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How to win EEPA? Past winners reveal their recipe for a winning formula

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What is the recipe for success? What is the secret? How can you make sure your project is one of the next European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) winners? EEPA is an opportunity for public bodies and public-private partnerships from across the EU Member States, (as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey) to put forward their most imaginative and successful initiatives that support entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Each country selects their top national winners to compete at European level across five different categories.

Today Promoting Enterprise brings you advice from the best of the best, past EEPA winners. Ready to discover the answers? Read on…

Why should you enter EEPA?

Many of the past winners have mentioned that one of the key benefits of entering EEPA is that it provides “a valuable opportunity to step back and reflect”, as “you can’t always focus on what you did well yesterday…the analysis is important and it gives you a chance to make your learning journey visible so that others can learn from it.”

Not only does it allow for reflection but it provides an opportunity to meet with other pioneering initiatives from across Europe, as “participating in a competition is a real opportunity to meet and share with initiatives and people…learning from their experiences is very enriching”. Some winners also mentioned the increased internal learning and contact saying that “entering EEPA gives a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and contacts with colleagues, experts and other stakeholders, drawing focus to the relevant questions and impact SME development”.

All the winners agreed that winning, in the words of one winner “the most rigorous and professionally run enterprise award in the world”, was quite an experience. Ultimately this award “provides recognition from a higher recognised entity like the European Commission”, which for many has led to exciting national and international developments for their projects.

Finally very importantly “you should enter because it is fun! The whole process requires a lot of work and you need to invest the necessary time, but once that part is done you can really enjoy the experience of being in the competition.”

What should you bear in mind when you apply?

So how did this variety of winners come out on top in each of their respective categories? Each winner has their own story to tell which you can read here, but read some of the tips they wanted to share with the potential winners of the future:

  • “Apply and share as much as possible!”
  • “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!”
  • “Focus your attention on strategy and results achieved.”
  • “A good idea, a quality product, enthusiasm, detailed planning, active stakeholder involvement and teamwork were the key to our success. Our recommendation to future competitors would be to make sure to find their own distinctive formula.”
  • “Develop a pitch and make it interesting and inspirational for others. Inspiration is a very important part of EEPA work, it is what makes a project stand out.”
  • “You should not be scared to point out things that you learnt from and definitely take help from others, don’t do it all on your own.”

Interested in finding out more about EEPA? Are you going to apply and compete for a European title? Be sure to contact your national coordinator for more information and check when your national deadline is. Hurry up because the deadlines are approaching!

Have a look here to read about the SME Assembly 2017 during which the EEPA finals and awards ceremony will be held.

Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners

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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, Fabrizio Barbiero (pictured) from the award-winning City of Torino reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA four years on…

Name Fabrizio Barbiero
Organisation City of Torino
Country Italy
Website www.comune.torino.it
Award won Improving the Business Environment / Red Tape Reduction
Year 2012

Fabrizio Barbiero EEPA

What was it like to win the award?

It was a big surprise, an unexpected recognition.

Tell us about your project?

FaciliTO is a model that the Municipality of Turin adopted to tackle the difficulties that small enterprises encounter in struggling urban areas. Micro and small businesses in Turin have faced particular difficulty in accessing credit, which is due to the absence of project expertise. FaciliTO attempts to meet these needs by providing free consultations to support the development of business plans as well as direct financial support. Over 200 businesses have accessed FaciliTO and 93 of them have received financial support.

How did winning the award immediately impact your work?

Since winning the award, I manage innovation projects and business services for the City of Torino. Recently, we won second prize in the Icapital award in the category of social innovation and social startups.

What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers to receiving an EEPA?

A mix of envy and appreciation!

Why did you decide to enter the national competition?

We wanted to showcase the results of the project and its innovative strategy.

How did you go about preparing your application and making it award winning?

It was the first time we’d entered the project in a competition so I worked alone in order not to create excessive expectations.

What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?

Focus your attention on strategy and results achieved.

To find out more about the City of Torino, visit www.comune.torino.it.  

 

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