Today was the first meeting with all national coordinators for the upcoming launch of EEPA 2017. This first gathering gave us a sneak peek into all the exciting campaigns we can expect across Europe and on all sorts of different platforms.
Three inspirational presentations were given by the national coordinators who have implemented successful promotional activities in 2016:
The Netherlands: gained a lot of national press coverage and awareness through having their projects perform the bell ceremony at the Amsterdam stock exchange.
UK: created a media campaign to find the “most enterprising place in Britain”, giving them a great platform to recruit entries for their national competition and then create substantial media interest once the winners were announced.
Germany: for the last three editions of EEPA Germany has performed very well in the Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship category and Germany’s coordinator Juliane Kummer highlighted the effectiveness of personal communication, have a read of her interview from 2016.
Have a look at a selection of other EEPA campaigns:
Based on the ideas and discussion heard today we should all start getting ready and excited for all the EEPA 2017 activities coming up, so stay tuned and look out for all the announcements and information coming from your national coordinators!
To all the national coordinators, we wish you the best of luck with the upcoming campaigns and look out for our tips, tricks and other materials available right here.
Just before we go…don’t forget about the EEPA 2016 winners testimonials! Coming soon here on Promoting Enterprise…
The European Confederation of Junior Enterprises – Inspiring the next generation of business leaders
What does it take to be an entrepreneur? At what age and how do entrepreneurs develop? Where can we learn more about the inspirational entrepreneurs of the future? Today Promoting Enterprise has the honour to present the success stories booklet from JADE, the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises, which aims to inspire the next generation of business leaders.
“For JADE, entrepreneurship refers to an individual ability to turn ideas into actions. Entrepreneurial competences must therefore include transversal skills and attitudes, as well as more specialised knowledge and business skills. In a broad sense, entrepreneurship should be considered as a mind-set that supports everyone in daily life at home and in society. In order to inspire entrepreneurship, we have to look closer at role-models, and learn from them. This is what Success Stories is about and this is why we have interviewed 13 former Junior Entrepreneurs about their experience within the Junior Enterprise network and how it helped them to start their own business or develop their entrepreneurial path.
Our mission here at JADE, is to encourage entrepreneurship in Europe by fostering a unique concept: the Junior Enterprise, a non-profit civil social organisation, formed and managed exclusively by undergraduate and postgraduate students of higher education. They provide services for companies, institutions and society, under the guidance of teachers and professionals with the goal of consolidating and enhancing the learning of their members. Junior Enterprises are similar to real companies, with components such as corporate governance (e.g. management council and executive board), and self-regulation.
By integrating a network of 280 Junior Enterprises in 14 European countries and supporting the growth of its 22,000 members, JADE is one of the most powerful European youth organisations that fights skills mismatch and creates great potential for a more entrepreneurial society and active citizenship. Outside Europe, Junior Enterprises are present in around 40 countries, with over 40,000 Junior Entrepreneurs across the world.
Interested in what we do? Dive in, and meet former junior entrepreneurs that turned what they learnt in their Junior Enterprise into a successful career!”
For more information: www.jadenet.org
Today at Promoting Enterprise we are presenting an exciting interactive tool, ‘The European Digital City Index’, which gives glimpses into what is going on in the European world of entrepreneurship.
The European Digital City Index (EDCi) describes how well different European cities support digital entrepreneurship.
It was produced by Nesta as part of the European Digital Forum, which exists to support digital entrepreneurship and digital startups across Europe. The European Digital Forum is run in collaboration with the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative.
For startups and scale-ups, it provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of local ecosystems, allowing them to plan accordingly and consider where they may need to devote more resources. For policy makers aiming to encourage digital entrepreneurship in their own city, the Index helps to identify existing and promising hubs of activity, in order to learn from their practices. Additionally, it allows benchmarking of performance against other European hubs, and helps identify which policy areas to prioritise.
For more information: https://digitalcityindex.eu/
Now that 2017 is here it is time to start looking ahead to the 2017 edition of EEPA which launches in February! But first let us look back at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) from 2016…
In our next few posts we will be meeting EEPA 2016 winners and getting their take on what makes a winning project and their journey to becoming category and overall winners. This is chance to have a look at what makes a winning project and start getting your entries ready for submission in national competitions. Interested in applying? Don’t know where to start? On the blog we will be sharing key information about the process and giving you an insider’s look at what last year’s winners did to be selected as the most deserving projects in Europe.
Think you are up to the challenge? Well consider applying! Read the 2016 participation criteria here and keep following the blog for new information.
Can’t wait for the testimonials? Have a look at the EEPA 2016 compendium for an overview of all national candidates and their projects! EEPA 2016 winners videos are also available if you want to relive all the excitement from the SME Assembly 2016.
Welcome back to the Promoting Enterprise blog! Are you ready for 2017? We have decided to kick off the year with a look at what you all thought of the SME Assembly 2016.
The response rate was 48%, with the most responses coming from Belgium, Slovakia, Netherlands and Greece. Of all the respondents, 98% believed the SME Assembly 2016 was worth attending, of which 47.44% said definitely. What does this mean for SME Assembly 2017? 92% of respondents indicated that they would definitely or were likely to attend, so we hope to see you in Tallinn!
We were happy to see that the event was perceived to be successful in “creating the environment when people are ready and willing for the real networking”, and “very well organised”. Other comments are also being used to improve our performance and your experience at the SME Assembly 2017.
Moving on to the business tours, which firstly took participants to see Slovakia’s flying car, an automotive innovation that makes use of existing aviation and automobile infrastructure to offer a future with the possibility of real door-to-door travel. The second tour featured an innovative Slovakian SME GA drilling, is working towards revolutionising current drilling technology to allow for cheaper and more efficient drilling, with the idea of providing affordable and sustainable geothermal power to all. It seems these tours were a hit with 97% of the tour attendees finding them extremely/relevant and useful.
Overall, SME Assembly 2016 attendees appeared very satisfied with the rest of the 3 day conference events, including; the SME Week Reception (94% found it extremely relevant and useful) and the EEPA ceremony (87% said it fully met or exceeded their expectations), although participants would have appreciated more networking time.
We also asked our delegates what they thought of the graphic recording of the SME Assembly, a real time depiction, which summarised the event with visuals, created by entrepreneur Sabine Soeder and fellow artist Martin Saive. 82% of delegates found this useful. The event app was also greatly appreciated with 92% of delegates believing it to be relevant and useful. The app can always be improved and with your suggestions regarding programme alerts, information about other attendees, networking facilitation and more.
Thank you to everyone who provided us with feedback and took time to fill in the survey. The preparations for SME Assembly 2017 are already underway…so stay tuned and see you in Tallinn this November!
We are coming to the end of 2016…and what a year it has been! This year on the blog we have met some inspiring entrepreneurs, who showed us what it means to be innovative, creative, daring and more. From the seasoned to the new, from older to younger, we have been very lucky here on the Promoting Enterprise blog to have met and featured so many inspiring individuals.
We must also not forget all the winners we have met! Starting with the hotly contested European Enterprise Promotion Awards where we had 6 category winners and a Grand Jury Prize winner. Read all about them here. Let us also not forget all of the amazing national projects that made it onto the shortlist, find out about them here.
This year for the first time there was an opportunity for young Europeans to participate, that’s right we are talking about the Youth Essay Competition, which received many outstanding entries, of which only 3 finalists and 1 winner were selected. The finalists, Francesco Foglia, Frici Barabas and Katie Williams all differed very much in their approach as to how to motivate young Europeans to become entrepreneurs, and all pushed the Jury to think about the opportunities available. The winner of the competition, Andri Pandoura, from Cyprus impressed the jury with her simple approach and advice on how to connect with youth on their platforms and terms.
Finally, our biggest event of the year was the SME Assembly 2016 held in Bratislava, Slovakia from 23-25 November 2016. If you missed it, read our daily posts (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) and have a look at our Instagram for images of one of the biggest European gatherings of entrepreneurs, facilitators and innovative thinkers!
It has certainly been an eventful and entrepreneurial year, and we look forward to seeing what 2017 will bring! So from all of the Promoting Enterprise team, thank you for supporting us and reading our posts, we hope you have enjoyed them! Curious about what we will bring you in 2017? Not long to wait, so Happy Holidays and see you back here on the blog in 2017!
Are you ready to meet the winner of the Youth Essay Competition? At only 16 she is challenging us all to reconsider our thoughts on youth entrepreneurship and the opportunities offered to the younger generations to make their voices heard at the European level. Please welcome Andri Pandoura!
Andri is currently studying in her native Cyprus, but has already developed a keen interest in youth and human rights. She has further developed this interest through her membership of the Cyprus children’s parliament and plans to take it further by studying human rights law at university. Today she shares with us what drove her to participate, her thoughts on presenting at the SME Assembly 2016, where she sees the future of entrepreneurship and finally her words of wisdom for other ambitious young people.
What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?
I saw it as an opportunity to write about my interest in youth rights and voice my opinions as a young person in Europe. There is a lot of over complication, so my idea was to take a simple, even childlike approach to this topic and think about all the small steps that can lead us to something bigger. In general there are not many opportunities for those of us under 18 to participate in such competitions so I think that every time there is an opportunity like this one we should take it!
What did you think about the SME Assembly 2016?
I thought it was amazing and the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’. There was such a welcoming atmosphere and I got to speak to and interact with inspiring people who did not care that I was 16. Initially I thought that the presentation would be stressful, and honestly I was stressing about it since I found out, I thought I might even faint on stage. In the end though all the staff and other speakers really helped me to relax and feel comfortable and I just did it. I think the assembly is a great initiative as well as the competition itself and really hope it continues again next year so that others can have the same opportunity to make their voices heard.
Looking 10 years ahead from now, in 2026, what do you think entrepreneurship will be?
I don’t believe that the actual definition of entrepreneurship will change, but it will become more accessible and anyone will be able to become an entrepreneur. I hope that there will be cross-generational cooperation as we have a lot to learn from each other and this can contribute to a constant flow of innovation and ideas. Education will also continue to play a big role 10 years from now, and it will develop alongside the advancement of technology. I think entrepreneurs will be coming up with things we can’t even begin to imagine!
Alongside this I think there will be a focus on working with clients to give them what they want, for example, working with students to see what it is they want and need for their education. This in turn will hopefully lead to an increase in the number of start-ups, particularly youth ones. Start-up and SME culture will have developed and we will see more support in the form of bodies, panels and organisations designed to foster entrepreneurship.
I want to take this opportunity to say to other young people that you should not be afraid of actually trying, and that if you fail then just try again. Winning this competition has made such a difference and given me such an amazing platform which has led to other opportunities. I would not be able to say I’ve been invited to attend a session of the European Economic and Social Forum in Brussels as the guest of Cypriot delegation if I had not entered this competition, so I wanted to say thank you and encourage everyone to take all the opportunities available to you.
Today we have the honour of presenting Sabine Soeder, an entrepreneur and owner of CoCreativeFlow, a “connector in a vibrant global network”. Sabine, along with artist Martin Saive, was responsible for the graphic recording of the SME Assembly 2016, all of which you can see right here !
Sabine first started as an architect and lighting designer, before moving on to found CoCreative Flow in Frankfurt, Germany, and work as a ‘Flow Architect’. They offer clients visuals as graphic recordings to facilitate discussions and processes, alongside Co-Creation. Today Sabine shares her entrepreneurial journey, where she sees herself in the future and her advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Since I was little I’ve been drawing and using my drawings as a communication tool to make emotions more tangible and digestible. Going on to study architecture taught me two very important skills, which have built the foundation for my work today: Learning to “think with your hand” and explaining that to others through visuals, and to think and work strategically by finding the best structure for that unique place and special need. 10 years ago I realised that these skills were not only useful for architectural design, but also in designing and creating collaborations, which is what I do with my clients as a flow architect. Co-designing with my clients is the best way to create the most effective collaboration and visuals have a huge impact in that process.
Jumping into your own business can be a small or a huge step – it depends so much on your strengths and how you interact with others. I built my business step by step through diverse partnerships until I felt ready to open my own company. It’s important to have business experiences, and to build connections to people in various networks. I really love having my own rhythm, to connect different threads and bring them together in a new way. It also helps to have some financial foundation at the beginning. When you offer an experience based and innovative service it needs more explanation and demonstration, which can be a challenge. Balancing work and family life, is also challenging as having my own business has allowed me to be at home more but as we become more successful there is a need for flexibility, meaning sometimes working late nights or on weekends. As the business is growing I am thinking about scaling up and enlarging the enterprise and CoCreative Flow brand on a global scale.
My advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs would be to look at who is active and inspires you in your professional field. Get into contact with these people and try to learn from them, find opportunities to collaborate with them – sometimes there are apprenticeship opportunities and build from there. Find opportunities where you can learn, be it through enterprises or through different events and networking. Utilise online community platforms (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook) to connect to people all around the world. You don’t have to do everything by yourself, ask for help and connect with those who can strengthen what you already have to offer. Finally, keep a clear vision and the purpose of your enterprise at the centre of your work and surround yourself with your chosen team, that way you can create something meaningful with an impact.
This is the third in our series of blog posts presenting our winner and finalists of the Youth Essay Competition, which was held as part of the SME Assembly 2016 which took place from 23-25 November 2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia. Today we get to know the final runner up, Katie Williams, a young multilingual worker in the field of International Trade currently based in Brussels.
As a passionate language graduate who currently speaks English, French and German, Katie demonstrated her love and value of multilingualism and multiculturalism in her entry and how this has shaped her views. With this international, open mindset, Katie has worked in Great Britain, France, Germany and now Belgium and entered this competition to speak her mind about her generation and her ideas about what opportunities could be made available to them.
Today she shares with us why she entered the competition and where she sees the world of entrepreneurship in 10 years’ time…
What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?
I entered the SME Youth Essay Competition because I felt it was a good opportunity to grapple with an interesting and relevant topic, which particularly has an impact on my own generation. I know a lot of people who are, these days, facing a countless number of difficulties when it comes to entering the job market. This initiative was a great chance to explore in greater detail the ways in which young people can progress in the professional world from a different perspective. It is true to say that these days professional prospects are channelled in one direction: going to university and obtaining a degree. I welcome the chance to explore the ways in which these prospects could be broadened for young people.
Looking 10 years ahead from now, in 2026, what do you think entrepreneurship will be?
In 2026, I would like to see entrepreneurship take off more in developing countries in the world. In addition, I believe that entrepreneurship could be used as a means to enhance gender equality in the future. Currently there are fewer women involved in entrepreneurship than men in OECD countries, plus women-owned enterprises tend to reap lower profits. I hope that future policy makers introduce programmes specifically targeted at women in order to help them build their capabilities for business ownership.
Want to know more about Katie’s proposal for stimulating youth entrepreneurship in Europe? Read her entry here.
Have you had a chance to read the Annual report on European SMEs 2015/2016 yet? We recommend that you do!
Have a read of our quick report summary below:
The main themes of the report can be summarised as follows: employment and growth, performance and population and the second chance principle.
Employment and Growth
SMEs are a vital part of the EU28 economy, in 2015 they employed 90 million people (an employment increase of 1.5%), accounting for two thirds of EU28 employment. Many of these SMEs are micro enterprises, with less than 10 employees, which form around 93% of all enterprises in the non–financial business sector. SMEs have also continued to grow, showing steady growth in value added both in 2014 (3.8%) and 2015 (5.7%). Growth varied across Member States but was generally positive.
Figure 1: SME employment and value added growth in 2014 and 2015, EU28
Performance and Population
Overall EU28 SMEs have performed better than previously, indicating better macro-economic conditions in 2015. However there are differing trends across small (e.g. legal and accounting services, advertising and marketing research) and large sectors (e.g. retail trade, construction). Smaller sectors experienced over 5% growth in employment, contrasting with only 2% growth or less in the larger sectors.
Figure 2: EU SME value added annual growth by Member State, 2015
The second chance principle
The SME population is in constant fluctuation, as many new businesses are born and others cease to operate every year. New firm creation in the EU has caught up with USA rates, however the strengthening of second chance public policies to encourage startup dynamism after failure, would certainly counteract the barriers faced by those starting afresh for the second time. This would also ensure that potential entrepreneurs are not deterred by the prospects of bankruptcy or that existing entrepreneurs are not disheartened from trying again. This is where the SBA second chance principle could be every effective, not only for improving the environment and procedure for those businesses that do fail, but also by putting in place mechanisms to avoid businesses falling into such situations.
However, the latest SBA reviews highlight some areas for improvement:
- in only slightly more than half of Member States can the discharge from bankruptcy be achieved in 3 years or less;
- half of EU Member States treat re-starters on an equal footing with new start-ups; and,
- all the other SBA second chance policy measures are implemented in less than half of Member States. Moreover, the SBA second chance principle is the one showing the least progress since 2008.
Progress has been made but more can be done, especially on the SBA second chance principle, so that SMEs can continue to recover and thrive, in turn strengthening the EU28 economy.
Figure 3: Forecast growth of SME value added and employment from 2015 to 2017 in Member States