The European Conference for Junior Entrepreneurs (The JADE Spring Conference) takes place on 02‐05 March 2017, in Brussels, and is the main international Junior Enterprise event in Europe, bringing together over 300 Junior Entrepreneurs from over 14 countries in Europe, as well as Brazil, the United States and Tunisia. This year, 2017, marks the 25th anniversary of JADE and the 50th of the Junior Enterprise concept. The conference theme is “Co-create the future. Celebrate the past, act today, shape our tomorrow”, and will focus on the power of youth assuming a leadership role in shaping the society of the future.
Andrey Novakov, youngest Member of the European Parliament, will launch the conference, followed by high level panels and keynote speaker Dr. Georg Tacke, CEO of Simon Kucher & Partners. During the conference, the Junior Entrepreneurs will have the chance to foster their skills development with dedicated workshops delivered by the event’s partners, experienced professionals and chosen multipliers of the JADE network. The Gala Dinner will close the event, during which the best Junior Enterprises in the network will be awarded with JADE Excellence Awards.
Each week, one of six European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) categories is presented on the Promoting Enterprise blog. The EEPA awards reward annually, those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level.
You can have a look at last week’s featured projects shortlisted for EEPA Category 1: Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. This week, it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 2: Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills. Three projects, from Italy, Latvia and the UK, support the inclusion of the unemployed and young jobseekers into the workforce through skills development and mentorship. Two of the shortlisted projects have a focus on the crafts industry, while the third includes the creative arts as an area targeted for support.
The Bottega Scuola project in Italy supports the young unemployed by encouraging craft skills and business development ideas in artistic and traditional industries through six months’ work experience. The project acts as an artisan teaching workshop intended to increase job opportunities and stimulate new local entrepreneurial initiatives. Watch their video!
The project for the Development of innovative entrepreneurship in Jelgava City and Zemgale Region in Latvia is a platform through which the local government supports innovative entrepreneurship and facilitates networking, local good practice and mentor support. One example is the successful Competence and Contact Exchange initiative for the cottage arts and crafts industry, which develops entrepreneurial skills and creates innovative new products. So far, 10 000 people have taken part in various activities for developing innovative entrepreneurship and on average 63 new entrepreneurs sign up every year! Watch their video!
The Enterprise Educators Academe in the UK has created the world’s first internal, accredited, enterprise educator training programme. The training and support of over 600 staff of all disciplines to embed enterprise skills across the university curriculum has been at the heart of the programme. In the first two years alone 21 000 students were reached and over 2 000 freelance businesses created. Business and public sector projects projects benefited from student support resulting in an economic impact valued at over EUR 4.4 million (GBP £4 million). Check out their YouTube channel!
By investing in entrepreneurial skills, these projects continue to support ongoing regional initiatives to integrate young people and the unemployed in the workforce. All 6 EEPA category winners will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia, when the Grand Jury prize-winner will also be announced.
Digital technologies are the single most important driver of innovation and growth today. They re-shape entire industries and open doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The Secret of Success 2014-15 brochure features 35 of Europe’s finest digital icons.
This very interesting video from Euronews about digital entrepreneurs in France is worth a look. It features Secret of Success entrepreneur, Benjamin Suchar who created Yoopies, (Europe’s leading social platform for child-minding services) after seeing his how two sisters had limited choices for their childcare.
Europe’s digital economy has huge potential -as the success of French start-ups like Yoopies illustrates. It helps users to find a babysitter based on 50 criteria including, location, profile, and rating. Launched in 2012, Yoopies went from 3 to 15 people, from 10 babysitters to 400,000. The platform is now available in 7 languages in 9 countries. It now has a 300% year-on-year turnover increase and is moving into other services including shopping delivery and housekeeping.
‘42’ is another example of the digital’s sector’s potential. Created by top French digital entrepreneur Xavier Niel, ‘42’ is a unique school which trains 900 young people in digital skills each year, free of charge and regardless of qualifications.
Gilles Babinet is one of the EU’s Digital Champions, whose mission is to promote the benefits of an inclusive digital society.
I started Datamolino because I wanted small businesses to have the same access to technology as large ones. Datamolino is a platform for accountants, that processes invoices and receipts sent in any format and exports the extracted data into any accounting software thereby saving time and money. The growth potential for our platform is huge with some 16 billion ‘unstructured’ invoices in Europe alone. We benefited hugely from being part of Telefonica’s Wayra acceleration programme that helped us get to market quickly and gave us access to a large customer base.
That ecosystem of entrepreneurs, a skilled workforce and investors are essential to the growth of the economy and government needs to ensure that all the conditions are in place for such ecosystems to thrive.
“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we drive innovation, creating products that add value through material benefits, savings or unique experiences.”
Hero(es): Nelson Mandela
Start up capital: Investors and acceleration programme (Wayra)
Can you code? No
Education / Training: Lawyer
Product / Service: Accountancy software
Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business throughout the European Union and in Competitive and Innovation Programme (CIP) countries. Participants are national, regional or local authorities or public-private partnerships.
Projects and job creation
Over 2,800 projects have entered since the awards were launched and in total they have supported the creation of well over 10,000 new companies.
The objectives of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards are to:
- Identify and recognise successful activities and initiatives that promote enterprise and entrepreneurship
- Showcase and share examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices
- Create a greater awareness of the role that entrepreneurs play in European society
- Encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs
Find out more
For more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the EEPA website, follow the Awards on Twitter in English, French, Spanish, Italian or German or visit the official Awards Facebook page.
Watch a video of last year’s winner, Think Small First