Bulgaria’s Wasteful, Slovakia’s Scribo win FedEx Access Awards at JA Europe entrepreneurship festival

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Bulgarian student-run startup Wasteful and mini company Scribo from Slovakia won this year’s edition of the signature FedEx Awards at the JA Europe entrepreneurship festival, Gen-E.

Wasteful, run by four young entrepreneurs from the Institute of Mineralogy in Bulgaria, developed a process that turns waste into durable and affordable pavement tiles. While the pilot product has already been used for pavements in the students’ city, the start-up is only at the beginning of its journey, with plans to develop more construction products such as bricks, tiles or insulation all over Europe and the globe.

Wasteful’s “Pixel” pavers, inspired by traditional Bulgarian shevitsa (embroidery pattern) image: © Wasteful

With similar ambitions to reduce waste and preserve the natural environment, mini company Scribo, led by a team of students from Gymnázium Poštová 9, in Košice in Eastern Slovakia, offers a solution to dry-erase markers that are not being recycled. Each year, 35 billion plastic markers go to waste. Scribo’s zero-waste dry-erase whiteboard markers are made of recycled wax which never dries out and does not need a plastic cap, producing no excess waste. The students are on a mission to make every school and company progressively more sustainable with a novel, environmentally friendly way of writing on whiteboards.

© Scribo

“Once again, this year we have been blown away by the creativity and business acumen of these young people, who fearlessly take on the major challenges our communities face. The ideas they have come up with are scalable globally and will make a difference to our planet. As main partner of Gen-E 2021, we are very proud to recognize Wasteful and Scribo with the FedEx Access Award, and look forward to working with the young entrepreneurs to further develop their businesses and tap into our expertise for them to take on new markets”, said Helena Jansson, Senior Vice President, Finance International at FedEx Express.

+++JA’s Gen-E 2021 brings together 180 startups from across Europe+++

Salvatore Nigro, CEO of JA Europe said: “Every year, and increasingly, more than half of the thousands of student companies and start-ups created through the JA entrepreneurship education programmes focus on the global environmental challenges our societies face. Our youth have these issues at heart and through their entrepreneurial experiences, they show solutions exist for a better connected, more sustainable future. We are very grateful to FedEx Express for supporting our youth to think big, wide and far, and for helping them to bring their ideas to the next level through individual mentorship and counselling.”

Wasteful and Scribo are two companies created by students who participated in the Junior Achievement Start-up Programme and Company Programme, and which successfully found their way to the European Competition Gen-E, virtually hosted by JA Lithuania from 29 June until 15 July. GenE is a celebration of youth entrepreneurship and of the achievements of Europe’s students, who showcase their cutting-edge business ideas and are recognised with prestigious awards and special prizes.

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