Press Releases

Unemployment and social inclusion issues? HopJob to the rescue!

09 September 2015

Students become ‘Catalysts for Change’ and win global Social Innovation Relay award with innovative job-matching service

‘Catalysts for Change’ from Singapore won the Global Final of ‘Social Innovation Relay’ with their job-matching service HopJob, which aims to promote social inclusion and livelihood development (within the community). It does this by tackling unemployment issues, such as imperfect knowledge and skills mismatch. After qualifying in their national country, ‘Catalysts for Change’ competed for the global title against students from 7 countries around the world: Bulgaria, China, India, The Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, and Spain.

The student team shared their experience, saying: “It has been an exhilarating experience for us and we have grown so much as a team, while learning more about the meticulous planning and various aspects to consider for a business. This eye-opener was a huge help in working towards materializing our idea. We also deepened our understanding about other cultures and global social issues through participating in the Global Final with teams from all around the world.”

A JA Europe initiative, the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) is supported by NN Group and works to inspire secondary students to develop innovative business concepts that address social challenges. This year the Social Innovation Relay has engaged over 5,000 students, providing them with essential entrepreneurial competences and social awareness to find success in today’s global markets.

During the programme, students are paired with business volunteers who provide a combination of virtual and face-to-face mentorship in their areas of expertise. Working together with the business community provides students with the opportunity to connect their classroom knowledge with the ‘real world.’

"With the SIR we encourage students to embrace social innovation and entrepreneurship to tackle societal challenges. We believe that by doing so they will gain important skills required in any job or business. NN's global partnership with Junior Achievement fits perfectly with the goal of NN Future Matters, our global corporate citizenship programme which aims to help improve people’s financial well-being. As part of this programme we offer our talent, expertise and resources to help provide young people the relevant skills to create economic opportunities, overcome adversity and reach their dreams."Fleur Hudig, Head Corporate Citizenship NN.

The Global Final took place online, with the following Jury: Fleur Hudig (Head Corporate Citizenship, NN Group), Jeanette Weisschuh (Director Economic Progress, Corporate Affairs, HP), Hannah Grainger Clemson (Policy Officer – e-Twinning, School Education, Erasmus+ Exploitation of Results, European Commission), Samuel Lim (Head of Macro Real Money and Official Institutions Sales , Barclays, Singapore), Delfino Eugenio (Project Manager, European Commission – Education Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency), Anna Yonkova (Head of Marketing, Training and Customer Care, NN Bulgaria), and Vidhya Sampath (Director External Relations Europe, Tata Consultancy Services).

"It is wonderful to witness these young people working together in such creative ways and speaking with such passion about social issues and solutions that they feel are important. We are working on many of the same issues right now; particularly on how to improve the inclusion of young people in education and society in general and raise their aspirations and sense of well-being. To have such innovative ideas put forward by the young people themselves is a very positive sign for the future. I congratulate all of the finalists and JA Europe for leading this initiative." - Hannah Grainger Clemson, Policy Officer, e-Twinning, School Education, Erasmus+ Exploitation of Results, European Commission

Through a mix of online and offline activities, students are able to grow practical business skills and strengthen their social awareness. Together with NN, JA Europe seeks to increase students’ self-confidence, empowering them to get creative and find solutions to both local and global social needs in the following sectors: Education, Health, Social Inclusion, Livelihood Development, and Sustainability.

JA Europe’s CEO, Caroline Jenner shared: “Through our Social Innovation Relay, we want to inspire young people to think like social entrepreneurs. Together with NN, we are encouraging them to get creative and work collaboratively on possible solutions to societal challenges.”



Social Innovation Relay Winner 2015

HopJob - Singapore

2nd Place - TIED

Buddy Apps – Romania

The Branch of Truth – China


About JA Europe

JA Europe ( is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries in 2014. It was founded in 2001 when Young Enterprise Europe and Junior Achievement International Europe merged. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA’s activities have been endorsed as best practice by the European Commission. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

About NN

NN Group is an insurance and investment management company with a strong, predominantly European presence in more than 18 countries. With around 12,000 employees the group offers retirement services, insurance, investments and banking to more than 15 million customers. NN Group includes Nationale-Nederlanden, NN (formerly known as ING Insurance) and NN Investment Partners (formerly known as ING Investment Management). NN Group is listed on Euronext Amsterdam (NN).

For more information visit:

For more information, please contact:

Marie Hargitt
JA Europe Communications
+32 2 893 44 36

Manel Vrijenhoek
Press Officer NN Group
+32 6 5787 5065

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