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EEPA 2019 FAQ – How to make it onto the European shortlist

Applying for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) is one thing, but how can you ensure that your project will stand out? The first challenge is to make your project stand out for your National Coordinator, the second is to impress the European jury. Today on Promoting Enterprise we have collected answers from previous EEPA Jury members to find out what top three qualities will make a project stand out for them.

For more information on the EEPA 2019 read the launch post, find out about your 2019 National Coordinators and have a look at all of the EEPA information on the promoting Enterprise News Portal.

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Connecting social innovators with modern challenges

The modern world is full of both challenges and solutions, yet how can we ensure that innovative minds are made aware of the problems they can solve? Where can those with a solution connect with those who need their ideas? The Social Challenges Innovation Platform answers those needs and provides a marketplace and meeting hub for those with a challenge, to conect with those with an innovative solution.

The platform provides a place for exchange and an opportunity to build partnerships to feed the European Social Ecosystem with innovative solutions. The platform supports Public Authorities, Private Companies, and Third Sector Organisations, referred to as Challenge Owners, through the process of identifying social and environmental challenges, and deciding which ones should be uploaded to the platform.

Once uploaded to the platform, the challenges can be viewed by Solution Providers which can be social innovators, startups, SMEs or other innovators. The providers then use the platform to accelerate their innovations and connect with those who need them most. Solution Providers can also apply for the open calls, and submit proposals to receive a grant of up to EUR 30.000 along with six months of mentoring to fully develop solutions to be used by Challenge Owners.

The first open call and the awarded projects on the platform have already produced results. You can find out more about the platform, its work and the awarded projects on the main website.

 

Watch the web-series about the socialchallenges.eu projects here: 

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EIC Investor Day: Empowering women innovators

Companies that have women in leading positions consistently perform better than companies that don’t. However, innovative, techy and digital companies still excruciatingly lack women entrepreneurs. On 4 April, 33 innovative companies led by women and funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot met for an EIC Investor Day in Brussels to promote the access of women entrepreneurs to finance. In addition to panel discussions with investors and plenty of networking, 12 innovative companies got to pitch in front of investors. In addition, European Commissioner for Innovation Carlos Moedas announced the 13 finalists for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019, two of which are funded by the EIC. 

Only 30% of enterpreneurs in Europe are women. “No matter what way you look at it, it poses a problem. Socially, yes, of course, this is a recipe for an unequal society. But how about economically? We know that start-ups founded or co-founded by women generate higher revenues than those by men, and we are missing out”, commented Commissioner Moedas. One of the EU’s initiatives to encourage women to innovate and start their companies by promoting positive role-models is the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019. The Commissioner announced the 13 finalists for the 2019 prize. Among the finalists are two women co-founders from the EIC backed companies: Nuria Espallargas, a co-founder of Seram Coatings, and Cécile Réal, co-founder and CTO of Endodiag.

Ambassador Luminita Odobescu, Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union and a mother of two, stressed the importance of educating young boys towards a goal of gender balance. “Political actors and business support organisations need to support women entrepreneurs in access to credit, cut red tape and mainstream gender perspective in all EU policies”.

Gitte Pederson – a co-founder of Genomic Expression, emphasised the significance of networks among entrepreneurs: “It is important that women connect and help each other. You are trained so well in that first stage of the relationship, but since your investors are usually your partners, there is the whole other side to it which is all about getting to know each other”.

The event hosted 17 investors from the private sector and investors from the European Investment Bank.

The EIC Corporate Days link entrepreneurs with international companies to engage in open innovation towards new products, pilot projects and new business models. Since 2017, more than 400 companies funded under the SME InstrumentFast Track to Innovation and FET Open have participated in matchmaking events with large corporates across Europe.

Read the original article on the EASME website here.

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EIC pilot and MAN drive the future for sustainable mobility and smart logistics

18 companies backed by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and working in the fields of electric mobility, connected transportation, and intelligent supply chains explored business opportunities with MAN Truck & Bus on 19 March in Munich, Germany.

85 companies applied to take part in a business acceleration event with MAN Truck & Bus in Munich, 18 of which were selected to present their ideas in front of 150 leading MAN employees and Group partners. The participants, hailing from 12 different countries, showcased ideas, prototypes, and products ranging from electric lorries to cargo bikes.

Florian Stehbeck, Digital Innovation Manager and responsible for startup collaboration at MAN Truck & Bus, talked about the motivations behind the event: “We’re looking partners who are active in our core businesses. The production of hardware components, sales applications and engineering tools. But we’re also looking for “out of the box” approaches and new challenges.” Other MAN representatives also expressed the ambition to continue shaping the mobility and logistics industry by partnering with European entrepreneurs who share the vision of a more sustainable mobility future.

To learn more about the companies in attendance and their funded projects, visit the EASME data hub:
BestmileCambrian IntelligenceFastree3DFollow InspirationInsplorionKG ProtechKINELinknovate,  MaxitexMazaroMillor Energy SolutionsNerve Smart SystemsNextsenseOneWattONOPagitaStratio Automotive and Valuechain.

The EIC Corporate Days link entrepreneurs with international companies to engage in open innovation towards new products, pilot projects and new business models. Since 2017, more than 400 companies funded under the SME Instrument, Fast Track to Innovation and FET Open have participated in matchmaking events with large corporates across Europe.

To learn more about the EIC Corporate Days, read the 2018 report, and to apply for future opportunities, have look at the event page.

Read the original article on the EASME website here.

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EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Matosinhos Carbon-zero Living Lab – ‘Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency’ Winner 2018

It is time to discover another story and the secrets behind a prizewinning project from the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2018. The EEPA aim to find, promote and boost projects from across Europe that are working to strengthen and improve the European enterprise ecosystem across a number of categories. Today we travel to Portugal to meet the 2018 winner of theSupporting the development of green markets and resource efficiencycategory. The “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” project was the first to win in this category after it was temporarily suspended in 2017.

The “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” tests sustainable and innovative solutions, products and services to foster a local carbon market in an industrial coastal municipality. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to develop and propose projects, which are then implemented and made available for municipal use. The local carbon market uses CO2 emissions credits gained through the adoption of sustainable solutions such as bike sharing, sustainable lighting or artificial intelligence applied to building management. The credits can be exchanged for goods and green services and are an incentive for sustainability in the municipality, which previously had a high carbon footprint.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

The Municipality of Matosinhos was contacted by CEiiA – Centre for Engineering and Product Development, and jointly we decided to apply to the EEPA 2018 with the project “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” due to the creative and innovative characteristics of the initiative. The information about the national competition was provided by IAPMEI by e-mail and through their website and social networks.

How did you prepare your application?

The application was prepared in collaboration between the Municipality of Matosinhos and CEiiA, with contributions from other project partners. IAPMEI gave us a lot of strong support throughout the process.

What was it like to win the award?

It was a great honour to win this award. It is perfectly aligned with our strategy to transform Matosinhos into an intelligent, sustainable and inclusive city. Winning is also a recognition of the work the Municipality of Matosinhos is doing to benefit its companies, organisations and citizens.

How did winning the award impact your work?

The European award was very important for both national and international visibility to the project. This recognition is a relevant tool to promote the attractiveness of the city of Matosinhos for talents, tourists and investments. Moreover, the “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” focused on the development and testing of low-carbon solutions in a specific area of the city, with the final objective being the replication of these solutions in other parts of the territory, and even exporting them to other cities and regions in Portugal and abroad. The award represents an opportunity to disseminate the project and increase this replication potential.

Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?

Participation in EEPA is a good opportunity to share experience and good practices with other European organisations, and to become aware of innovative and creative initiatives that are being implemented in Europe.

What are your plans for the future?

The “Carbon-zero Living Lab Matosinhos” is part of an integrated strategy to promote the decarbonisation of the municipality. We will continue the development of this project, enlarging its scope in terms of partners, solutions to be tested and users.

Read about Matosinhos in the EEPA 2018 compendium and keep coming back to the News Portal for further EEPA updates!

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SME Week Newsletter 2019: Issue #3

EEPA 2019 – Your questions answered

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are a fantastic opportunity to be recognised for innovative initiatives in the domains of entrepreneurship and enterprise. Entering the awards can be daunting and the application process is extensive, so Promoting Enterprise has launched an EEPA 2019 FAQ series on the News Portal. This series answers common questions and provides anecdotes and advice from past winners, jury members and other EEPA stakeholders.

In addition to EEPA, the Promoting Enterprise team have been reporting on interesting events across Europe, including the European Social Innovation Competition and recent funding calls for new projects.

We hope you enjoy this latest edition and do not forget to submit your news, articles and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue.

Read more >>

<< Previous Issue #26

SUBSCRIBE AND DON´T MISS ANY UPDATES

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Five Good Reasons To Boost Your Business with Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs

SMEs represent 99% of businesses in Europe and contribute to 60% of European private sector employment, creating 85% of new jobs. Enabling them to benefit even more from the Single Market is a priority for the European Commission. And in this light, it has been already 10 years since the European Union-funded program Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs was launched as an initiative of the European Parliament. As a critical action of the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, the program aims to reignite entrepreneurial spirit in Europe, support new businesses in crucial phases of their lifecycle and help them to grow.

In essence, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border programme facilitating the exchange of entrepreneurial and management experience. The exchange is implemented by a stay of a newly established or potential entrepreneur with a well-experienced entrepreneur running a small or medium-sized enterprise in another country.

The two main actors are 1. The New Entrepreneurs (NE), understood both as nascent entrepreneurs, who are firmly planning to start their own business and entrepreneurs who have recently launched their own business with less than three years of operability and 2. The Host Entrepreneurs (HE) or successful and experienced entrepreneurs directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME level with more than 3 years of entrepreneurial experience.

The exchange is facilitated by national Intermediary Organisations (IOs) that have been officially appointed to establish contacts between NEs and HEs and to ensure successful relationships between them. They exist to provide with the perfect match and help both parts with everything related to promotion, information, induction, validation or improvement of applications, arranging contacts, issuing contracts, logistical support, or simple advice and guidance through the process.

Seems like a good deal,  right? But if you still need a thought, get convinced by these five additional excellent reasons to boost your business with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.

1. It brings fresh air to your business

3. It doesn’t entail any extra cost

4. It is flexible

5. It is easy

Numbers speak for themselves! With more than 21,000 applications and 7000 established relationships set up, 61% of new entrepreneurs and 54% of host entrepreneurs have reported an increased turnover after participating in the programme. No magic wands, just hard work, and brilliant ideas! Ready?

Read the full original article on Forbes

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EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Kasvu Open – company growth sparring programme – ‘Supporting the internationalisation of business’ Winner 2018

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2019, are looking for the next winners that will demonstrate the diversity of European projects working to promote enterprise, support entrepreneurs and contribute to the European ecosystem. Here on Promoting Enterprise we have been contacting past winners to share their experiences, winning projects and advice for future applicants.

Today is the turn of Kasvu Open from Finland, the winners of Category 4: Supporting the internationalisation of business, in the EEPA 2018 cycle. Kasvu Open offers sparring to companies interested in growth, free of charge. The goal is to promote company growth and business development, thus improving the SMEs’ chances of achieving international growth. Through sparring the companies’ growth plans are challenged, adapted and supported by experts representing several different fields. The selected companies come from all industry sectors across Finland and receive access to expert networks. The experience also includes a tailored growth path, run by several partners who facilitate free participation at events, provide funded support for the participating SME and ultimately guide the enterprise in the right direction.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

We were already familiar with EEPA seeing as our parent company, the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce, won an EEPA prize back in 2006. We decided to enter because people within our network encouraged us to try and promote our work on a European stage.

How did you prepare your application?

The Kasvu Open method has been in use since 2011 and annual number of companies applying the coaching programme has grown from 35 to 800 during these years. Kasvu Open has sparked the flame of growth in more than 3500 companies, 1652 of which have received free sparring from experts. Based on this we already knew our project results; Kasvu Open is efficient, valuable and successful. For the application it was just a question of clearly writing down the work that we have done, documenting our activities over the years, and presenting the numbers, which speak for themselves.

What was it like to win the award?

Winning the award was a great honour on behalf of the whole growth company ecosystem in Finland. The award is dedicated to all growth companies, experts (“growth millers”), partners and everyone who has been a part of the Kasvu Open journey during the years.

Being recognised with an EEPA award confirmed that we are on the right path towards becoming the best growth company nation in the world.

How did winning the award impact your work?

This win has motivated us to keep working even harder! Now we can say that we have been recognised in Europe, meaning that our next target must be higher. It has also made us humble. We can celebrate our win, but we need to keep developing our processes to maintain our status as a frontrunner in our field.

Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?

It is definitely worth trying. Submit your project and see what happens! In terms of advice, be yourself, present your project proudly, and you will be noticed. This is the approach we took.

When you are shortlisted for an EEPA prize you get to attend the SME Assembly, which is an opportunity to meet other nominees and hear their stories. This is really valuable because you can get new ideas from hearing these stories. EEPA is a great competition which allows nominees to present their work and build upon what they are doing on a European scale. The event itself is a very well organised and good place for networking, so it is a great experience for everybody.

What are your plans for the future?

We are continuing to develop Kasvu Open by exploring the possibilities of technology and Artificial Intelligence. One of our main focuses is on adapting the digital platform and marketing automation solutions for Kasvu Open processes.

Watch Kasvu Open’s winning moment below and stay tuned for their future updates! Have a look here for more information on EEPA 2019 and get applying!

 

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The new call for energy efficiency is now open!

Around €112 million of EU funding is now available for energy efficiency research, innovation and market uptake. The deadline for applications is 3 September 2019.

On 12 March the 2019 call for proposals for the Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy topics of the Horizon 2020 EU funding programme was launched. The funding is available for proposals submitted under 16 topics addressing 5 main areas: buildings, industry, finance, public authorities and policy support and consumer and services.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 3 September 2019. The call is managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the European Commission. (EASME). All proposals for Horizon 2020 funding are submitted through the EU’s Funding and Tender Opportunities portal.

The specific funding topics were presented at the Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency Info Day on 22 January 2019, and video recordings as well as the presentation slides are available for viewing. The Info Day also featured presentations on the EU policy context and guidance from EASME on how to submit an excellent proposal.

Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency is also on Twitter.

Watch the video and discover the benefits of H2020 programme:

Read the original article on the EASME website here

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) also recognise projects working towards sustainability, clean energy and environmental consciousness through the Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency category. Look through previous tetsimonials here on the News Portal and don’t hesitate to contact your EEPA National Coordinator for more information on this category and how to apply! 

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EEPA 2019 FAQ: How to prepare an EEPA application

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are looking for the next set of inspiring projects that support entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across Europe. Every year there are hundreds of applications from across the participating countries, so how can you make your application stand out? What will catch your National Coordinator’s eye? What will draw the attention of the prestigious EEPA jury?

Promoting Enterprise has collated advice from both past winners on what they did to prepare their applications, and from past and present EEPA Jury members on what made projects stand out for them.

Making your application stand out

Ensuring that your application is unique and stands out amongst all the other strong projects it will be competing against is key to getting noticed by both your National Coordinator and later the EEPA jury. Being unique is important and can even lead to a Grand Jury Prize win.

“One of the main reasons behind our win was that we presented a new proposition (i.e. festivals as testing grounds for innovators) to add to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

  • Innofest – Grand Jury Prize Winner 2017

EEPA jurors in particular want to see unusual and innovative projects that creative contribute to the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“In my opinion, the most important characteristic for a project to be special is that it is innovative. It has to bring something new and show creativity.”

“An outstanding project combines innovation and cooperation and supports enterprises throughout their life cycle. It has visible and presentable results and helps to improve the role of entrepreneurs in society or to start up a business.”

Your application is also a chance to tell your project story and give a full picture of your work, how far you have come and the journey that both you and your project have been on. Including tangible results, lessons learnt and successes will ensure your application is complete and robust.

“When applying it is important to ask yourself if others can replicate what you do. Success is always a combination of vision, strategy, trial and error, lessons learnt and results, so be sure to include your project story and journey.”

Dedicate the necessary time to your application

Previous winners mention the need to take the necessary time when preparing an EEPA application, to not rush and ensure that all necessary supporting documentation is collected with enough time and included in the final application.

“Prepare well! Be aware that it requires quite a lot of work until your documents are “final”, so advice and help from the national body might be very useful, so make the most of it.”

“We spent quite some time on the application to make sure that we got all the right and important information filled in.”

 

For more support with your EEPA 2019 applications be sure to have a look through previous EEPA winner testimonials for their advice and success stories and contact your National Coordinators for specific country information on your national EEPA competition.

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    • EEPA 2019 FAQ – How to make it onto the European shortlist April 18, 2019
      Applying for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) is one thing, but how can you ensure that your project will stand out? The first challenge is to make your project stand out for your National Coordinator, the second is to impress the European jury. Today on Promoting Enterprise we have collected answers from previous EEPA […]
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    • Connecting social innovators with modern challenges April 16, 2019
      The modern world is full of both challenges and solutions, yet how can we ensure that innovative minds are made aware of the problems they can solve? Where can those with a solution connect with those who need their ideas? The Social Challenges Innovation Platform answers those needs and provides a marketplace and meeting hub […]
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    • EIC Investor Day: Empowering women innovators April 11, 2019
      Companies that have women in leading positions consistently perform better than companies that don’t. However, innovative, techy and digital companies still excruciatingly lack women entrepreneurs. On 4 April, 33 innovative companies led by women and funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot met for an EIC Investor Day in Brussels to promote the access of women entrepreneurs to finance. In addition to […]
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    • EIC pilot and MAN drive the future for sustainable mobility and smart logistics April 9, 2019
      18 companies backed by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and working in the fields of electric mobility, connected transportation, and intelligent supply chains explored business opportunities with MAN Truck & Bus on 19 March in Munich, Germany. 85 companies applied to take part in a business acceleration event with MAN Truck & Bus in Munich, 18 of which […]
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    • EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Matosinhos Carbon-zero Living Lab – ‘Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency’ Winner 2018 April 4, 2019
      It is time to discover another story and the secrets behind a prizewinning project from the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2018. The EEPA aim to find, promote and boost projects from across Europe that are working to strengthen and improve the European enterprise ecosystem across a number of categories. Today we travel to Portugal […]
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    • SME Week Newsletter 2019: Issue #3 April 2, 2019
      EEPA 2019 – Your questions answered The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are a fantastic opportunity to be recognised for innovative initiatives in the domains of entrepreneurship and enterprise. Entering the awards can be daunting and the application process is extensive, so Promoting Enterprise has launched an EEPA 2019 FAQ series on the News Portal. […]
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    • Five Good Reasons To Boost Your Business with Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs March 28, 2019
      SMEs represent 99% of businesses in Europe and contribute to 60% of European private sector employment, creating 85% of new jobs. Enabling them to benefit even more from the Single Market is a priority for the European Commission. And in this light, it has been already 10 years since the European Union-funded program Erasmus For Young […]
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    • EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Kasvu Open – company growth sparring programme – ‘Supporting the internationalisation of business’ Winner 2018 March 21, 2019
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2019, are looking for the next winners that will demonstrate the diversity of European projects working to promote enterprise, support entrepreneurs and contribute to the European ecosystem. Here on Promoting Enterprise we have been contacting past winners to share their experiences, winning projects and advice for future applicants. Today […]
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    • The new call for energy efficiency is now open! March 19, 2019
      Around €112 million of EU funding is now available for energy efficiency research, innovation and market uptake. The deadline for applications is 3 September 2019. On 12 March the 2019 call for proposals for the Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy topics of the Horizon 2020 EU funding programme was launched. The funding is available for proposals submitted […]
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    • EEPA 2019 FAQ: How to prepare an EEPA application March 14, 2019
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are looking for the next set of inspiring projects that support entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across Europe. Every year there are hundreds of applications from across the participating countries, so how can you make your application stand out? What will catch your National Coordinator’s eye? What will draw […]
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