20.07.2021

11 teams participated in the first Diplom+ final

In October 2020, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth launched a new training programme, Diplom+, targeting young graduates hesitating between continuing their education or entering the labour market. The 140 young people who enrolled in this programme were able to take advantage of a variety of professional training courses such as project management, digital technology, job preparedness, time management and well-being. They developed their hard skills, soft skills and life skills and are thus better equipped for their future.

The non-profit organisation Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg was commissioned by the Ministry of Education, to create, operate, and manage the “Projet d’innovation”, which ran from March to July 2021. The objective of this particular course was to provide students with an opportunity to study and to apply business management principles. They discovered the steps necessary to launch a product / service to the market and they learned how to commercialise it. In total, 80 students divided into 12 teams participated in this practical course and 11 teams presented their businesses in the finals  that took place on the 14th of July.

The Teams

Lëtz.Kär: Our idea is to make traditional cards more unique by incorporating small seeds, which, once planted on the ground, start to flourish. The main advantage of our product is that it is locally-sourced. It is important to emphasise that our product is eco- and socio-responsible, values that we hold dear.

Who New ? Our vision is to give value to what people consider waste. We believe that every piece of fabric can have a second life, which is why we created an upcycling company to fight against textile waste and people’s excessive consumption mentality. To be more specific, we re-purpose the oilcloth from old tents belonging to the scouts to produce and sell aprons, tote bags and wallets.

Wooden Boxes: Our mini-company sells storage boxes by giving a second life to old wooden wine crates. The boxes are used to store equipment for dogs or small children. The boxes can be fixed in any car with the help of climbing carabiner that come with the boxes. Our boxes are unique because they are fixed with a strip and clip closure so that you can fix dog leashes or other items in the car or at home.

Gemz: The idea behind our mini-company is to produce unique jewellery and decorations with resin as the base material. We want to offer our customers the possibility to buy a product that is different from the identical mass-produced and mass-sold goods.

LëtzPotz: We make flower pots from metal cans that will embellish your windows, balconies and gardens. With our kits you can grow herbs and vegetables in your own home and preserve heritage varieties and protect biodiversity.

Vality: Our main product is a wallet made from recycled receipts and a transparent plastic cover. We also sell small pouches and pencil cases made from receipts and from other, more colourful, fully recycled fabric.

Impeccable candles: We handcraft rapeseed wax candles in the shapes of male and female bodies of various types. Inside these bodies we include small healing stones that reveal themselves as you burn the candle. We want to promote body positivity and self-love. Most of us have struggled with self-confidence and self-acceptance issues during our teenage years. This problem is acute and linked to an overexposure to social media and the body ideals these platforms present.

LuxTea: Our business plan is to sell 100% locally-sourced tea. We created a tea for each season (winter, spring, summer and autumn) and the teas are made with herbs that we have chosen and tasted beforehand. The herbs for our teas are exclusively planted and harvested in Luxembourg by ≪Téi vum Séi≫. Our product emphasizes regionality and uniqueness. The design of the labels is done by ourselves and the bags are recyclable. The herbs have no additives and everything is handmade.

Animate: We produce board games, which must be played by at least 4 people. The idea originates from the fact that people like to spend time together and we came to the conclusion that a board game fulfils this function. The special feature of our product is that it is a Luxembourgish mystery game. The tension spreads over the whole game and everyone is constantly involved.

Central Arts: Our product is a unisex t-shirt with a design and logo made by one of our team members. The design is placed on the back of the t-shirt, while the logo is printed on the left side of the chest. Given the colours of the design, we chose white t-shirts, to emphasise the image.

Resin Art: Resin Art aims to produce decorative resin objects. We use a thermosetting resin which is ideal for the production of objects such as coasters, ashtrays, key rings, pocket trays and others. Resin Art distinguishes itself from its competitors by its local production and its handmade products.

“Today I congratulate the different actors who joined forces to design and organise this experience. It has been a great success and has enabled 140 young people to take advantage of a transitional phase in their life to acquire skills that are highly valued on the job market and in higher education.”, proclaimed a delighted Claude Meisch, Minister of Education.

 

In order to be able to create an innovative product or service, Jonk Entrepreneuren called on its many volunteers to guide and inspire these young entrepreneurs. A coach from the professional world was assigned to each team, and, additionally, the students were able to follow the following training sessions and workshops:

 

  • Design Thinking by Yellow Ball
  • Innovation Camp, by Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, Deloitte and KPMG
  • Introduction to the social economy and social entrepreneurship by the Ministry of Labour
  • Visit of the Makerspace at the Geesseknäppchen Forum by the SNJ
  • Business Model Canvas by nyuko
  • Exchange with the Alumni of Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg
  • Market research by nyuko
  • Digital Marketing Tools by Standart
  • Building a business plan by Deloitte
  • Creating a professional website in WordPress by Madi & Co.
  • Introduction to online marketing by Neon Marketing Technology
  • E-commerce by Retis
  • Accounting by teachers
  • Co-creation workshop – Social Impact by the Ministry of Labour
  • Leadership by Susan d’Ansembourg
  • Public speaking by Verbalius
  • Responsibility of the leader by Emilie Pirlot
  • The House of Social and Solidarity Economy by the Ministry of Labour
  • Sales at the Pop Up Store in Esch-sur-Alzette
  • Intellectual property by IPIL
  • Information session by the Chambre des Métiers
  • Knowledge of the start-up ecosystem and financing by the House of Start Ups and the Chamber of Commerce.

A jury of experts

In order to participate in the final competition, the teams had to prepare a business plan which they submitted to the four jury members of this first edition of the Diplom + programme: Blanche Lamesch (Chambre des métiers), Astrid Wagner (Arendt & Medernach), Philippe Weisen (Banque internationale à Luxembourg), and Patrick Wies (KPMG)

“Congratulations to all these young people who have shown great resilience in their daily lives. Creating a product or service from scratch in just a few months shows how much you invested in your innovative projects”, says Patrick Wies, member of the jury and president of the board of directors at Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg.

The jury’s job was to analyse the business plans received beforehand and to evaluate them. During the final, each team had the opportunity to answer the jury’s questions during a project defence interview. Finally, each team had four minutes to present their project on stage to the audience.

Astrid Wagner (Arendt & Medernach) was impressed by these young people: “This is the first time I have participated as a member of the jury and I must say that I was amazed by the quality of the presentations today. Congratulations to all of you because this is a difficult exercise and you have mastered it very well.”

The projects which were awarded prizes for outstanding achievements in this first edition of Diplom+ are:

Best Project 2021: Who New ?

Best Business Plan: Who New ?

Best Presentation: Impeccable candles

Public Choice Award: Lëtz.Kär

Best Product: Vality