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Who is on the EEPA 2017 Jury? – Meet Karen and Lisa

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Who chooses the projects for the EEPA 2017 shortlist? Curious about who makes the decisions? Time to meet the EEPA Jury 2017! Today Promoting Enterprise is introducing the first two members of the EEPA 2017 Jury: Karen Boers and Lisa Steigertahl, who shared with us what they will be looking for in a project and what they are looking forward to at this year’s SME Assembly 2017 in Tallinn.

Karen Boers is co-founder and Managing Director of Startups.be, which brings hundreds of startups together with incubators, accelerators, investors and public actors in a local startup ecosystem. She also runs the European Startup Network, which aims to help create a truly pan-European bottom-up startup ecosystem.

Lisa Steigertahl is co-founder and and CEO of the European Startup Network (alongside fellow jury member Karen Boers). Previously she also worked at the German Startups Association as both Head of Research and International Strategy and European Relations Manager.

What will make an EEPA project stand out for you? What will make it special?

Karen: I am looking out for projects that have made a real impact on entrepreneurs’ lives, either by helping to change the rules of the game in the local ecosystem or by providing entrepreneurs with better access to (national and/or international) customers, financing and talent.

Lisa: For me a project that creates a new solution for a demand that we did not know we had yet, or has found an innovative way of solving a problem will stand out. I am also interested in European applicability and projects that could be transferred to other markets.

Which is your favourite category and why?

Karen: Investing in entrepreneurial skills, as I believe investing in human capital – youngsters as well as adults – is the best way to boost entrepreneurship and counteract poverty and extremism through a more inclusive approach.

Lisa: Supporting the internationalisation of business, since I believe that moving from national borders to international markets will not only tremendously determine the success of a business in times of globalisation but further shape a strong European market

Finally, what are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2017?

Karen: To meet all the highly motivated people across Europe that are putting their best efforts to make a difference and create opportunities for others.

Lisa: To meet and engage with the people behind the projects.

Interested in finding out who else is on the Jury with Karen and Lisa? Come back next week to meet another juror!

Digital innovation – The online safety tools of the future

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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

EEPA 2017 National Coordinators

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After the successful launch of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2017 last week on February 23, it is time to introduce to you to some very important people who make it all possible…the EEPA 2017 National Coordinators! The coordinators are the national contact points across all member states and participating countries, who coordinate national EEPA activities and lead the national promotion campaigns.

7-national-coordinator-ready-to-answer-questionsHow can the National Coordinators help me?

The National Coordinators can help by providing support with deadlines, applications and preparation, as well as give examples from previous years. They are there to help you be the strongest EEPA 2017 competitors, so use them!

Who should contact the National Coordinators?

Anyone from a participating country that is thinking of participating or just looking for more information about EEPA, can contact their National Coordinator.

Where can I find them?

National Coordinators are usually representatives of ministries or national business agencies. Below, you may find the list of websites for each country and a corresponding National Coordinator´s email (“NC” > right click > copy email address; we don´t want them to be spammed :)).

Austria
NC
Finland
NC
Latvia
NC
Romania
NC
Belgium FR/NL
NC
France
NC
Lithuania
NC
Serbia
NC
Bulgaria
NC
Germany
NC
Luxembourg
NC
Slovakia
NC
Croatia
NC
Greece
NC
Malta
NC
Slovenia
NC
Cyprus
NC
Hungary
NC
Montenegro
NC
Spain
NC
Czech Republic
NC
Iceland
NC
Netherlands
NC
Sweden
NC
Denmark
NC
Ireland
NC
Poland
NC
Turkey
NC
Estonia
NC
Italy
NC
Portugal
NC
United Kingdom
NC

By following this link you can find useful information in all European languages (except Irish).

Interested in EEPA? Read all about the awards to learn about eligibility, the selection process and past editions. Be sure to also have a look at the EEPA 2016 winner testimonials for some insights from past winners.

EEPAs at a national level

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Many countries held national Awards ceremonies to celebrate their national entries, below is an example from Portugal.

The President of the Board of IAPMEI, Professor Miguel Cruz, chaired a Ceremony to announce the 44 national applications in Portugal in July.

Miguel Cruz, President of IAPMEI

Miguel Cruz, President of IAPMEI

The session aimed to:

  • Recognise and thank the commitment of all candidates
  • Promote the visibility of the entries and projects, each candidate also received a participation certificate.
  • Announce and reward the best projects by category and the runners up.
  • Promote and share good practice and promote the European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

By joining this European Commission initiative, IAPMEI aims to promote and share “good practice”. It also aims to widen the visibility of initiatives that work as drivers of entrepreneurial activity in a range of ways, demonstrating the capacity and potential which is key in helping Portugal to become a more competitive country, IAPMEI’s President said.

Miguel Cruz added that due to the investment and growth challenges faced, a growth must rely on the diversification and sophistication of products and services, on markets’ diversification and on a strong trademark.

The session was attended by more than 90 participants, with a large representation of EEPA candidates, and to whom certificates of participation in the “EEPA 2015” were issued.

EEPA Candidate

EEPA Candidates

IAPMEI has been the National Coordinator for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards since its first edition (2006). Thanks to an integrated action plan, a good cooperation with stakeholders and a pro-active demand, IAPMEI succeeds in involving the participation of SMEs and stakeholders committed to sharing good practices resulting in higher levels of competitiveness and entrepreneurship.  Throughout the nine editions of the EEPA, IAPMEI has distinguished approximately one hundred projects in Portugal.

 

Entrepreneurs need more than tech to be successful

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A vote by delegates at the recent SME Assembly in Naples found that Europe must do more than provide digital technology for entrepreneurs. 73% of those who voted via the conference app disagreed with the motion ‘Thanks to digital technology, everyone can become a successful entrepreneur’.

Watch the Big Debate yourself and let us know which way you would have voted, in the comments below.

Transatlantic co-operation benefiting SMEs

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The EU and the US economies account together for about half the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows; in 2013 alone the EU and the US traded €105 billions’ worth of goods and services. The transatlantic relationship also defines the shape of the global economy as a whole. Either the EU or the US is the largest trade and investment partner for almost all other countries in the global economy.

With this relationship set to become even stronger, at the recent SME Assembly in Naples we brought together senior politicians from both sides of the Atlantic to debate respective EU and US priorities for driving SME growth and the benefits for SMEs of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Anthony L. Gardner, US Ambassador to the EU, and Daniel Calleja, EU SME Envoy & Director General for Enterprise & Industry, discussed ways of shaping the TTIP to ensure that SMEs reaped benefits from any potential deal. During the second hour, negotiators from the European and American sides were joined by SME owners and managers to discuss the current state of play of negotiations and debate the specific issues affecting SMEs.

Transatlantic Co-operation Part 1 – the Benefits for SMEs

Transatlantic Co-operation Part 2 – TTIP: SME Chapter

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