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“Ecoviña” Wins Hewlett-Packard Responsible Business Award
For Immediate Release:
OF CHILE COMPANY “ECOVINA” WINS
Successful young entrepreneurs develop innovative,
Colorado Springs, Colo. — At the 2009 Latin American JA Student Company of the Year Competition held on December 10-13 in Buenos Aires, Junior Achievement (JA) and Hewlett-Packard (HP) honored “Ecoviña” — a student company composed of secondary school students from Viña del Mar-Valparaiso, Chile — with the HP Responsible Business Award. JA and HP launched the new award in Latin America to encourage young entrepreneurs to engage in responsible business practices.
Ecoviña’s innovative product was a series of greeting cards made from recycled paper. After analyzing the greeting card business, the company determined that the high prices and lack of environmental responsibility of bigger commercial enterprises provided a good market-entry point for the student company’s handmade product line. The production process was rigorous, and members marketed and sold the cards in school and via Facebook, with a 125 percent return for stockholders.
Ecoviña also promoted environmentally responsible habits to younger students. First-grade students visited the production site and were taught about recycling and how to make paper. “It is extremely important to make the youngest understand that in the 21st century, we face a time of consequences and that as technology is developed, the necessity of being conscious with the environment grows more and more important,” said Matías Harmat Vergara, CEO of Ecoviña.
The company’s primary objectives were to provide high-quality products via a creative and innovative process, to make a profit and to be conscious of the environmental impact of its production processes.
"We are grateful to HP for its commitment to educating youth about entrepreneurship, good business practices and global citizenship," said Sean Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. "We appreciate their support of Junior Achievement's mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy."
"HP’s Responsible Business Award not only encourages young people to develop new businesses, but also teaches them the value of corporate citizenship in running a business," said Gabriele Zedlmayer, Vice President, Global Social Innovation, HP. "Students who compete for this award gain valuable skills that give them an advantage when entering employment. We applaud their vision and are pleased that our work with JA is having an impact on young people throughout the world."
A special panel of judges from HP evaluated Ecoviña’s achievement, based on the award criteria of financial performance, social responsibility, environmental excellence and innovation, and awarded the team top marks and five HP mini notebook computers.
The Award is part of HP’s Responsible Business Competition, an extension of the existing JA-YE Annual Company of the Year Competition which gives students aged 16-18 the opportunity to prepare for working life through the experience of running their own company. As part of the competition, over 100 HP employees volunteered their time to visit schools to offer students advice on how to integrate social and environmental responsibility into their student companies. In 2009, more than 52,000 students benefited from HP’s competition which was run in Latin America, North America, Europe and Africa. More information is available at www.responsible-business.org
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