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JA Finland has a new partner – Howspace makes participation in JA activities possible from villages to metropolises

Junior Achievement Finland has received a new partner for its operations as the Finnish high-growth company Howspace Oy will support the organization in its efforts to make the JA programs and events available to all children and youth. The joint mission of the newly established partnership is centered around building networks and the desire to promote the learning of youth and their social cohesion. The digital, communal platform of Howspace strengthens cooperation with children and youth and the networks working with them.

The restrictions on public gatherings during the COVID-19 year complicated interaction and learning together with friends, elements that are associated with the programs of JA Finland. The use of digital tools became more common during the exceptional year. “Near the end of the year, we had to find a way to organize the regional Uskalla Yrittää semifinal tour so that we could make the event both inspiring and interactive for young people. We tested several alternatives and ended up choosing Howspace as our partner,” says Virpi Utriainen, CEO at Junior Achievement Finland.

“Organizing the series of nine virtual semifinals on a clear, user-friendly platform was a great success, exceeding all expectations. More than 10 000 participants and supporters visited the platform, which inspired the idea of more extensive cooperation”, says Utriainen.

The organization believes that work will never go back to what it was before COVID-19. Due to this, JA Finland will organize several teacher training events and seminars next term using the Howspace platform. The aim is to give even more teachers the opportunity to become familiar with the programs and get involved in JA activities.

Enabling digital participation brings added value to the personal experience of each young participant while also providing more networking opportunities with other young people all over Finland. Part of the internal development, growth, and program work of JA Finland can also be done digitally in the future, which will further diversify working methods and also save travel time.

Collaboration is highly significant also for Howspace as it gears up for international growth

“It is important for us to do our bit on behalf of bringing young people’s dreams to life. Entrepreneurship requires the courage to see and develop new, different business ideas and needs. This collaboration allows us to be involved in making young people’s dreams come true and to do some good. Work in the future will require an entrepreneurial approach so it is great that working life skills can also be developed in events like this,” says CEO at Howspace Ilkka Mäkitalo.

“In addition, it is worth noting that most of the young people do not compete in the event as individuals, but form teams around their ideas and work together toward a common goal. This is also one of the key business ideas and goals of Howspace; cooperation brings the best results.”

Exporting Finnish know-how and entrepreneurship to the global market is also part of the reason for the partnership of Howspace and JA Finland. JA is part of the international Junior Achievement network, and Howspace consolidated its position in the global market in the past year.

“It was wonderful to see how quickly all the regional Uskalla Yrittää events, the semifinals, and the final were transferred to the virtual environment. The event has previously been organized in the Kamppi Shopping Center, but now everyone across Finland can attend. It was great that the young people mastered the new working methods so quickly and started presenting their work to the jury and the audience”, says Mäkitalo happily.

“With Howspace, we can create a sense of coherence and inclusion in the event. The user-friendly platform allows the young people to work on pre-assignments and helps teachers form networks, not to mention inviting thousands of visitors to actively participate in the event.”