JA Malta Chairperson Chris Vassallo Cesareo has highlighted the various benefits and lessons that entrepreneurship presents to individuals, particularly when it comes to interpreting what is happening around them.
This came during his opening speech for the JA Europe 2023 Leadership Summit, which was opened on Thursday (yesterday) at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands in Malta.
The two-day conference, hosted by JA Malta, has welcomed all of JA Europe’s Board and CEOs, and for the first time ever, also various board members from over 40 countries. It brings together these experts from across JA Europe to discuss ways to further support future generations of entrepreneurs and increase the impact of the network, which teaches young people to develop the skillset and mindset to create businesses, find meaningful employment, and build thriving communities.
The first day of the high-level conference opened with speeches from JA Europe Chairman Adam Warby, JA Europe CEO Salvatore Nigro, and Mr Vassallo Cesareo, among others.
“Entrepreneurship not only creates new opportunities and jobs, but it also creates new ways of seeing the world,” Mr Vassallo Cesareo said, before adding that it is the “spark of prosperity”.
“This summit is where we will be working on our strategic execution, coming together to share what we have learnt over the years, as well as our visions and ambitions,” Mr Nigro said.
“We are here to celebrate those who are shining as our students and alumni,” he added.
Mr Warby agreed in his address, saying that JA Europe is “here to learn and collaborate and inspire youth to envision a new and brighter future”.
Following the opening ceremony, the first workshop set the JA Europe strategy for 2023-2027, based on the four pillars of accelerate digital, empower the underserved, cultivate partnerships, and strengthen the ONEJA network.
During the workshop, JA shared that it has already led an important initiative to support earthquake victims in Turkey, as well as various others to support youth in Ukraine. It also announced that JA Europe has just secured the “largest funding project from the European commission of almost €4 million”, of which Malta is also part. The funding will seek to “upskill and reskill” youth in the retail sector with tech such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
The JA Europe 2023 Leadership Summit, held across 16th and 17th March, also features a series of sessions focusing on key topics related to the NGO’s programmes, including finance and compliance, public relations and communication, programme development, and business development. Day one ended with a gala dinner for all attendees, while the conference will close on Friday (today) with a networking dinner.
On the following day (Saturday), sixth formers from JA Malta’s Company Programme will present their mini company products at the JA Malta MarketPlace between 9.30am and 3pm at the Valletta Entrance. The event will be officially opened by President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola.
Founded over a century ago, JA is “one of the largest youth-serving NGOs”, and has been a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for two years running. The JA Worldwide network delivers hands-on learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, creating pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. In the last year alone, the NGO stated that the network – which operates in more than 100 countries, including Malta for the past 34 years – delivered over 15 million student-learning experiences for employment and entrepreneurship through its programmes.
JA Malta Chairperson Chris Vassallo Cesareo
He replaces Jose Ramon Alegre, who resigned from the position at the start of 2024.
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