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EEPA 2020 National Winners – Improving the business environment

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) reward projects from across participating countries that work to promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives. The EEPA have now moved to the European level of the competition and the national winners from each participating country have been selected by their National Coordinators. So far we have introduced the national winners for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit and Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories; “Improving the Business Environment”. This category recognises initiatives that support enterprise start-up and growth and simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses.

Find out more about the different competition categories on the EEPA website

*Due to certain national EEPA competitions being disrupted by COVID-19, this list is still subject to additions. Please keep checking the Promoting Enterprise News Portal for the most updated national winner information.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Improving the Business Environment”!

Come back to the News Portal each week to find out which projects won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

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Expression of interest – Interregional innovation projects to support coronavirus response and recovery

The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner.

On 27 July 2020 the European Commission launched a call for expressions of interest for thematic partnerships to pilot interregional innovation projects that support the response and recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

This call serves to assist regions in identifying opportunities emerging from the crisis and using them to “build on green and digital transformation for the recovery of the most affected sectors, such as health and tourism”.

Transnational and interregional partnerships between regional authorities and other stakeholders (e.g. SMEs, universities, research clusters etc.) under the following four thematic areas are eligible for support under this call:

  • Development of the medical value chain
  • Safety and management of medical waste
  • Sustainable and digital tourism
  • Development of hydrogen technologies in carbon-intensive regions

Partnerships should be willing to pilot interregional innovation aimed at “facilitating the commercialisation and scale-up of interregional innovation projects and to incentivise business investment”.

The deadline for application is 7 September 2020.

More detailed information on the call, eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

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EEPA 2020 National Winners – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Time to meet some more EEPA national winners! Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in “Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills”. This category recognises initiatives that improve entrepreneurial, managerial and employee skills.

*Due to certain national EEPA competitions being disrupted by COVID-19 this list is still subject to additions. Please keep checking back for the most updated national winner information.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills”!

Come back to the News Portal each week to find out which projects won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

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EEPA 2020 National Winners – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

The National Coordinators have run their national competitions and submitted the best entries to the European jury to consider for the shortlist. But which projects are competing this year? What initiatives will the jury be judging?

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we would like to introduce the projects competing in “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”. This category recognises initiatives that promote an entrepreneurial mind-set, especially among young people and women.

 *Due to certain national EEPA competitions being disrupted by COVID-19 this list is still subject to additions. Please keep checking back for the most updated national winner information.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”!

Come back to the News Portal each week to find out which projects won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

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EEPA 2020 – The European phase of the competition

The European Enterprise promotion Awards (EEPA) are moving into the European phase of the competition. The EEPA Secretariat has received the vast majority of national winner projects from the National Coordinators for the jury to consider for the European shortlist. The remaining projects will be submitted in time for the jury meeting due to exceptionally granted COVID-19 national competition extensions.

EEPA 2020 will see the top national projects competing across the traditional six categories, but with an increased emphasis on sustainability across all categories:

All of the projects being considered for the European shortlist, the 2020 national winners, will be introduced right here on the News Portal so make sure to come back to find out which projects are being reviewed by the prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

Congratulations to all of the national winners!

About the EEPA selection process

The competition has two stages. Applicants must first compete at national level to be eligible to compete at European level. For the national competition, each country selects up to two entries to be nominated for the European competition.

A shortlist of nominees will be chosen by the EEPA 2020 European jury. The shortlisted nominees will then compete at the final awards ceremony, which recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.

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SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2020 – 5th edition launch

Do you have an opinion on the role that entrepreneurs can play in reshaping our future economy? Perhaps you have interesting ideas about what the EU needs to do to help entrepreneurs? Then this is the opportunity for you!

The SME Week Youth Essay Competition is launching for the fifth time with a brand new question for the youth of Europe to answer:

What do SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient, in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges? How can EU policy best aid entrepreneurs?

The Youth Essay competition is organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and is an opportunity for 18-25 year olds to share their ideas and viewpoints with key figures and stakeholders in the spheres of enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Sound like an opportunity for you? All you need to do to have a chance at winning an all-expenses paid trip to the SME Assembly 2020 in Berlin is to submit your essay of no more than 2 500 words in English, before 18 September 2020.

Make sure to read through the rules, contact smeweek@loweurope.eu if you have any questions, and to SUBMIT before the deadline!

Rules

  • The competition is open to all 18 to 25 year olds from European Member States or COSME partners countries (see the list)
  • Essays should not exceed 2 500 words in length
  • All essays must be in English
  • Only one entry per applicant
  • The deadline for submissions is 18 September 2020
  • The three finalists will be announced in October ahead of SME Week and will compete at a grand finale in Berlin as part of the SME Assembly, where they will present their essays
  • The final winner will be chosen via a public vote

Prize

  • An all-expenses paid trip to the SME Assembly in Berlin, Germany for the three finalists, to present their essays to 500+ Assembly delegates
  • Presentation training before delivering essay live on stage at the SME Assembly 2020
  • Promotion of essays across our communication channels

See Youth Essay Competition 2020 Terms and Conditions.

Follow us for competition updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and be sure to follow and use the hashtag #YEC2020.

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Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Kristin Schreiber & Thomas Wobben

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) have moved into the next phase, the European level competition! Up until now the EEPA National Coordinators have been working hard to collect and select their top two national entries for the consideration of the EEPA 2020 Jury.

The EEPA 2020 Jury will now take the time to review all of the national winners and then collectively decide which projects they would like to include on their 2020 European shortlist. But who exactly are the EEPA 2020 Jury? Who are the people behind this important and difficult decision?

Time to meet two of our experienced jurors:

Coming back as our experienced EEPA Jury chair is Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy & COSME, in the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, at the European Commission. Kristin has been involved in the SME Assembly and the EEPA judging process for many years, from hosting important SME Assembly keynote sessions and panels, leading the SME Envoy meetings, and chairing both the Youth Essay Competition and EEPA juries. This year we are welcoming her back once again to chair the EEPA 2020 jury and facilitate the final decisions.

Another veteran jury member who we are welcoming back is Mr Thomas Wobben, Director of the Directorate for Horizontal Policies and Networks at the Committee of the Regions. His responsibilities include monitoring the Europe 2020 strategy, relations with the OECD and Eurostat, and prospective works of the Committee of the Regions. Thomas presented the 2019 Special Mentions at the EEPA awards ceremony at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki.

Welcome back to Kristin Schreiber and Thomas Wobben! Stay tuned to find out who else is on the EEPA 2020 jury, and most importantly for their decision in September on their choices for the 2020 European shortlist.

Find out more about EEPA 2020 and read about specific updates to the 2020 edition from EEPA jury chair Kristin Schreiber here on the News Portal.

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INNOSUP funded open call DIGI-B-CUBE – SMEs against COVID-19

The original article can be found on the EASME website.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives and presented new challenges across different sectors. One sector in particular that has had to endure, react and innovate is healthcare, and healthcare systems in particular have been under significant strain.

In response to this the INNOSUP funded DIGI-B-CUBE project “aims to unlock the cross-sectoral potential of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and generate innovative solutions to reconfigure patient-centred diagnostics towards a Health Economy 4.0.” In order to do so the DIGI-B-CUBE project offer direct financial support to projects focused on promoting and integrating digital innovations and disruptive technologies across the Medical Diagnostics and related value chains.

The project exists to support innovative SMEs that have developed solutions for the broad issues and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused and highlighted. The recently launched call is directed specifically at SMEs and new start-ups “to fight COVID-19 through transversal collaborative projects”. SMEs considering application are eligible for up to 60 000 EUR in direct support and can be from the following sectors:

  • Healthcare medicine;
  • Biotech;
  • Biopharma;
  • IT;
  • Robotics;
  • Automation;
  • Electronics;
  • Nanotech.

Application information
The first cut-off date is Wednesday 29 July 2020, after which an evaluation process taking up to 4 weeks will take place. The second cut-off date is Wednesday 3 February 2021.

For more information consult the EASME article and project website, or contact the project coordinators directly with specific questions.

More about INNOSUP 
The Horizon 2020 INNOSUP programme aims to test new approaches for better innovation support through funding opportunities for innovation actors across Europe. Funding opportunities exist for clusters, innovation agencies and other SME Intermediaries, as well as individual SMEs and researchers. More information can be found on the INNOSUP website.

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Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress supported the medical sector and general public

We are back with part two of the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they have adapted to their new business environments.

In this interview Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her sewing business to aid the medical sector and general public tells us what happened next and where she is now. If you haven’t already, catch up with part one of her story here. In her last interview Catherine explained how she started making masks and hospital blouses for the medical sector, and her experience in learning how to make masks and being able to source the correct fabric.

Today Catherine is telling us more about the business, the need to diversify, direct impacts due to COVID, expanding her new products to the general public and where she sees her business in future.

How have you diversified your business in response to COVID-19?

I started with the call for masks and blouses for the hospital staff, but once the demand from hospitals began to decrease (due to the arrival of medical grade masks), I found myself becoming less busy and not having as much work again, which was worrying. I looked into making other Personal Protective Equipment, specifically the plastic visors for the hospital staff as I knew there was a shortage, but unfortunately I was unable to source the correct materials.

It was at this point that the government guidelines for citizen mask-wearing began to become clearer, and I started receiving orders from the general public, the spokesperson for the Belgian Prime Minister and the office of the Secretary General of the European Commission. These orders led to my business slowly picking up again, and saw a slow transition from providing fabric masks only for the hospitals to taking private clients. I have been lucky as I have not had to inject personal funds into my business and have been supported by the government bridge scheme for entrepreneurs.  

Diversification also happened with the way I get my products to my clients, which was a big problem during COVID specifically. There were times when it took up to 3 weeks for some of my clients to receive their masks in the post, which was simply not quick enough. To solve this, my son and I reached out to some cyclists to set up a delivery work, which now works to get the products to clients in a more reasonable timeframe. I cover the costs of the cyclists but some of them are volunteers that wanted to help me however they could.

What other effects has COVID-19 had on you and your business?

There is definitely a change in perception of my skills and industry. Prior to the beginning of this pandemic I did not feel as valued, and I think that in general my sector and my profession were not valued as much as they were a few decades ago. In general I think that manual labour is sometimes seen as ‘easy’, and that anyone can do it. The need for fabric masks highlighted our specific skillsets, and as a result people’s mentality has changed and I feel like my work is more appreciated.

With this appreciation I hope that there is another mentality shift towards valuing quality clothes, and investing in good pieces and repairing them over time to make them last. If a higher quality of clothes becomes the standard, then the value of repairing and tailoring them should also increase.

How do you see the future of your business?

I hope that I will not have to make so many masks! To date, I have made around 1600 in total. It is a product that I will continue to offer as there is a demand and a need, but I’m hoping that I will not have to make as many as I was producing at the beginning of the lockdown period. I’ve experimented with a few different models of masks now that it is a steady product that I offer, and I’m thinking about coming out with a summer collection!

I also hope that the outpouring of support for small businesses will continue and that people will value the SMEs in their community and take their business to them. It is important to champion entrepreneurs, and I think that one of the results of this pandemic is that people have discovered small businesses and want to support them however they can. In my case I was very moved by all the people wanting to offer their help to make me a website, help out with my social media, volunteer to help my business, and just showing their support for me and my work. Hopefully this kind of attitude continues in future.

It will also be great to see my clients again, and hopefully gain some new ones! The bigger contracts should also come back so that is something to look forward to as well. Overall I will continue to diversify my products, and perhaps transition my business back into a hobby in the future, we will just have to wait and see.

Don’t forget to go and follow L’Or en 4 on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about Catherine and her story.

Have you got a COVID Story like Catherine’s to tell? Do you know an SME owner that has adapted to COVID-19 and wants to share their story? We would love to hear about it and feature it right here on the News Portal. Contact us at: promotingenterprise@gopacom.eu

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SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #4

Welcome to the June edition of the SME Week Newsletter.

Over the past months, Promoting Enterprise has been working to bring you the latest COVID related policy updates, exciting developments from the EEPA 2020 competition and news from the world of SMEs.

In this issue, we wanted to bring you something more and share stories, from SMEs, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders about their transformation, adaptation, and initiatives during the pandemic. We believe you and your network will find their stories inspiring.

We also want to hear YOUR stories, how are you overcoming these challenging times? Share your news and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue or on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Read more >>

SUBSCRIBE AND DON´T MISS ANY UPDATES

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    • EEPA 2020 National Winners – Improving the business environment August 6, 2020
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) reward projects from across participating countries that work to promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives. The EEPA have now moved to the European level of the competition and the national winners from each participating country have been selected […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Expression of interest – Interregional innovation projects to support coronavirus response and recovery August 4, 2020
      The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner. On 27 July 2020 the European Commission launched a call for expressions of interest for thematic partnerships to pilot interregional innovation projects that support the response and recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. This call serves to assist regions in identifying opportunities emerging from the […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2020 National Winners – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills July 30, 2020
      Time to meet some more EEPA national winners! Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in “Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills”. This category recognises initiatives that improve entrepreneurial, managerial and employee skills. Belgium: Het internet. Ook uw zaak. Cyprus: The Entrepreneurial Journey Estonia: Mobile Workshops France: Le […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2020 National Winners – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit July 28, 2020
      The National Coordinators have run their national competitions and submitted the best entries to the European jury to consider for the shortlist. But which projects are competing this year? What initiatives will the jury be judging? Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we would like to introduce the projects competing in “Promoting the Entrepreneurial […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2020 – The European phase of the competition July 23, 2020
      The European Enterprise promotion Awards (EEPA) are moving into the European phase of the competition. The EEPA Secretariat has received the vast majority of national winner projects from the National Coordinators for the jury to consider for the European shortlist. The remaining projects will be submitted in time for the jury meeting due to exceptionally […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2020 – 5th edition launch July 17, 2020
      Do you have an opinion on the role that entrepreneurs can play in reshaping our future economy? Perhaps you have interesting ideas about what the EU needs to do to help entrepreneurs? Then this is the opportunity for you! The SME Week Youth Essay Competition is launching for the fifth time with a brand new […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Kristin Schreiber & Thomas Wobben July 14, 2020
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) have moved into the next phase, the European level competition! Up until now the EEPA National Coordinators have been working hard to collect and select their top two national entries for the consideration of the EEPA 2020 Jury. The EEPA 2020 Jury will now take the time to review […]
      promotingenterprise
    • INNOSUP funded open call DIGI-B-CUBE – SMEs against COVID-19 July 9, 2020
      The original article can be found on the EASME website. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives and presented new challenges across different sectors. One sector in particular that has had to endure, react and innovate is healthcare, and healthcare systems in particular have been under significant strain. In response to this […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress supported the medical sector and general public July 2, 2020
      We are back with part two of the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they have adapted to their new business environments. In this interview Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her sewing business to aid […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #4 June 30, 2020
      Welcome to the June edition of the SME Week Newsletter. Over the past months, Promoting Enterprise has been working to bring you the latest COVID related policy updates, exciting developments from the EEPA 2020 competition and news from the world of SMEs. In this issue, we wanted to bring you something more and share stories, […]
      promotingenterprise