01 Jul 2020

SAFE mentored team to reach national final of school student competition YES!

High school students from the European School RhineMain win the preliminary round with the concept of a marketing app for SMEs

A team from the European School RhineMain (ESRM) in Bad Vilbel, mentored by the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, has won the regional preliminary round of the nationwide school student competition YES! – Young Economic Summit and will compete in the national final from 21 to 23 September 2020. Supported by Simone Wies, SAFE junior professor for marketing and finance at the Goethe University Frankfurt, the five ESRM high school team members stood their ground against six other groups of students from Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland in a virtual conference.

The ESRM Group participated in the YES! preliminary decision in the South West region with the topic “How can we measure the value of marketing? What is a brand worth?” With the help of Simone Wies, the team developed the concept for a mobile app especially designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Provided with the app, SMEs can continuously check and evaluate their marketing strategy in order to better place their products on the market. According to the students' idea, the app should be free of charge for SMEs and be distributed by chambers of industry and commerce.

A marketing app for retailers

The idea was born in view of the consequences of the Corona pandemic for smaller retailers who are now particularly dependent on targeted marketing strategies. In the current crisis, these retailers in particular are forced to invest in advertising measures efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. These retailers thus need insight into the success of advertising campaigns in order to be able to take further action. Omnia, the marketing consulting application that the ESRM team wants to have developed, should offer exactly that: Users will be able to calculate their income from advertising campaigns and have the return on invested capital calculated. In addition, the high school students are planning an app-specific function that will enable them to get started in marketing strategies.

“The group proceeded very smartly during the preparation, asked the right questions and gave an extraordinary presentation,” says Simone Wies. “The participation in the national final is highly deserved.” As a scientific partner SAFE is involved in YES! for the first time this year. Initially, two teams of students had started this year's YES! competition in March 2020, accompanied by experts from SAFE and Goethe University. A team from the Hohe Landesschule Hanau, supported by Eveline Wuttke, Professor of Business Education at the Faculty of Economics at Goethe University, had dealt with how interest in financial topics can be awakened in young people.

SAFE along with two other institutes in the south-west region

Since 2019, YES! has been taking place in five regions throughout Germany. In the south-west region, SAFE, the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) are scientific partners of the competition. The ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Joachim Herz Foundation from Hamburg are behind the project as organizers.

YES! is considered the largest German school competition on economic and social challenges. In a six-month mentoring phase, school groups work out innovative solutions for economic, ecological, and social problems, with experts from Leibniz institutions throughout Germany providing them with scientific advice. In the course of YES!, the school groups have the opportunity to discuss their ideas with each other and with personalities from business, science, politics, and civil society.

In the individual regional rounds, the school students themselves vote on the winning teams after presenting their projects to each other. The best solution idea will be chosen at the YES! national final and subsequently awarded a prize by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin.