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What does a national coordinator do? – Inside the Spanish national EEPA 2017 campaign

The 2017 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) is in full swing, and a lot of national deadlines are approaching…so get those applications in!

Today we meet Spanish EEPA National Coordinator Antonio Fernandez Ecker, who gives us a glimpse into the Spanish campaign and his advice for promoting EEPA 2017.

How have you been promoting EEPA 2017 so far?

The promotion for EEPA 2017 has been focused on providing relevant information and getting it to the right people. Part of this is including the relevant information about EEPA 2017 on the web page of the Ministry for Industry and SMEs and disseminating it via social media and email.

For our email dissemination we have directed our communications to specific entities such as:

  • Members of the State Council for SMEs: an advisory board for SME affairs which is made up of representatives of the general state administration as well as representatives from the autonomous communities and local entities
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Business schools
  • Universities
  • Points of care for entrepreneurs (a network of unique one stop shops which exist in Spain, for information and electronic administration services for entrepreneurs and companies)
  • 2016 prize winners

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for reaching out to potential applicants?

  • Motivate them to participate by showing them that they are running an initiative with good results
  • Prepare a good application that reflects why the project is good
  • Give them relevant information about previous editions

What are the main aspects of your EEPA 2017 campaign?

To increase the dissemination of information amongst interested actors in the SME environment, with the goal of getting them to present success stories which take place in local environments which normally would not have as much publicity. We have also been taking a direct contact approach, providing information via email or telephone, so as to resolve any doubts that projects may have before presenting themselves as candidates.

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your experience as National Coordinator?

In my brief experience as a National Coordinator, I have only been in this role from September 2016, I have learnt that knowing, sharing and disseminating examples of successful initiatives in different EU countries is very important. It allows us to learn from each other, avoid previously made mistakes and put into practice initiatives that would otherwise have been difficult to implement. Overall, I believe that EEPA is extremely useful for promoting entrepreneurship in our countries.

Thinking of applying? Contact your national coordinator before your national deadline!

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Digital innovation – The online safety tools of the future

Digital innovation has led to several technological advances, born in the minds of innovative entrepreneurs who go on to bring their ideas to life. With an increasing number of us online, both socially and professionally, cybersecurity is an issue that affects us all, consumers and entrepreneurs alike. How can you protect yourself? What information do you need to safely reap the benefits of our digitally innovative world? Today, Promoting Enterprise looks into the development of fraud detection systems, accessible cybersecurity and remote incident response platforms.

The tendency for people to be creatures of habit is being put to good use in the cybersecurity industry, thanks to new identification software that uses typical login times and locations, keystroke dynamics and in-app behaviour to verify if someone is who they say they are. It’s one of a series of innovations being developed by European businesses keen to claim their share of a growing cybersecurity market. Analysts predict that global spending in cybersecurity will be well over EUR 100 billion a year by 2021, yet according to a 2016 report despite being the most trusted area globally when it comes to data security and privacy, the European industry is only growing 6% annually, compared to growth of 8 % for the market as a whole.

One of the aims of the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) – the association implementing a cybersecurity public-private partnership set up by the EU in 2016 – is to create connections between industry players, national public authorities and users of cybersecurity solutions to identify priorities and increase collaboration in research and innovation. That connection – particularly between providers and end-users – is crucial if Europe is to grow the industry and take its place in the market. European businesses such as Czech-based cybersecurity firm ThreatMark (advanced fraud-detection systems developer) and German cybersecurity company Applied Security (apsec), could benefit from this connection which could manifest as business-to-business platforms and direct interactions between SMEs and potential clients.

With the development of the cybersecurity industry, there are still three areas to be addressed:

  1. Cybersecurity tools need to be considered as integral parts of computer systems. EU funded projects like CyberWiz, where users set up a model IT network and carry out various kinds of simulated attacks, allow for system development whilst exposing weak points and giving an overview of the network security.
  2. Skilled technical experts are important for the overall success of the industry, but especially in the small- and medium-sized sector. According to chief executive of Secon Cyber Security UK Robert Gupta, ‘In general, there is a lack of the right skills and when you are recruiting, technical experts in cybersecurity are very hard to come by’.
  3. The costs of implementing cybersecurity. Between the costly search for experts, their employment and the implementation and upkeep of a security system, many smaller businesses simply cannot afford this integral part of their online presence. However, EU funded project ConnectProtect could be the answer; a remote incident-response platform helping small- and medium-sized businesses to combat attacks and security threats – at a more reasonable cost. Through such a system and economies of scale for cybersecurity software licences, the total cost of security could come down dramatically for small businesses – perhaps by as much as 75 % per member of staff.

For more information: https://horizon-magazine.eu

Digital innovation is a key theme for this year’s SME Assembly 2017 taking place in Estonia, so stay tuned for more digital innovation content right here on Promoting Enterprise.

If you liked this have a read of: 2017 and beyond: How digital innovation will impact the world

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How to win EEPA? Past winners reveal their recipe for a winning formula

What is the recipe for success? What is the secret? How can you make sure your project is one of the next European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) winners? EEPA is an opportunity for public bodies and public-private partnerships from across the EU Member States, (as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey) to put forward their most imaginative and successful initiatives that support entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Each country selects their top national winners to compete at European level across five different categories.

Today Promoting Enterprise brings you advice from the best of the best, past EEPA winners. Ready to discover the answers? Read on…

Why should you enter EEPA?

Many of the past winners have mentioned that one of the key benefits of entering EEPA is that it provides “a valuable opportunity to step back and reflect”, as “you can’t always focus on what you did well yesterday…the analysis is important and it gives you a chance to make your learning journey visible so that others can learn from it.”

Not only does it allow for reflection but it provides an opportunity to meet with other pioneering initiatives from across Europe, as “participating in a competition is a real opportunity to meet and share with initiatives and people…learning from their experiences is very enriching”. Some winners also mentioned the increased internal learning and contact saying that “entering EEPA gives a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and contacts with colleagues, experts and other stakeholders, drawing focus to the relevant questions and impact SME development”.

All the winners agreed that winning, in the words of one winner “the most rigorous and professionally run enterprise award in the world”, was quite an experience. Ultimately this award “provides recognition from a higher recognised entity like the European Commission”, which for many has led to exciting national and international developments for their projects.

Finally very importantly “you should enter because it is fun! The whole process requires a lot of work and you need to invest the necessary time, but once that part is done you can really enjoy the experience of being in the competition.”

What should you bear in mind when you apply?

So how did this variety of winners come out on top in each of their respective categories? Each winner has their own story to tell which you can read here, but read some of the tips they wanted to share with the potential winners of the future:

  • “Apply and share as much as possible!”
  • “It is important to evaluate whether a project has the following: quality, results, strong partnership, and replicability. Our advice would be that if your project has all of the above, then you should definitely compete!”
  • “Focus your attention on strategy and results achieved.”
  • “A good idea, a quality product, enthusiasm, detailed planning, active stakeholder involvement and teamwork were the key to our success. Our recommendation to future competitors would be to make sure to find their own distinctive formula.”
  • “Develop a pitch and make it interesting and inspirational for others. Inspiration is a very important part of EEPA work, it is what makes a project stand out.”
  • “You should not be scared to point out things that you learnt from and definitely take help from others, don’t do it all on your own.”

Interested in finding out more about EEPA? Are you going to apply and compete for a European title? Be sure to contact your national coordinator for more information and check when your national deadline is. Hurry up because the deadlines are approaching!

Read about the SME Assembly 2017 during which the EEPA finals and awards ceremony will be held.

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French entrepreneurship stronghold wins at EEPA 2016

15 years of supporting entrepreneurship, the European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) for ‘Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit’, local press coverage and an appearance on Euronews, are just some of the things that the Lyon Ville de l’Entrepreneuriat project has on their list of successes. The winner of the EEPA 2016 Category 1 award has no plans to slow down and today shares with us their EEPA journey, what to expect from them in the future and their advice for being a European level award winning entry.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

We first heard about the competition through word of mouth and through the website. We have been involved in supporting entrepreneurship for 15 years and through several European programmes we have had the opportunity to share our experiences and enrich our own knowledge with that of our European counterparts. It just seemed like a natural progression for us to present ourselves as candidates for the EEPA prize.

We also saw EEPA as an opportunity to firstly, reward the 50 organisations that engage with and are united by the Lyon Ville de l’Entrepreneuriat network (including 200 experts in entrepreneurship), and secondly, to go further with our sharing of experience with our European counterparts and perhaps even implement some actions together. Once we decided to enter we created a specific internal project team that was in charge of preparing the application.

What was it like to win the award?

We were obviously very happy to receive the prize and really considered it as an acknowledgement of 15 years of engagement and the culmination of a journey. The awarding of this prize came at a moment when we were carrying out a big overhaul of our project model in order to improve on what we have done until now. Winning this prize galvanised us and offered us great opportunities to undertake some meaningful collaborations with our European counterparts and really go beyond just sharing experience with one another.

How did winning the award immediately impact your work and what kind of response did you receive?

It was both internal and external acknowledgement. EEPA allowed us to increase our visibility, in addition to articles in the local press, our initiative was the subject of a Euronews report which was broadcasted in several languages across different countries. It was recognition of both the motivation and engagement of our numerous partners. This prize also gave us the opportunity to begin exchanges with other national and European winners during our time in Bratislava.

Why should others enter EEPA 2017? What advice would you give them?

It is important to spread the spirit of entrepreneurship beyond our borders, and to share our experiences so that our entrepreneurs can grow. One piece of advice: apply and share as much as possible!

Participating in a competition is a real opportunity to meet and share with initiatives and people, learning from their experiences is very enriching. Of course, if winning the prize is at the end of your competition journey; then it just makes it even better.

What are your plans for the future?

Before winning the EEPA prize, we were working on an ambitious project focused on supporting entrepreneurs, specifically for the development of an innovative numeric platform. We plan to include and work with other European initiatives, with the support of the European Union. At the SME Assembly, Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska mentioned that she wanted to see the emergence of a European ecosystem, and we believe that our project fits in completely with that vision.

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Empowerment through entrepreneurship – Meet guest contributor Daisy da Veiga

Today Promoting Enterprise welcomes guest contributor Daisy da Veiga, a self-employed entrepreneur who balances motherhood, travel and family life alongside running her own business. Over the next few weeks Daisy will be giving insight into the life of an entrepreneur and how to best communicate your ideas effectively.

Hello everyone, my name is Daisy da Veiga and I live in Rotterdam.  I am 32 years old and a happy mom to Isaiah and wife of Mark. I am a self-employed entrepreneur in the empowerment sector since 2008.

With my enterprise Daisy da Veiga Coaching & Consultancy I get to empower people to make choices from the heart and live a victorious life. In 2007, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in International Communication Management, I read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. I had felt stuck for a while because I could not find a job in the field of work I studied for. After reading this book I was triggered to use the insights gained and put them into action. I had learnt that we create our own reality with our thoughts. The first dream I realised through applying the Law of Attraction, was to work abroad, in Abu Dhabi as an international media consultant. This meant daily interaction with CEO’s and chairpersons of the biggest companies in Abu Dhabi. In the two following years, I fulfilled my second dream, which was to meet inspiring people, like the social rights activist Desmond Tutu, the football player Clarence Seedorf and life success coach Tony Robbins.

With the realisation that we have the power to create our own reality, I decided to dedicate my life to communicate this message to as many people as possible. I do this as a life coach, author, empowerment trainer, blogger, vlogger and motivational speaker.

My biggest success is the thousands of people I have positively impacted with my work over the years, and my biggest challenge is balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship. I’d like to spend all my time with both my son and my work.

One of the things I love to do is travel, as I believe that it is extremely important that I feel balanced between my social and professional life. I am very happy that I have found that balance, mainly due to my great husband.

My latest trip was to Lisbon in Portugal for an empowerment exchange project that I will tell you more about in the near future. In the video below I introduce myself, according to an introduction exercise we did on the first day of the project. Yes, sometimes I am a blue communicating Smurf!

Interested in Daisy and her work? Come back to Promoting Enterprise for her next post and be sure to visit her website for more information: http://www.daisydaveiga.com/

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‘Start. Scale. Spread your wings’ – SME Assembly 2017

The SME Assembly is the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, and gathers the best and most inspiring ideas with the potential to change the world for the better, from across the 28 Member States. The conference takes place once a year during the European SME Week. Together with the network of SME Envoys, the assembly creates the governance structure of the Small Business Act.

The 2017 edition of the SME Assembly will take place from 22 – 24 November 2017 in Tallinn, during and in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be the main event of European SME Week 2017. The opening ceremony will take place at the Seaplane Harbour Museum and the assembly itself at Kultuurikatel.

The Assembly focuses on how to make SME policy work in the everyday European context, in order for Europe’s SMEs to really thrive. In this, the sixth year of the SME Assembly, the programme will again include:

  • the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture, which will be held at the House of Blackheads;
  • the 11th European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony;
  • keynote speeches from high-level politicians and dignitaries;
  • interactive sessions where participants get an opportunity to drive the policy agenda;
  • practical masterclasses and boot camps;
  • and an interactive expo to promote start-ups and scale-ups and those that support them.

There will also be the Ideas from Europe semi-finale, which will showcase the conclusion of a member state wide competition to find the ‘Top 10’ ideas from visionary entrepreneurs across Europe.

Entry to the SME Assembly and European Enterprise Promotion Awards is by personal invitation from the European Commission only. If you would like to register your interest, please contact: smeassembly@lowassociates.eu.

So prepare yourselves to ‘Start. Scale. Spread your wings’, like the iconic barn swallows of Estonia, and follow us on the journey to Tallinn!

In order to keep up with updates, deadlines and news about the SME Assembly 2017, and the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, make sure to follow all the different social media and information channels:

Twitter: @EuropeanSMEWeek, @EEPA_EU

Facebook: @PromotingEnterprise

YouTube: Promoting Enterprise

Instagram: @promotingenterprise

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What does a national coordinator do? – Inside the Swedish national EEPA 2017 campaign

The preparations for the 2017 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are underway and National Coordinators across the participating countries have been working hard to promote the awards and find innovative and interesting entries to compete on European level for the 2017 titles!

Today Swedish EEPA National Coordinator Maria Evertsson gives us a glimpse into the Swedish campaign and her advice for promoting EEPA 2017.

How have you been promoting EEPA 2017 so far?

I have been promoting EEPA online with information and a simplified on-line-tool for applicants to fill in, which is supported with tweets about our EEPA web page. On the basis of the applications we receive our national jury will pick two national winners. Those two winners will then fill in the full application.

I have also reached out to actors involved in European Structural and Investments Funds and asked them to spread the word about EEPA 2017.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for reaching out to potential applicants?

  1. Address actors with good local and regional knowledge who can help spread the word.
  2. Focus on the benefits for applicants in terms of visibility, European networking and international recognition.
  3. Make it easy and attractive for applicants to participate.

What are the main aspects of your EEPA 2017 campaign?

  • An attractive web page combined with social media.
  • A simplified submission procedure.
  • Link to last years’ EEPA to help potential candidates understand what it is all about.

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your experience as National Coordinator?

There are a lot of things happening which means that you may not reach your target audiences despite great efforts. You need to repeat information and find ambassadors with good knowledge about what is going on who can help you spread the word about EEPA. People do not necessarily understand that they could be EEPA material. It can help to give examples from previous years.

Thinking about applying? Need more advice or information? Find your national coordinator’s contact details here and ask them everything you want to know about EEPA!

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Ideas from Europe 2017 – Joint Development. Shared Purpose.

Ideas from Europe 2017 is about to begin! So what can you expect and what are the key dates that you need to remember?

Ideas from Europe was launched in 2015 as a joint initiative of the SME Envoy network and the Dutch government, and will soon become a formal not-for-profit foundation based in the Netherlands in order to continue its activities at European level.

The primary aim of Ideas from Europe, was to shine light on European visionary entrepreneurs – we believe that most of the solutions to our global challenges are already out there, in the hands of visionary entrepreneurs.

The 2017-2018 edition of Ideas from Europe will kick off on 6 April 2017 in Malta, and marks the start of a new search for potential solutions to global challenges. All 27 EU Member States are involved in searching for innovative ideas and the entrepreneurs behind them, and together with Ideas from Europe will give them the opportunity to present their ideas on a European stage. The 2017-2018 programme will continue with a scaling up of ideas from 2016, which will run in parallel with the new search from May to November 2017.

The semi-finals will be held during the SME Assembly 2017 in late November 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia, which will be complemented by a public vote across the EU to help find the top ideas in Europe.

For more information on Ideas from Europe be sure to keep checking their website for updates.

Do you have an idea that could compete on European level? Do you think you have a potential solution to a global challenge? Why not get in touch with Ideas from Europe and enter your idea for consideration? Contact them for information at info@ideasfrom.eu.

Look here for more information on previous speakers.

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Business Beyond Borders helps SMEs and clusters find international business partners at AUW

The next Business Beyond Borders (BBB) matchmaking event will take place in Cape Town (South Africa) at African Utility Week (AUW), a leading water and power utility trade fair, in May 2017.

After a first successful matchmaking session at the Genera fair, which took place in the beginning of March in Madrid, BBB turns its attention to the biggest trade fair on the African continent. Hosting thousands of visitors each other, AUW is known for a strong representation of EU companies at the event, hosting national pavilions for Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Czech Republic.

Business Beyond Borders is a European Commission initiative to help EU businesses, in particular Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Clusters, operate internationally with the ultimate goal of increasing economic growth within and outside Europe. A series of matchmaking events are being organised to bring together SMEs and representatives from relevant clusters, with potential trading partners from Europe and abroad with the aim of assisting businesses to access new international markets.

Interested small and medium enterprises and clusters can now register for the matchmaking event here.

For further information about Business Beyond Borders, please visit their official website.

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European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2017 – Apply now!

The 2017 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards is now under way! The prestigious awards ceremony will take place this November in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, as part of the SME Assembly. Many of the national deadlines have now been announced and national campaigns have been launched across all the participating countries.

Thinking about getting involved in the 2017 edition? Be sure to check your national deadline, as each country has a different deadline. Some of them are quite soon…so start applying!

Austria April 11 Finland Jun 2 Latvia June 1 Romania June 24
Belgium May 8 France June 2 Lithuania May 31 Serbia June 10
Bulgaria May 15 Germany May 5 Luxembourg June 26 Slovakia June 23
Croatia TBC Greece June 6 Malta April 14 Slovenia June 13
Cyprus June 5 Hungary May 31 Montenegro June 1 Spain May 15
Czech Rep. June 15 Iceland May 31 Netherlands April 24 Sweden April 28
Denmark TBC Ireland May 31 Poland May 25 Turkey April 28
Estonia April 7 Italy June 14 Portugal April 19 UK June 3

For more information be sure to contact your national coordinator, they can help with the submission progress and any other questions. Perhaps you are looking for some inspiration? Wondering what it means to be an EEPA winner? Have a look at the testimonials from the 2016 winners, for exciting anecdotes, where they are now and advice for future applicants.

Have a look below for some important EEPA dates and start applying today!

Watch the 2016 Awards ceremony:

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    • What does a national coordinator do? – Inside the Spanish national EEPA 2017 campaign April 27, 2017
      The 2017 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) is in full swing, and a lot of national deadlines are approaching…so get those applications in! Today we meet Spanish EEPA National Coordinator Antonio Fernandez Ecker, who gives us a glimpse into the Spanish campaign and his advice for promoting EEPA 2017. How have you […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Digital innovation – The online safety tools of the future April 25, 2017
      Digital innovation has led to several technological advances, born in the minds of innovative entrepreneurs who go on to bring their ideas to life. With an increasing number of us online, both socially and professionally, cybersecurity is an issue that affects us all, consumers and entrepreneurs alike. How can you protect yourself? What information do […]
      promotingenterprise
    • How to win EEPA? Past winners reveal their recipe for a winning formula April 20, 2017
      What is the recipe for success? What is the secret? How can you make sure your project is one of the next European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) winners? EEPA is an opportunity for public bodies and public-private partnerships from across the EU Member States, (as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey) to put forward their […]
      promotingenterprise
    • French entrepreneurship stronghold wins at EEPA 2016 April 13, 2017
      15 years of supporting entrepreneurship, the European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) for ‘Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit’, local press coverage and an appearance on Euronews, are just some of the things that the Lyon Ville de l’Entrepreneuriat project has on their list of successes. The winner of the EEPA 2016 Category 1 award has no plans to […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Empowerment through entrepreneurship – Meet guest contributor Daisy da Veiga April 11, 2017
      Today Promoting Enterprise welcomes guest contributor Daisy da Veiga, a self-employed entrepreneur who balances motherhood, travel and family life alongside running her own business. Over the next few weeks Daisy will be giving insight into the life of an entrepreneur and how to best communicate your ideas effectively. Hello everyone, my name is Daisy da […]
      promotingenterprise
    • ‘Start. Scale. Spread your wings’ – SME Assembly 2017 April 6, 2017
      The SME Assembly is the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, and gathers the best and most inspiring ideas with the potential to change the world for the better, from across the 28 Member States. The conference takes place once a year during the European SME Week. Together with the […]
      promotingenterprise
    • What does a national coordinator do? – Inside the Swedish national EEPA 2017 campaign April 4, 2017
      The preparations for the 2017 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are underway and National Coordinators across the participating countries have been working hard to promote the awards and find innovative and interesting entries to compete on European level for the 2017 titles! Today Swedish EEPA National Coordinator Maria Evertsson gives us a glimpse into the […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Ideas from Europe 2017 – Joint Development. Shared Purpose. March 30, 2017
      Ideas from Europe 2017 is about to begin! So what can you expect and what are the key dates that you need to remember? Ideas from Europe was launched in 2015 as a joint initiative of the SME Envoy network and the Dutch government, and will soon become a formal not-for-profit foundation based in the […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Business Beyond Borders helps SMEs and clusters find international business partners at AUW March 29, 2017
      The next Business Beyond Borders (BBB) matchmaking event will take place in Cape Town (South Africa) at African Utility Week (AUW), a leading water and power utility trade fair, in May 2017. After a first successful matchmaking session at the Genera fair, which took place in the beginning of March in Madrid, BBB turns its […]
      promotingenterprise
    • European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2017 – Apply now! March 24, 2017
      The 2017 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards is now under way! The prestigious awards ceremony will take place this November in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, as part of the SME Assembly. Many of the national deadlines have now been announced and national campaigns have been launched across all the participating countries. Thinking about […]
      promotingenterprise