Less than one month to go until the deadline for the 2018 SME Week Youth Essay Competition. There is still time to write an entry, but how can you tailor it for the jury who will be judging it? Last week we spoke to jury member Mervi Pänkäläinen  and what she is looking for in an entry. This week we have asked 2018 jury member Oksana Vedmidska to share with you what will make an entry stand out for her.
Oksana is not only a 2018 jury member, but also the 2017 competition winner. Read her tips on how to write a good essay here .
What will you be looking for in an entry?
In an entry I will be looking for original ideas and concrete suggestions with regard to this year’s topic “What steps should entrepreneurs and government take to become more innovative?”
What are the top 3 criteria you will base your judging on?
I will judge each essay on the following three criteria: originality, feasibility and presentation. Each criterion is worth a maximum of six points.
What makes an entry stand out for you?
An entry should demonstrate innovative, progressive, analytical and practical thinking. The inclusion of personal experiences will also play a very important role for me while judging an essay. This is what will make an entry original.
What advice would you give for those still not sure about entering the competition?
My advice would be to just give it a shot! I am sure that many of us have had experiences with regards to the topic of the competition and developed ideas on making our governments and businesses more innovative and advanced. This competition is a platform and a chance to publish those ideas. It is time to share your ideas in order to encourage real change!
What steps do you think should be taken to foster and encourage innovation?
When observing our society I would say that the biggest challenge for innovation lies in people’s psychological readiness to accept change. If we want to head towards an innovative future we have to open our minds and get rid of stereotypical thinking, whilst also following the principles of common sense. Therefore the first and most crucial step, in my view, is changing curriculums in our educational institutions. They should foster individuality, creativity and critical thinking as well as develop skills which are required in today’s modern society.
Innovation comes when people think in a creative way and for them to do that they need moral and financial support. There are several more formal steps that should be taken, for example, introduction of an EU patent with validity in all Member States, implementing secure e-Government tools, simplifying registration for start-ups, appropriating funds for research exchange programs etc. I hope that the 2018 entries will discuss this topic creatively and address the fact that to foster innovation it is necessary to take steps in each sector of our society.
Interested in entering this year’s competition? Find out more about the 2018 SME Week Youth Essay Competition right here ! Keep coming back to the News Portal to find out more about the competition and all of the jury members, and don’t forget to submit your essays by 23 September 2018.