorship from business volunteer, Ioannis Anagnostis Tsoukalas – Head of Sustainability at Apivita and the CEO of Apigea. His support was very appreciated during the initial startup phase, always pushing the students to reach their full potential.

As a result, their mini-company won the prize for ‘Best Stand’ at the Trade Fair, ranking 5th among all Company of The Year Competition national participants in Greece.

Evgenia greatly enjoyed her GEP experience because it was different from any other school project she had ever participated in. “For me this was like an interactive window into my future and the real business world. It was an enriching experience that changed all of us.”

GEP directly impacted Evgenia’s future ambition and career path. She is now planning to study Economics in the United Kingdom with the goal of someday working in the business sector. GEP significantly impacted my life, teaching me some very important lessons. I realized that the amalgam of cultures, ideas and theories is a persisting reality of today. This diversity made me decide to study abroad, seeking to further understand globalization and its effect on the business environment. In my opinion, GEP is an important stepping stone to forming knowledgeable global citizens – ready to embrace the world.”