Hush-Hush Underwear wins Citi Foundation Client Focus Award

By July 8, 2019 No Comments
  • Hush-Hush Underwear won the Citi Foundation Client Focus Award during the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition 2019
  • The Citi Foundation Client Focus Award recognizes student enterprises that are client-led.
  • The JA Europe Company of the Year Competition final took place in Lille (France) on July 3-5 with 200+ participating young entrepreneurs from 40

Forty student companies gathered in Lille to compete for the finale of the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition. All hoped to win the Citi Foundation Client Focus Award, which recognizes student enterprises that are client-led and excel at creating value by listening to their clients to understand, anticipate and serve their evolving needs and circumstance.

Hush-Hush Underwear from Denmark claimed the award after impressing the judges with their innovative idea: bFree is a soft bra with built-in space to discretely hold two sanitary pads, helping teen girls bust through the taboos associated with menstruation.

“Through our Client Focus Award, we acknowledge that customer expectations are evolving fast, in step with rapid technological innovation. Hush-Hush Underwear has fully embraced this complexity and fully deserves this year’s award. We are delighted to be teaming up with JA Europe again to support young people develop entrepreneurial mindsets and employability skills. We wish the Hush-Hush Underwear team all the best for the future!” said Amal Gomersall, VP Community Development EMEA, Citi.


We very much wanted to win the Citi Foundation award and are so happy to receive it!”, said Anna Bech from Hush-Hush Underwear. “I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to have this practical experience: doing things and not only talk about them!”

Citi Foundation presented its Client Focus Award as part of its collaboration with JA Europe and its Pathway to Progress initiative, which invests in programs that help young people, aged 16-24, pursue their career and economic ambitions.

The JA Company Programme is a year-long programme that offers students aged 15-18 the opportunity to learn how to move a business idea from concept to reality. More than a business competition for young people, the JA Company Programme aims to balance the business achievements of the teams as well as the personal development of their members.

As one the founding partners of JA Europe, the Citi Foundation has worked to inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs and employees in Europe for the past 30 years. The collaboration with JA Europe aims to harness good practices in fostering youth entrepreneurship and work readiness in Europe through the implementation of the JA Company Programme, the My Finances Programme and the Entrepreneurial Skills PassTM (ESP), which is an international initiative aiming to certify the knowledge, skills and competences students gain through the JA Company Programme.

“Citi Foundation has been on our side since the beginning and we are delighted to still be able to rely on their support, 30 years later. Involvement from partners such as the Citi Foundation accelerates the growth of the JA programmes and allows young people across Europe a far-reaching advantage as they transition from school to work. Once again, the Client Focus Award is a testament to Citi Foundation’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in Europe,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe.

Citi Foundation Award jury members:

  • Lars Seynaeve, Director Public Affairs Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands
  • Amal Gomersall, Vice President Community Development & Sustainability, EMEA Citi

Citi Foundation Award judging criteria:

  •  Demonstrate that the mini-company has approached its business with the intention to create value for its clients and to build their trust by serving their interests responsibly.
  • Demonstrate the steps the mini-company has taken to understand the world of its clients.
  • Demonstrate that the mini-company has been able to anticipate and serve clients’ changing needs.
  • Demonstrate that the mini-company has improved clients’ experience through innovation

About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.6 million students in 41 countries in 2017. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®. For more information, please visit:

About Citi Foundation

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. They invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyse job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfil their mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, please visit:; http://blog.citigroup.coml;



Lars Seynaeve

Director of Communications France, Belgium, and Luxembourg


Sophie Norman

Head of Policy and Communications, JA Europe