Students win with best idea for social entrepreneurship

Between 12-14 April, 15 teams of students from Jönköping University (JU) took part in the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge 2021, a 24-hour race organised by Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) where the students must solve a real-life business case. This year, IKEA provided the challenge – to come up with ideas on how IKEA can strengthen their work with developing social entrepreneurship.

The winners of the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge 2021, from left: Ishaan Chandok, Eko Wahyu Kuncoro, Devika Dileep and Raphael Lauren Owusu. "In the spirit of social entrepreneurship, we want to give away part of our prize money to charity."

“Given the current status and objectives of IKEAs programs for Social Entrepreneurship, your task is to pitch an idea for achieving increased, or simply better, future integration of social entrepreneurship projects into IKEA and its value-chain.”

This was the challenge that the competing student teams were presented with for the 10th anniversary of the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge. They then had 24 hours to come up with a solution, making a 5-minute filmed presentation of their pitch for a jury made up of representatives from IKEA, Aktiestinsen Foundation, Science Park and Jönköping International Business School (JIBS). By Wednesday 14 April at 16.00, the jurors had picked a winning team which was announced in a special livestream of the Grand Final.

Elvira Sandberg and Tindra Falk were project managers for the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge and hosts of the broadcast of the grand final.

Winning idea connects undiscovered suppliers with IKEA

Since 2012, IKEA has systematically engaged in supporting social businesses (where the ambition is to use business as a way to solve social challenges, such as reducing poverty or empowering marginalised communities) by using their products or services in IKEA's supply chain.

The first prize of 60,000 SEK went to students Devika Dileep, Eko Wahyu Kuncoro, Ishaan Chandok and Raphael Lauren Owusu for their idea for “IKEA’s NEST”. NEST stands for “Nurturing Entrepreneurial Spirit for Tomorrow” and is a digital platform that would connect untapped potential social businesses from vulnerable and marginalized communities all over the world with IKEA. The platform would give them access to education and training in social entrepreneurship along with the chance to submit their business into a yearly competition to become a potential supplier for IKEA.

In their motivation statement, the jury said that the team had managed to create “a holistic approach that included all the relevant stakeholders in the future supply chain” and that “taking the perspective of the people that will benefit from the idea is a win-win solution.”

“The four members of our team come from different parts of Asia and Africa. Hence, we have a very real perspective of what goes on in these countries and in what way social entrepreneurship could benefit innumerable communities in these parts of the world. In the spirit of social entrepreneurship, we want to give away part of our prize money to charity” said winning team leader Devika Dileep.

The jury for the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge 2021

Christina Niemelä Ström, Supply Sustainability Manager, IKEA Supply AG
Jerker Moodysson, Dean and Managing Director, JIBS
Linda Pålsson, Business Developer, Science Park
Sara Hooton, President JSA, JIBS
Sven Rydell, Board Member, Aktiestinsen and Head of Trade and Industry, Jönköping Municipality

Ideas “relevant for IKEA”

Christina Neimelä Ström is the Supply Sustainability Manager for IKEA Supply AG and participated online from Switzerland as a jury member for this year’s challenge.

“The students managed to come up with very relevant things for IKEA in just 24 hours, so I have a lot of respect for the knowledge that they have shown and am impressed that they actually managed to pull it all together in such a short time. And this is innovation. It’s not always some hi-tech new product. Innovation in thought and in new ways of doing business is something we should all be doing,” says Christina Neimelä Ström.

Jerker Moodysson, Dean and Managing Director of JIBS, was also impressed by the team’s solutions:

“The challenge this year was tough and quite broad, but what we were looking for was relevant, creative and realizable ideas. This year’s winning solution really recognised the force that IKEA has, as global company, in making a difference and being a social actor. They had very refreshing and convincing ideas,” says Jerker Moodysson.

The JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge is organised by the student association Entrepreneurship Academy at JIBS and is based on a donation from Aktiestinsen Foundation.

A full list of the winning teams and more information about JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge can be found here.