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Archive for ‘European Enterprise Promotion Awards – Jury’

Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Sabine Hepperle, Ben Butters & Bastian Coes

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The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury is made up of members representing the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies and the last Grand Jury Prize winner.

The EEPA jury has the difficult task of selecting which national winners will make it onto the European shortlist, as well as the projects that will go on to win each respective category and the prestigious Grand Jury Prize.

Each year the jury sees experienced returning members, like EEPA jury chair Kristin Schreiber, Thomas Wobben, Professor Thomas Cooney and Anke Wiegand, as well as new faces. Today on the News Portal we are meeting this year’s new members.

The first new jury member for the 2020 edition is Ms Sabine Hepperle, who is Head of the Directorate-General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy in Germany. She also previously served as head of Berlin’s promotional trade programme and headed the Representation of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Brussels. Ms. Hepperle will be representing the German presidency on this year’s jury.

“A winning EEPA project is one that is unique and innovative. It should also have a significant impact on the local business environment. In times of COVID-19 we particularly need innovative and successful projects, which are transferrable to other regions and countries. While evaluating the EEPA projects, I have especially looked at the local impact of the projects as well as on the benefit the projects have on SMEs.”

Our next new member is new to the EEPA jury but not to the SME Assembly, Mr Ben Butters, Deputy CEO of EUROCHAMBRES, will also be joining this year’s EEPA jury. Ben has covered a wide range of issues that are of relevance to chambers of commerce and the European business community, including the single market, SME policy, regulatory reform and skills. Before joining EUROCHAMBRES, he created and for several years ran his own business providing EU advocacy support to small business associations.

Finally our last new face on the EEPA 2020 jury is Mr Bastian Coes, Manager & Business Developer for GreenPAC iLab, the project that won the Grand Jury Prize at the EEPA finals in 2019. Mr Coes and his team impressed the jury with their project which supports new entrepreneurs in the plastics industry to help them start their businesses and achieve sustainable and circular business models.

“A great part of the success of our economy depends on a new generation of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who know how to adapt and can switch between different competences where creativity can make the difference. This creativity can be recognized in the great entries of  the various EEPA projects. They show the need for continuous investment in the entrepreneurs of the future. ”

Welcome to our new jury members! Don’t forget to read about our returning experienced jurors: Kristin Schreiber, Thomas Wobben, Professor Thomas Cooney and Anke Wiegand. The EEPA jury will be meeting soon to discuss and decide which projects will be on this year’s European shortlist so keep coming back to the News Portal and don’t miss the announcement.

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.

Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Anke Wiegand & Professor Thomas Cooney

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Being on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury is an exciting yet difficult task. For 2020 we have already met two of our jurors, Kristin Schreiber and Thomas Wobben, but who else will be joining them this year to select the best project for the European shortlist?

Time to meet two more returning members of the EEPA 2020 jury!

Our first returning member of the EEPA jury today is Ms Anke Wiegand, who first lent her expertise to EEPA judging in 2019. Ms Wiegand is Head of Unit Innovation I Funding Financing for the Enterprise Europe Network Berlin Partner for Business and Technology. She joined last year’s jury and presented the Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency award at the EEPA awards ceremony at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki.

“Under the impression of this year’s pandemic, SMEs all over Europe came up with excellent ideas, digital skills and visions for sustainable, health and climate friendly solutions for the future. Support schemes need to adapt in order to encourage this spirit of resilience. My preferred EEPA projects will help and support these innovations to find their way into our societies.”

Another returning member of the EEPA 2020 jury brings significant experience to the role and has been a part of the EEPA jury for several years. Professor Thomas Cooney is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology, and Academic Director of the TU Dublin Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship. He is also a Director of four businesses, works in a supportive capacity with a variety of organisations and has published widely on the topic of entrepreneurship. As a member of the 2019 EEPA jury he presented the Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit award at the EEPA awards ceremony at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki.

Welcome back to Anke Wiegand and Professor Thomas Cooney! Don’t forget to read about the first two jurors we introduced: Kristin Schreiber and Thomas Wobben, and make sure to come back to the News Portal to meet the remaining members of the 2020 jury: Mr Bastian Coes, Ms Sabine Hepperle and Mr Ben Butters.

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.

Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Kristin Schreiber & Thomas Wobben

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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! Come back to the News Portal to meet the rest of the EEPA 2020 jury: Professor Thomas Cooney, Mr Bastian Coes, Ms Sabine Hepperle, Mr Ben Butters and Ms Anke Wiegand. Most importantly stay tuned 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.

EEPA 2019 – Meet the Jury!

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The European EEPA 2019 deadline has passed, and the jury are reviewing all of the national applications ahead of their jury meeting in September. But who are the EEPA 2019 jury? Who will be judging this year’s EEPA competition?

It is time to meet the EEPA 2019 jury!

Every year the EEPA jury has some experienced faces that return to help and judge the new set of applicants. We are proud to welcome back Prof. Thomas M. Cooney (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology)Thomas Wobben (Committee of the Regions),  and Kristin Schreiber (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) to once again sit on the EEPA jury.

In addition to our returning members, we also have several new faces that will be joining the jury this year and lending their experience and expertise to the judging process. In 2019 we are pleased to welcome Mr Darius Vodă (Romanian SME Envoy), Mr Petri Peltonen (Finnish SME Envoy), Ms Agnes Mathis (Director of Co-operatives Europe), Ms Anke Wiegand (Head of Unit Innovation Funding Financing at the Enterprise Europe Network Berlin Partner for Business and Technology) and Mads Váczy Kragh (CEO of Erhvervshus Sjælland, ‘Lean Landing’ Grand Jury Prize Winner 2018).

Promoting Enterprise will be presenting the newer Jury members over the next few weeks, so keep coming back to the News Portal to find out more. Read about our experienced jury members Prof. Thomas M. CooneyThomas Wobben and Kristin Schreiber right here on the News Portal!

Meet the EEPA Jury 2018 – Jesús Casado Navarro-Rubio

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The 2018 EEPA Jury meeting (where the EEPA 2018 shortlist will be decided) is getting closer and so is the announcement of this year’s shortlist. In preparation for the announcement, we have been meeting the new faces of the EEPA 2018 Jury here on Promoting Enterprise including Anna van Nunen and Dr. Matthias Tschirf.

Today we meet another new face on the jury, Jesús Casado Navarro-Rubio. Jesús is currently the Secretary General of European Family Businesses, a federation of 14 National Family Businesses associations based in Brussels. Having taken active roles on several association boards and advisory groups on both a European and national (Spanish) level, Jesús has cultivated extensive experience in the sector. Today he shares his thoughts on the EEPA and what kinds of projects he will be looking for this year.   

What will make an EEPA project stand out for you? What will make it special?

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.

What top three qualities should a project have to make it onto the 2018 shortlist?  

In order to make it onto the 2018 shortlist a project needs to:

  • Be effective
  • Be transferable to other countries and situations
  • Contribute to a better and stronger economy

What makes a project worthy of the Grand Jury Prize?   

In order to be considered for the Grand Jury Prize a project needs to be ambitious enough to be a game changer, to transcend the norm. I will be looking for a project that intends to create a revolution, not only an evolution.

Which is your favourite category and why?

All the categories are equally important but I do like “Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit” as it helps foster the entrepreneurial drive, and I also like “Supporting the internationalisation of business” due to it facilitating the scaling up of companies. These two categories are my favourites because the creation of new businesses and the scaling up of already existing companies are the cornerstone of the European economy.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2018?

I am looking forward to meeting my peers again, and to participate in stimulating discussions that help me develop my work. I am also looking forward to going to Austria again as it is such a lovely country.

Is there anything you want to say to the applicants waiting for the shortlist announcement?

I would like to say two things to all of the national winners. Firstly, congratulations for having already achieved something great by getting this far! I would also like to thank you all for your contributions to creating a better Europe via your innovative projects.

Who else is on the EEPA 2018 jury? Read about the other jury members here on the News Portal:

  • Thomas M. Cooney (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology)
  • Thomas Wobben (Committee of the Regions)
  • Lisa Steigertahl (Entrepreneurship Consultant)
  • Kristin Schreiber (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs)
  • Matthias Tschirf (SME Envoy for Austria, Director General for Enterprise Policy in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs)
  • Anna van Nunen (Director of Innofest, Grand Jury Prize Winner 2017)

Meet the EEPA Jury 2018 – Anna Van Nunen

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Ready to meet another EEPA 2018 Jury member? Today is the turn of Anna van Nunen, Director of Innofest from the Netherlands, which won the EEPA Grand Jury Prize in 2017. Today Anna will be sharing what she will be looking for when judging the EEPA applications this year, and some advice based on her experience as one of last year’s winners. 

What will make an EEPA project stand out for you? What will make it special?

An EEPA project stands out when it has a clear vision on how entrepreneurs are being supported and has an effective way of taking that vision and translating it into actions. I will specifically look at the way the projects answer the needs of local entrepreneurs.

What top three qualities should a project have to make it onto the 2018 shortlist?  

  • A proven methodology of helping entrepreneurs
  • Scalability of the initiative throughout Europe
  • A good dose of social entrepreneurship

I am a firm believer in innovation and entrepreneurship as conditions for a social and sustainable world.

What makes a project worthy of the Grand Jury Prize?   

To win the Grand Jury Prize a project must be both innovative and effective. I will look for projects that are a little out-of-the-box and make use of regional infrastructure in an effective way.

Which is your favourite category and why?

I believe that innovation and entrepreneurship need to be stimulated at an early stage, so that we can create and foster an innovative generation. Therefore, I am really looking forward to reading all proposals in the category “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2018?

I am really looking forward to reading all applications. I know from last year that it will be an inspiring collection of initiatives and I look forward to learning from them all. I also can’t wait to meet and congratulate the winners afterwards!

Is there anything you want to say to the applicants waiting for the shortlist announcement?

Keep it cool. For us (Innofest), just winning the national competition brought us so much and was a fantastic achievement. I would also advise all applicants to start preparing an international strategy before attending the SME Assembly. Once you are at the Assembly there is a great network of ecosystem partners from all over Europe that will attend the Assembly in Graz this year, so be prepared and make the most of it.

EEPA – The European Enterprise Promotion Awards, recognises outstanding projects from across Europe that are working to support entrepreneurs and small businesses across six different categories. Read about the 2018 national winners and be sure to keep coming back to the News Portal to find out who makes it onto the EEPA 2018 shortlist.

Meet the EEPA Jury 2018 – Dr. Matthias Tschirf

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Matthias Tschirf is the SME Envoy for Austria and heads the Directorate General for Enterprise Policy in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.

As SME Envoy of Austria, Matthias Tschirf is focused on the SMEs which form the backbone of the Austrian economy. His field of activity embraces the quality of Vocational Education and Training, especially by the ongoing modernisation of the Austrian landscape of occupational profiles for the apprenticeship system, as well as technical standardisation and the development of the Trade Act.

In addition to heading the national EEPA jury in Austria, which put forward two Austrian projects, Matthias Tschirf is also a member of the 2018 EEPA Jury at the European level of the competition. Today, he shares his thoughts about the EEPA with us.

What will make an EEPA project stand out for you? What will make it special?

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.

What top 3 qualities should a project have to make it onto the 2018 shortlist? 

A top project is oriented towards results and solutions and provides inspiration to companies, authorities and stakeholders.

What makes a project worthy of the Grand Jury Prize?

An initiative which is worth the Grand Jury Prize should have an outstanding impact on companies‘  regional or local ecosystem. It should be especially inspiring and have tangible results.

Which is your favourite category and why?

I think that all categories are important and complement each other. My favourite is category 2 – Investing in entrepreneurial skills, because I think that skills and training are key to the prosperous development of enterprises. Entrepreneurial skills may particularly contribute to the creation of more and more competitive companies in Europe.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2018?

I have been involved in the preparation of this year’s SME Assembly and the motto “Connect. Share. Innovate.“ comprises the main elements of a future-oriented SME policy. I hope that the SME Assembly 2018 will give inspiration and new ideas to participants and bring forward SMEs and SME policy in Europe and beyond.

Is there anything you want to say to the applicants waiting for the shortlist announcement?

Good luck! I wish all applicants good luck in the second round of selection – to participate in the European competition is already a success. Take this as a reinforcement of the value of your projects and continue to develop and concretise your ideas.

Who else is on the EEPA 2018 jury? Come back to the News Portal every week to meet a new member and don’t forget to read about existing jury members Thomas M. Cooney (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology)Thomas Wobben (Committee of the Regions), Lisa Steigertahl (Entrepreneurship Consultant) and Kristin Schreiber (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) right here on the Portal!

EEPA 2018 – Meet the Jury!

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The European EEPA deadline is approaching, but who will be judging all of the national entries this year? Who is responsible for creating the EEPA 2018 European shortlist? Meet your 2018 EEPA jury!

On this year’s jury we have some familiar retuning faces and some new members. This year seven jurors from different disciplines and backgrounds will collaboratively review all of the national submissions before meeting in Brussels to decide the 2018 European shortlist. In addition to coming from different backgrounds our jury members also come from across Europe so as to bring their own national contexts and expertise to the judging panel.

This year we are pleased to welcome back Prof. Thomas M. Cooney (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology), Thomas Wobben (Committee of the Regions), Lisa Steigertahl (Entrepreneurship Consultant) and Kristin Schreiber (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) to once again sit on the EEPA jury.

We would also like to welcome our new jury members Jesús Casado Navarro-Rubio (Secretary General of European Family Business), Dr. Matthias Tschirf (Austrian SME Envoy), Anna van Nunen (Director of Grand Jury Prize Winner 2017 Innofest) and Alexander Manolev (Bulgarian SME Envoy).

Stay tuned to Promoting Enterprise to meet all of the new jury members over the next few weeks and be sure to read up on our veteran jury members Prof. Thomas M. Cooney, Thomas WobbenLisa Steigertahl and Kristin Schreiber right here on the News Portal!

EEPA 2017 Jury – Meet Thomas Wobben

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Our next Jury member also has previous EEPA jury experience and joins us as a representative from the Committee of the Regions. Since March 2012, Thomas Wobben has been Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks in 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. Today he shares with us what kinds of projects got his vote.

 

What will make an EEPA project stand out for you? What will make it special?

Above all, a successful project should demonstrate how it responds to specific local needs. Rather than adopting an unimaginative “one-size-fits-all” approach, it should lead the way by tackling the specific challenges of its territory – which could include a lack of entrepreneurial activity in a rural or economically less-developed area, low numbers of SMEs that are ready to scale-up and exploit the opportunities of the Single Market or global markets, or factors such as high unemployment or a low level of education — through innovative, forward-looking and sustainable solutions.

What top 3 qualities should a project have to make it onto the shortlist?

In my view, the most convincing EEPA applications are those driven by a strong partnership – involving business, public authorities, research and educational institutions, etc. – that can act both as a guarantor for the project’s continued sustainability and as a vehicle for sharing good practices and lessons learnt.

It is also crucial that the project contains an innovative element that goes beyond merely replicating established methods, but rather introduces new ideas and finds new ways to adapt existing methods to the specific context of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Last but not least, a strong project should of course make a tangible contribution to economic growth and job creation in its territory.

What makes a project worthy of the Grand Jury Prize?

Beyond merely contributing to a specific area of entrepreneurship development, a project worthy of the Grand Jury Prize should attest to a strategic vision that integrates the project activities into a broader objective and creates an additional added value for society in areas other than business development in the narrow sense. Lisbon’s micro-entrepreneurship programme, which won the Grand Jury Prize two years ago, is an excellent example in this respect:

After being selected for the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) label a year earlier thanks to its outstanding and forward-looking entrepreneurial strategy, the City of Lisbon went on to prove the success of this strategy by presenting some of its first results in its EEPA application. The Lisbon micro-entrepreneurship programme demonstrates how an intelligent policy implemented at local level can create synergies between entrepreneurship development, economic integration of disadvantaged groups such as migrants and unemployed people, and urban rehabilitation of disadvantaged neighbourhoods. A number of Lisbon’s entrepreneurship support actions have since been scaled up at national level in Portugal.

Which is your favourite category and why?

While I do not have a favourite category as such, some of the most inspiring projects in recent years have been submitted in the category “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”. In addition to the project from Lisbon, which I just mentioned, the Swedish project “Entrepreneurial West Hisingen“, which won last year’s Grand Jury prize, is another outstanding example. Through actions such as the Syrian Fast Track Incubator for refugees who had businesses in their home country, this project responds to the vital challenge of integrating refugees and migrants into our societies and has produced extraordinary results, including the creation of hundreds of new companies in a socially divided and economically disadvantaged area.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2017?

For me, the SME Assembly is a unique opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with the principal European actors in the area of SME and entrepreneurship development: policy-makers from the European, national, regional and local levels, stakeholders, academics, and of course entrepreneurs.

Moreover, the SME Assembly illustrates not only the excellent cooperation between the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), but also the complementarity of our actions in the field of entrepreneurship promotion: while the EEPA recognizes actions that have already proven successful, the CoR’s European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) label encourages cities and regions to develop their entrepreneurial potential even further in the future. I am therefore particularly looking forward both to the EEPA 2017 award ceremony and to the launch of the EER 2019 edition in Tallinn.

Is there anything you want to say to the applicants waiting for the shortlist announcement?

By being successful in the national selection round, you have already demonstrated the outstanding quality of your projects. Even if not all of you will be selected for the EEPA this year, you are doing important work on the ground that directly contributes to boosting growth, jobs and innovation in Europe.

Read about other Jury members Karen Boers, Lisa Steigertahl, Daniela Ölmunger, Thomas Cooney and Viljar Lubi.

Who is our Estonian EEPA 2017 Jury member? – Meet Viljar Lubi

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Ready to find out who the Estonian representative on the EEPA 2017 Jury is? Meet Viljar Lubi, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development for the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Today Viljar shares what he is looking for and also what it has been like to be involved with the organisation of this years’ SME Assembly 2017!

What will make an EEPA project stand out for you? What will make it special?     

A project that has the capacity to achieve greatness and to create something innovative with limited resources will always stand out for me. It is special to see the passion and perseverance the people nominated for this award have had to show. I am often amazed at the regional and national differences that I see and how diverse the projects are.

What top 3 qualities should a project have to make it onto the shortlist?

First of all, it should be something unique and inspirational to be a good example for others. It is also important for the project to be transferable so that it would be possible to create something similar in other countries. Last but not least, the project should have a real and preferably measurable positive impact.

What makes a project worthy of the Grand Jury Prize?      

A project that is worthy of the Grand Jury Prize must be truly excellent. It must offer a true positive influence and exhibit a remarkable achievement together with an innovative approach. I am glad to see that there is tough competition in this respect.

Which is your favourite category and why?

Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. In my job as the Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development a lot of my daily tasks revolve around entrepreneurship. It is the government’s job to help create the best possible conditions for enterprises to flourish. But this would be nothing without the enthusiasm and hard work of the entrepreneurs themselves. Therefore, I find it extremely important to have initiatives that help to promote this, especially among young people and women. However, it is difficult to just pick one – all categories highlight invaluable criteria.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2017?         

As I have been involved in the process of creating the SME Assembly in Tallinn, I am sure it will offer participants a varied programme that is exciting, offers new ideas and of course has an Estonian twist to it. We will hopefully be offering some innovative ideas and new ways of looking at things, while still keeping the traditions of the excellent forum that the SME Assembly is.

Is there anything you want to say to the applicants waiting for the shortlist announcement?

Good luck! You have already achieved a lot by getting this far and I hope that you take this experience as a positive reinforcement – vision, perseverance and, of course, a little luck, is the key.

Read about who else will be joining Viljar on this year’s Jury: Karen Boers, Lisa Steigertahl, Daniela Ölmunger, and Thomas Cooney.

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