Tag ‘The Netherlands’
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! 🙂
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 two 2016 Dutch national EEPA finalists, De Rotterdamse Zaak and Agrico, were invited to perform the prestigious bell ceremony to open the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on 13 May. The two finalists, who will now go through to the European EEPA competition to be held in Slovakia in November, said it was a great honour to be part of the opening ceremony.
Competitive Dutch national final
After winning an EEPA last year for Zomerondernemer, the 2016 Dutch EEPA Final saw 14 initiatives battle it out for a place in the European finals. Following a preliminary round, five projects where shortlisted and invited to pitch their projects at a conference on 11 May. A number of great initiatives were in contention, such as Krachtbedrijf, which supports refugees in finding jobs or starting a company, and the Center for Enterpreneurship at Saxion Hogeschool. The quality of pitches didn’t make things easy for the jury, but Agrico and de Rotterdamse Zaak were judged the ultimate winners.
Agrico, a Public-Private Partnership, has created a sustainable food chain in Kenya, replacing the growth of corn with the more sustainable and environmentally-friendly growth of potatoes. Agrico also empowers farmers, often female, to set up their own small businesses, and has created an aid and trade collaboration between the Netherlands and Kenya.
De Rotterdamse Zaak is a learn-work project in which bachelor degree students and experienced entrepreneurs coach and assist new entrepreneurs in running their businesses. Their motto, “Young and Old = Gold,” is based on their winning combination of experience and youth teaming up to help entrepreneurs who are operating below the poverty line.
Awarding the winners, chairman of the Dutch jury, Paul Thewissen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said: “We have chosen these projects because, not only are they creative and inspiring, but they also have a great impact on society. We are delighted to give these two projects the chance to present themselves at a European level and believe they have a great chance to become European winners.”