Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can be sources of employment and innovation in a national economy, yet conditions are not always favourable when these enterprises compete against larger competitors. The winner of Category 3 (Improving the Business Environment) at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2016, strives to create these conditions and an SME supportive environment. The Leader SME programme is a mechanism to qualify enterprises that aims to highlight the merits of the most successful national SMEs by creating conditions to strengthen their market reputation and fast-track access to funding. The goal is to promote growth strategies and consolidate their competitiveness.
How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?
We first heard about the competition through several public and private entities that promote and encourage participation in the competition throughout Portugal, and applied using our public/private partnership. We felt that our project was a good and strong example of what EEPA represents. Our results from previous years were also very successful, so we thought that our project had good replication potential and could serve as a European example.
How did you go about preparing your application?
The preparation of an EEPA application is quite “heavy” in terms of the work involved. We did not prepare something special for EEPA, but instead created a working group for the preparation of the application as soon as the period of application was announced.
What was it like to win the award?
It was a surprise, considering the quality of other applications. However, we felt that we had a very good chance in this competition, since we were strongly convinced of the quality of our application. Just being included in the shortlist gave as a sense of achievement! Winning the competition was very important to us, and it was an extraordinary feeling: a reward for the work done, and concrete proof that we are on the right track.
How did winning the award immediately impact your work and what kind of response did you receive?
Winning the award helped us not only externally, the increased visibility helped with publicity and will also help us in the future, but also internally. Internally the win helped to solidify our relationships with partners and make us a stronger network. It also resulted in overall better general knowledge of the objectives and better understanding of the technicalities of the project. The response was great and made us feel like we have an increased sense of responsibility, now we just have to maintain and increase the impact of the project. Whilst it was fantastic to represent our project, it was also very satisfying to be able to represent Portugal.
Can you already see a long-term impact or do you have any expectations?
Yes. Considering the results of the initiative, and the relevance of the award, we think that the partners will be able to approach companies more easily in order to tighten the network links and increase the impact of the SME Leader initiative.
Why should others enter EEPA 2017? What advice would you give them?
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! The preparation for EEPA stimulates evaluation, strengthens partnership, and gives visibility, all of which can only help strengthen your project.
What are your plans for the future?
Our project has the potential to increase the level and scope of impact on the companies, through a tightening of the network. We hope to raise awareness and increase knowledge about the companies considered to be SME Leaders, and disseminate their best practices to help others achieve the same leader status. Our whole project is about helping SMEs get access to finance, whether it be through creating the right conditions or helping them comply with requisites, in terms of the future we want to keep doing just that and increase the number of enterprises that we help and who can benefit.
Are you an SME Week National Coordinator? Need some inspiration for your campaign? Look no further! Start your planning for European SME Week 2017!
Today we share the action plan developed by the Portuguese Coordinator for the European SME Week 2016 to present some ideas and best practices. The action plan covers various topics, from communication tips and communication strategies, to possible target groups, dissemination practices and how to reach the audience using social media.
The report, which you may find here, resulted in a total of 39 Portuguese organised events being posted on the SME Week Event Calendar. Use the calendar as a European platform to get international exposure for your events, get posting and see the results!
For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/support/sme-week_en
Winners of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016 prove diversity of entrepreneurial spirit in Europe
Congratulations! The seven winners of the 10th edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) were announced by Peter Varinský with the Grand Jury Prize being awarded to a Swedish city project.
The six projects that each won their category came from France, UK, Portugal, Finland, Serbia, and The Netherlands. The categories covered the broad areas of entrepreneurship, enterprise start-up and growth, international market opportunities, and green markets. Three projects from Latvia, Ireland and Greece received Special Mentions from the EEPA jury, which comprised seven representatives from government, business and academia from the EU.
The top prize was awarded to the district of West Hisingen in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. The project supports the city district’s reputation as a hub of opportunities and entrepreneurship. It is divided into three parts: Entrepreneurship in education; Start your business, a course for newly arrived refugees with a business background in their home country; and Develop your business, a comprehensive business training programme.
Speaking of the awards, Ms Kristin Schreiber, chair of the EEPA jury and Director for COSME programme at Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission, said: “The 57 projects selected to compete at European level, not just the winners, runners-up and special mentions, are a testimony to the passion and innovation that puts ideas into practice. These are examples that can inspire the creation of an ecosystem that helps entrepreneurial spirits, nurtures enterprises and helps them grow. All these projects have tangible results: they help to create new companies and new jobs. I hope they will be an inspiration to authorities, organisations and individuals across Europe to do more for entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
Next year’s awards ceremony will take place during the 2017 SME Assembly in Tallinn, under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
And by the way – the cake for the 10th EEPA´s birthday was delicious! 🙂
We continue our showcase of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) shortlist with an introduction to the national winners competing in Category-3 – Improving the Business Environment. These three projects, each with their own specific focus, have in common the fact that they improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in their respective countries – Denmark, Portugal and Slovenia. Two of the projects are based on a competition/award scheme, while the third is a co-working space that motivates young entrepreneurs.
So, in no particular order, the first in our list this week is Denmark’s Next Step Challenge (NSC). NSC is an ambitious European startup competition focusing on Smart Energy & Digitalisation and Sound & Home Integration. Ambitious startups are offered the chance to access a one-of-a-kind business development programme in direct collaboration with big corporations, SydEnergi and Bang & Olufsen. Along with EUR 250 000 in prize money, the winners are also supported by SydEnergi and Bang & Olufsen, who open up their organisations, share knowledge and strategy, and assist with product and/or business development. Check out their video!
The next project takes us to Portugal and the Leader SME programme, which annually rewards SMEs with the best financial performance and risk levels, as viewed by IAPMEI and Turismo de Portugal. The award offers public recognition of their successful growth strategies and competitive leadership, and winners benefit from more favourable conditions for accessing finance and other specialised business management support. In just eight years, the number of companies recognised has more than doubled from around 3 000 in 2008 to approximately 7 300 in 2015! Have a look at their video!
KIKštarter was established to encourage young people in Slovenia to develop their entrepreneurial ideas. A co-working space in the deprived area of Kamnik, it provides entrepreneurs with a supportive environment and is home to 27 startups. The startups receive assistance and guidance in developing their ideas, have access to workspace, and participate in a series of motivational events. The project is contributing to the promotion of entrepreneurship to all residents in the area, which is undergoing regeneration, and helping to unlock the potential of the area and its people. The initiative has directly resulted in seven new businesses and at least as many new jobs with minimal financial investment.
Only one of these projects can be declared the ultimate winner in the category and, given the high standard of all three, the EEPA Jury is faced with a difficult choice. But choose they must, and their eventual choice 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.
In total, 343 National EEPA entries were received from 31 participating countries in 2016, which were then narrowed down by the national EEPA coordinators to 57 projects put forward for the European level of the competition.
At a meeting in Brussels on 27 September, the EEPA Jury drew up a project shortlist for each of the EEPA’s six project categories. Let´s meet 18 shortlisted winners for EEPA 2016!
The winners are spread pretty evenly across Europe, with only Serbia featuring on the list more than once, with winning projects in the Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency categories. We will present all of the shortlisted projects, category by category, on the Promoting Enterprise blog over the next six weeks.
The winner in each category 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. All of the national winners will have their costs covered to send one representative to attend the SME Assembly, while shortlisted projects will be able to send two representatives.
Congratulations to all of the shortlisted projects – they are all worthy winners, and the EEPA Jury will have a difficult task in selecting the winning projects in each category. We wish them all the best of luck at the SME Assembly in November.
The Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI) held a public event in Lisbon on September 8 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). The Portuguese national EEPA winners for 2016, selected from 50 top-quality national applications, were also announced at the event.
From left to right side, Jury member, Deputy of the President of Republic, Awarded and the Minister for Economy
The event, which was chaired by IAPMEI President Miguel Cruz, was attended by 150 participants, including representatives from the EEPA candidates, a deputy of the president of the Portuguese Republic, a member of the European Commission Representation in Portugal and other stakeholders. Portuguese Economy Minister Manuel Caldeira Cabral and Secretary the State for Industry João Vasconcelos also attended this session, highlighting the importance for Portugal of the international recognition provided by EEPA and its role in promoting entrepreneurship in Portugal.
Speaking at the event, Miguel Cruz noted that by joining this European Commission initiative, IAPMEI aimed at sharing good practices as drivers of entrepreneurial activity and competitiveness. The IAPMEI president said that, bearing in mind that Portugal was the country that received more applications at the national level in the current edition, most of them of high quality, these results were in line with the high performance of entrepreneurship in Portugal. He added that the results demonstrated a mobilising capacity and the ability to foster a scale effect that was key in helping to create a more competitive country.
IAPMEI welcomed participants with a video on “Innovation, entrepreneurship, development with a view to creating more jobs, better quality of life, more competitiveness, more growth: these are the objectives of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards”:
This video includes testimonials from representatives of Portuguese projects that have been awarded at EU level:
Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship (2015): This award was very important for Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship, providing huge national and international visibility. It has allowed new partnerships for development. I strongly recommend applying for the EEPA. Margarida Figueiredo and Maribel Ferreira.
AMS – Thinking Ahead (2014): We managed to make a society which became more cost effective in the Iberian Peninsula. The greatest impact was visibility. Paulo Santos.
FAZ – Ideas of Portuguese Origin (2014): The award gave us more visibility, more contacts with national and international enterprises and replicability, namely with Greece. We invite all the companies and organisations that believe in their work to apply for EEPA. Luis Jerónimo.
The sexiest industry in Europe (2013): It is giving results and this for us is highly rewarding. Paulo Gonçalves.
Douro Boys (2012): It was very important that the Douro Boys project was awarded very high visibility not achieved up to that point. Francisco Olazabal.
On the spot Firm (2007): It is worth mentioning the effort that was made to submit the application in order to give visibility at internal and external levels to good quality projects, as it was with On the spot Firm. Maria Manuel Leitão Marques.
The Jury Members and candidates
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.
This week, Paulo Santos (pictured) from the award-winning AMS – Thinking Ahead project in Portugal reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA two years on…
Paulo Santos, Navigator Tissue Rodao
|Organisation||NAVIGATOR TISSUE RODAO (FORMER AMS-BR STAR PAPER, SA)|
|Award won||Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency|
What was it like to win the award?
It was recognition of all the work that we’ve been doing since 2009. The European Enterprise Promotion Award confirmed that, by thinking in a green way, we can convert a standard production process into an eco-friendly production process that, in this case, amounts to a huge combination of sustainability and profitability.
How did winning the award immediately impact your work?
It was great for our social media exposure. Before the EEPA, the company was very well known in local social media, but after the award, we got a lot of coverage nationally on social media, who were trying to cover the ecoview of the tissue production process. At the same time, we had a visit from the Deputy Prime Minister and the Environment Minister to show their support for this green concept.
What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers?
The best response that we’ve received from our peers is to see that nowadays, our eco view of the tissue production method is being emulated by them. If we go back in time, we remember that in 2009, all our peers said that producing paper by pipeline – getting the liquid pulp from our supplier to our plant – was pure imagination.
What has been the long-term impact?
We can’t say for sure whether the European Enterprise Promotion Award was the big factor in our acquisition by one of the biggest global enterprises in the paper industry – The Navigator Company. However, the EEPA gave us the kind of social media exposure that we wouldn’t have had without it.
Why did you decide to enter the national competition?
We decided to enter the national competition to promote our concept internationally and show that our production method not only works, but works better than the standard production model. We were trying to be the disruptors in our industry.
How did you go about preparing your application and making it award winning?
I would say it was quite easy. We explained the production process in a simple way and summarised all the economic and social benefits of our project from the beginning.
What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?
My best advice would be keep it simple. My second best advice would be to describe the project very clearly and to quantify all the impacts (not only the economic impacts, but the social ones too).
To find out more about AMS Thinking Ahead, visit http://www.amspt.eu/en/
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.
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.
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.
Hundreds of projects competed in the 2015 national competitions for a chance to represent their country in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards; 19 projects have now been shortlisted. A record number of 32 countries entered the Awards this year with the most popular category being “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”.
This year’s jury was made up of members of the outgoing Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the current Luxembourg Presidency along with representatives from the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, business, and academia. Following much deliberation, the jury established a shortlist of 19 nominees in six categories. The winners for each of the categories will be announced at a central event of European SME Week, the SME Assembly in Luxembourg, to which all nominees will be invited. The prestigious Grand Jury Prize winner and special mentions will also be announced at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony.
Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
France: Youth Awareness Week for Female Entrepreneurship sees female entrepreneurs go into schools over the course of the week and put on presentations, talks or forums for young people aged 13–25 about female entrepreneurship and how women can start businesses and find success. The initiative aims to increase young people’s awareness of female entrepreneurship, and how women can start businesses and find success. Over the past three years 816 woman entrepreneurs, 18,000 young participants and more than 250 educational establishments – colleges, secondary schools and higher education institutions – have been involved.
Responsible organisation: The 100,000 Entrepreneurs Association
Organisation website: http://www.semaine-entrepreneuriat-feminin.com/
Netherlands: ZomerOndernemer allows young people to start their own companies and experience entrepreneurship during their summer holidays. By turning young people into proud business owners, the initiative helps them develop crucial skills as well as stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship. Launched in 2010, the project has already attracted 265 young people and helped produce 82 companies.
Responsible organisation: The New Entrepreneur Foundation
Organisation website: www.zomerondernemer.nl
United Kingdom: The John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank supports the development of an entrepreneurial culture within the City of Hull by engaging young people from the age of 5, allowing them to gain “soft skills” and entrepreneurial experience. The initiative raises awareness of the self-employed option as a pathway post education. It has supported over 350 young people interested in business from across Hull and the East Riding area.
Responsible organisation: Hull City Council
Organisation website: www.youthenterprise.co.uk
Category 2: Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills
Denmark: The Mobile FabLab is entrepreneurship on wheels, designed to raise awareness on new prototyping technologies and entrepreneurial skill by visiting and facilitating a large number of events, workshops and meet-ups all over Denmark for pre-entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and SMEs. They have initiated the first mobile FabLab-facility of its kind worldwide, put on more than 60 events reaching almost 28,000 people, 232 SMEs have been through FabLab- counselling and competence development courses and they have facilitated workshops for 1600 students in FabSchool.
Responsible organisation: FabLab Danmark c/o Væksthus Sjælland
Organisation website: www.detmobilefablab.dk
Ireland: Going for Growth focuses on encouraging female entrepreneurs to be ambitious and supports them to achieve their growth aspirations. Based on annual cycles, the initiative leverages the volunteer efforts of successful female entrepreneurs. The impact is measured in increased revenues, employment created and first time exporters, as well as in greater ambition, confidence, and a heightened strategic perspective among the participants; to date, over 400 ambitious owner managers have been supported.
Responsible organisation: Fitzsimons Consulting in association with the Gender Equality Division, Department of Justice and Equality
Organisation website: Going for Growth focuses on encouraging female entrepreneurs to be ambitious and supports them to achieve their growth aspirations.
Italy: Alternating Work & School Experience provides students in secondary education with the professional skills required by businesses today, through a range of programmes and work experience opportunities. The initiative aims to ensure the best work experience school programmes are created to benefit the greatest number of students possible in the province. Some of the skills that are developed through the initiative are centred around business innovation, the corporate culture, the development of relevant statistical data, problem solving and marketing and business plan development. Since the initiative has been implemented, there has been a marked improvement for the schools and businesses involved, particularly in terms of skills and knowledge acquired.
Responsible organisation: Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Crafts and Agriculture of Macerata
Organisation website: http://www.mc.camcom.it/P42A0C176S166/The-Chamber-of-Commerce.htm
Category 3: Improving the Business Environment
Croatia: Your Business Friendly Town acts as an accessible and practical example of how new and established entrepreneurs have the opportunity to succeed, by strengthening the capacity of local government. It has opened the doors of domestic and foreign investment to create new jobs, promote entrepreneurship in the local area, and to overcome administrative hurdles by adopting local government as “business partners”. The initiative has successfully increased the number of investors, entrepreneurs and jobs in the Economic zone of Jalševac, doubling the number of jobs in to over 850.
Responsible organisation: City of Jastrebarsko
Organisation website: www.jastrebarsko.hr
Malta: Strengthening the Business Environment through Active Social Dialogue focuses on providing professional management support to SMEs, as well as working to educate the general public on employment-related issues. Due to a series of specialised and focused activities, at least 14% of the SMEs in Malta have been empowered to become increasingly active participants in social dialogue in Malta.
Responsible organisation: Malta Employers’ Association (MEA)
Organisation website: www.maltaemployers.com
United Kingdom: Creative Quarter describes itself as an ‘incubator without walls’, which aims to support creative SMEs to generate prosperity and create jobs. It develops highly-skilled local workforce who are ready to compete with one another to transform The Creative Quarter area in the city to make it a great business location. The initiative has supported over 700 businesses and has created just over 600 jobs. It has also contributed to the development of over 7,500 sq m. of new workspace for SMEs, entrepreneurs and creative businesses.
Responsible organisation: Creative Quarter Nottingham Limited
Organisation website: www.creativequater.com
Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business
Estonia: GameFounders is a global gaming industry accelerator that aims to support technically strong teams with developing a business model and guidance on product development. Since its launch, the accelerator has implemented four cycles and has worked with 28 teams from 16 countries. GameFounders has contributed to the increase of Estonian gaming industry start-up numbers.
Responsible organisation: GameFounders OÜ
Organisation website: www.gamefounders.com
Latvia: TechHub Riga is a major technology and IT co-working space for startup companies. The space was created with a view to bring together like-minded startups that can help each other to successfully develop their projects. The initiative has provided office space for more than 30 technology startups since its creation. More recently, over the past 2 years, 50 businesses have been incubated, as well as several international and local conferences, meetings, and experience sharing events being organised and held each year.
Responsible organisation: Foundation TechHub Riga
Organisation website: riga.techhub.com
Italy: The Temporary Export Manager project provides businesses with the option to employ a junior/trainee member to the team to work in a company in close cooperation with company management in an international marketing position. The project aims to spread a culture of internationalisation among micro businesses and SMEs in the region, thus responding to the need for technical skills required by companies to possess and consolidate their business with those companies located overseas. Throughout the four years, over 150 new university graduates have been inserted in as many companies in the region.
Responsible organisation: Regional Union of the Chambers of Commerce of Emilia-Romagna
Organisation website: www.ucer.camcom.it
Category 5: Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency
Austria: Resource-efficient Industrial Park Liesing works to help coordinate the management of the neighbourhood in the former industrial park of Liesing, ultimately creating a positive identity for the area. Research and advisory activities focus on resource-saving and resource-efficient economies. The initiative has successfully raised awareness of the issue of conserving resources, – both with companies and businesses and the local population – and have committed to the preservation of the industrial park as a site for manufacturing companies and businesses.
Responsible organisation: Vienna Chamber of Commerce
Organisation website: www.wkw.at
Luxembourg: SuperDrecksKëscht works to certify waste management concepts of facilities and plants, promotes the consumption of sustainable products and supports the further development of resource-efficient recovery operations. It aims to develop the classical waste management process for the recycling/de-manufacturing industry, and thus, expand and provide support to the environmental technology and services. The initiative has recorded an increase in the number of participating plants implementing ecological waste management, and has contributed to an increase in the sales of sustainable products.
Responsible organisation: The Environmental Administration/The Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructures.
Organisation website: www.sdk.lu
Spain: Green Business Network is the first networking platform in Spain to specialise in green business. Targeting entrepreneurs and investors, the project seeks to promote entrepreneurship in the environment sector and to encourage sustainable business development. The initiative has already attracted over 7,000 members, including 100 investors and funders.
Responsible organisation: Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Organisation website: www.fundación-biodiversidad.es
Category 6: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Austria: Business Start-up Programme for the Unemployed works with the Austrian Public Employment Service to provide start up advice, company specific qualifications and livelihood security for the unemployed. It does so through three core services: 1. Start-up advice from a commissioned third-party consulting firm 2. Company-specific qualifications and 3. Livelihood security. Their aim is to support unemployed people in taking up successful and sustainable self-employment. They have achieved a high number of start-ups (in 2014: 5,169 UGP start-ups, of which women accounted for around 40%), very good labour market success and “survival rates”: 64% after 5 years, and additional employment effects: 25% of company founders employ staff.
Responsible organisation: Public Employment Service Austria
Germany: Enterability is a management consultancy for people with disabilities that provides help before and after starting a business. The overarching goal is to enable people with disabilities to participate in the labour market through targeted counselling and training for self-employment. They provide peer counselling, advice, seminars with specific contents and methods, sign language interpreters and information on accessing loans specifically for disabled people.
Responsible organisation: Social Impact gGmbH
Organisation website: http://www.ifd-enterability.de/
Greece: Vocational Training & Certification of the unemployed workers of the ship repair industry in the Piraeus area, aimed at reduction of unemployment and recovery of the sector aims to enhance the capabilities of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry by providing a programme that hopes to increase employment levels in the local area. The programme aims to enhance entrepreneurship, mainly in the ship repair sector, and to reduce unemployment by involving those that are unemployed. Of the 1,500 unemployed who participated in the Vocational Training Programme, 867 obtained certification, and 150 gained employment.
Responsible organisation: Piraeus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (EVEP)
Organisation website: www.pcci.gr
Portugal: Lisbon Micro Entrepreneurship is a programme working to support responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship, be it through helping to develop business plans, to advising on how best to obtain funding. It was set up in 2013 with the aim of stimulating the city’s economy and supporting company and job creation. The initiative is therefore a part of Lisbon Municipal Council’s (LMC) global strategy to support entrepreneurship, bringing together public, private and local and national bodies with a local focus, enabling anyone to get support for projects in a range of fields, from the planning phase through to the first years of activity. Support comes in the form of help to structure ideas, developing business plans, help with implementing their projects, and obtaining funding. Over 50 companies have been set up, 27 of which have been funded, over 100 jobs have been created, and over 550 meetings have been held with entrepreneurs.
Responsible organisation: Lisbon Municipal Council
Organisation website: http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/www.cm-lisboa.pt
About the awards
Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level. 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. Its objectives are to identify and recognise successful activities and initiatives to promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship, showcasing and sharing examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices, creating a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.
For more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the website, follow the Awards on Twitter or visit the official Awards Facebook page. For more information on European SME Week you can visit the website and follow on Twitter.
By Nuno Sebastiao
What a tremendous time to be working in the field of machine learning, and in the financial industry. From data breaches at retailers to increased use of mobile devices for payments, there is never a dull moment in this fast-paced industry.
Last year brought a lot of promise for Feedzai. We established our United States headquarters, entered the Brazilian and Indian markets, and have been working with a number of large banks, acquirers and merchants to make commerce safer. And, our machine learning technology analyzed over $750 million in payment volume; we’re on track to do much more than that this year.
The prevalence of fraud is helping to drive our success. Banking and payments are changing rapidly – mobile devices are becoming the preferred method of payment, credit cards in the US are adopting EMV technology, and fraudsters are trying to stay one step ahead of us all. And, they are often successful, as we’ve seen with major data breaches at retailers, financial institutions and insurance providers just to name a few.
With these changes brings vast amounts of data. All of these data points are coming from various sources – POS devices, mobile devices, computers online, etc., and to make commerce safer, they have to be analyzed in real time. We know that machine learning and behavioral analytics are crucial in making commerce safer for everyone involved, and rule-based fraud detection solutions just do not work any longer – primarily due to this virtual tsunami of data.
Last year Feedzai also launched our fraud detection service API for developers, which has seen exponential growth since its launch at Money20/20 in October 2014. This allows us to further collaborate with some of the great developers out there, and find new uses for our platform. Through our developer portal, we’ve has seen more than 300 percent growth in transactions in just four months and a dramatic surge in its certified partner program.
We’ve validated a lot of what we’ve already initially discovered about retailer needs by handling the millions of dollars of purchases that have come through the Feedzai API in the last several months. These businesses are looking for plug-in software with open architecture like Kill Bill, a certified partner of Feedzai that offers flexible subscription for billing and payments, which can better handle highly custom business logic. Our certified partners continue to innovate by embedding anti-fraud as a service to ultimately create beautiful and safe experiences for sellers and buyers.
Scoring from Feedzai allows merchants to see the fraud score (0-1000), with an explanation as to why the score was provided so users have the intelligence to decide to accept or reject the transaction.
Nuno Sebastiao is a co-founder and CEO of Feedzai. Previously, Nuno led the development of the European Space Agency Satellite Simulation Infrastructure. He holds an MBA from London Business School.