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Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker

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Today we are continuing to introduce you to the members of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury by talking with Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker. Selma represents the organisation that won last year’s Grand Jury Prize. Her recent experience as a participant in the competition means her advice for this year’s cohort is particularly valuable. Keep reading to hear it!

Selma is Programme Director of COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige (CfS), an initiative started by the German non-profit Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e.V. (I.S.I. e.V.) working in Berlin. For more than 30 years, I.S.I. e.V. has been empowering and qualifying women with a migration background to pursue entrepreneurship. Before being awarded last year’s Grand Jury prize, CfS was selected as the winner in the competition’s Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category.

EEPA 2022 Jury Member Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker

Through CfS, I.S.I. e.V. promotes entrepreneurship amongst immigrant women in Berlin by providing free training and access to networking events. What’s more, I.S.I. e.V., which is itself managed by immigrant women, not only supports women looking to become entrepreneurs, but also those who are already entrepreneurs and are looking to expand their businesses. Below, Selma talks about her experience in the competition, gives some excellent advice, and lets us know what will make a project stand out for her in this year’s competition.

What do you think makes this competition unique in Europe?

It showcases entrepreneurship initiatives from the whole of Europe, sharing valuable examples and boosting entrepreneurship by increasing the recognition and value of entrepreneurs. By shining a light on local initiatives, it shows the great European potential of entrepreneurship and its role in nurturing and shaping our society.

Do you have any advice for the participants on how to make their application stand out from the rest and include the information that you need to evaluate the project?

It is very important to include information on the impact the initiatives have had, both with figures and performance indicators and with concrete examples. The vision for the future is also very important, since these initiatives must constantly adapt to changes in the environment and respond to the real needs of society.

What do you think the jury members will be specifically looking for in the EEPA 2022 competition?

The difficult political situation has brought instability and economic crisis, as well as uncertainty about the future. To build trust and hope, we need to move toward a healthy society that is attentive to social values and gender equality, thus promoting sustainable, equitable and responsible initiatives and projects. In this context, attention to the needs of the most vulnerable is crucial, as well as a focus on people’s mental and physical well-being.

What are the top three qualities you will look for in a winning project?

An innovative and engaging approach, impact on people and on the local economy, and attention to the well-being of people.

We will introduce you to the other members of the 2022 EEPA jury soon – so make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal regularly and to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest news.

Introducing the 2022 EEPA Jury

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Today on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we are excited to introduce you to the seven 2022 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury members. The EEPA jury is made up of representatives from the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies, and the last Grand Jury Prize winner.

Let´s give a warm welcome to Thomas Wobben, Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker, Thomas Cooney, Outi Slotboom, Christel Delberghe, Caroline Mischler and Marian Piecha.

There are seven jury members in total. We begin our introduction with Thomas Wobben, who is representing the Committee of the Regions. After studying Economics and Politics, Thomas worked for voluntary sector organisations and, in 1993, joined the European policy services of Saxony-Anhalt. In 1995, he began working in the Liaison Office of Saxony-Anhalt in Brussels, taking over as Director in 2000. Since March 2012, he has been Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks and later for legislative works at the Committee of the Regions.

Jury member Thomas Wobben

Every year the EEPA competition offers me a sample of a European diversity. Looking at the EEPA projects, I try to assess their impact and added value in a specific territorial context, in particular shortlisting those that inspire and provide at least some transferability potential to other territories with similar characteristics,” Thomas said.

Representing last year’s Grand Jury prize-winner is Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker. Selma is Programme Director of “COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige” at ISI (Initiative of Self-Employed Migrant Women), a non-profit association in Berlin, Germany which, for more than 30 years, has been empowering and qualifying women with a migration background, preparing them for professional self-employment.

Jury member Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker

Representing academia is Professor Thomas Cooney, who has been a jury member for several years and brings significant experience to the role. Thomas is Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Academic Director of the TU Dublin Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship.

Jury member Thomas Cooney

Next, we introduce you to Outi Slotboom. Outi is Director for Strategy and Economic Analysis at the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission. Her Directorate is in charge of the strategy for EU industrial policy and the Single Market, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship, the international aspects of industrial policy, and the economic analysis underpinning these policies.

Jury member Outi Slotboom

Next, we meet Christel Delberghe, providing expertise from a business association perspective. Christel has been Director General of EuroCommerce since November 2021, where she acts as the chief advocate for the retail and wholesale sector with the EU institutions, stakeholders and the media. Previously, she was EuroCommerce’s Executive Director for Competitiveness and Communications, leading action on commercial relations and competition issues, as well as the interests of wholesalers and SMEs.

Jury member Christel Delberghe

Next, we would like to introduce you to Caroline Mischler, who is representing the French EU presidency. Caroline is the Director of the European and International Department of the Directorate General for Enterprises, at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. Caroline joined the Directorate General in 2005 and has held various positions, designing public policies to support competitiveness, innovation and industry. She was appointed Director of the European and International Department in 2019.

Jury member Caroline Mischler

Finally, we would like to introduce you to Marian Piecha, who represents the Czech EU presidency on this year’s jury. In 2008, Marian was appointed the Director of the Department of Business and Investment at the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. From 2013 to 2014, he was the CEO of the business and investment support agency CzechInvest. Since 2014, he was the Director of the MIT ́s SME Support Department. He was appointed Deputy Minister of the EU Funds and Digital Economy Section on February 1, 2018.

Jury member Marian Piecha

About #EEPA2022

The EEPA 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 nominates up to two entries for the European competition in six categories:

Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
Investing in skills
Improving the business environment and supporting the digital transition
Supporting the internationalisation of business
Supporting the sustainable transition
Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

The #EEPA2022 jury then chooses a shortlist of nominees to 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.

For more information, visit the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

For more information, visit the the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

EEPA 2022: When is my national deadline?

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The 2022 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) have been launched across the participating countries. However, different countries have different national deadlines for participation – do you know when your national deadline is? Read on to find out!

The EEPA national competitions are underway and are currently looking for the best projects to compete at national level. The participating countries are inviting projects or initiatives to apply for the national competitions in six categories.

The six categories in this year’s competition are:

1. Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
2. Investing in skills
3. Improving the business environment and supporting the digital transition
4. Supporting the internationalisation of business
5. Supporting the sustainable transition
6. Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

If you would like to participate, you can find your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here. See the table below for your national deadline. If your national deadline is not included, make sure to come back as this this page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. For any further questions, be sure to contact your National Coordinator or the EEPA Secretariat.

More about EEPA

EEPA participating countries invite projects and initiatives to apply for the 2022 national competitions where two national winners per category are be selected to compete at the European level. The prestigious EEPA 2022 jury will then carefully review these national winners and, from them, select the European shortlists.

All shortlisted nominees from both the national and European competition levels will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly in November, this year co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council and the European Commission. At the SME Assembly, the jury will also announce the winner of the Jury’s Grand Prize. The winner can be from any category and the prize goes to the entry considered to be the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

For more information about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website, and for the latest updates, make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal and to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website and for the latest updates make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portalto follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

3+ reasons to enter EEPA 2022 Competition

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The 2022 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) has kick-started. The competition supports entrepreneurship and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through awarding innovative initiatives of public bodies and public-private partnerships.

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards aim not only at identifying and recognizing successful activities and initiatives undertaken to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, but also at showcasing and sharing examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices. The EEPA create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.

Culinary Action! by Basque Culinary Centre from Spain, winner of Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit category said:

It will validate your work at an international level. Just by being selected as a finalist, you will get European wide recognition and the opportunity to interact and network with a variety of European actors.”

Grand Jury Prize 2021 winner COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V. from Germany, and also first prize winner in Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category, thinks that:

The EEPA is a great chance to make your project more visible and cooperate with other organizations to spread information about your successful work. It gives you the possibility to present your project as a model – both at a national and international level – and, ultimately, to reach your goals for a larger community all over Europe. Applying is definitely worth a try.”

The winner of Category 6, Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Inkludera by Inkludera from Sweden, found inspiration at the 2021 SME Assembly and told us:

“We believe it’s a great forum for being inspired by other organizations.”

SME Assembly 2021 was for sure an inspiring and empowering event. Let’s watch some of the key moments from last year and relive the experience!

If we have convinced you to join EEPA 2022, see below how it works:

The participating countries invite projects or initiatives to apply for the national competitions for the 2022 edition. Each national competition will announce two national winners, who will proceed to compete at the European level prior to the European deadline of 25 July 2022. The prestigious EEPA jury of 2022 will then carefully review each of the national winners, where the top projects will make the European shortlist.

All shortlisted nominees from both the national and European competition levels will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council and the European Commission in November.

Want to participate? Find your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here.

Launch of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards #EEPA2022

The time for a new edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) has come! Annually, EEPA identify and recognize the most successful promoters of enterprise and entrepreneurship around Europe.

The competition rewards the most innovative initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships, which support entrepreneurship, and small and medium sized enterprises.

How will it work?

The participating countries invite projects or initiatives to apply for the national competitions for the 2022 edition. Each national competition will announce two national winners, who will proceed to compete at the European level prior to the European deadline of 25 July 2022. The prestigious EEPA jury of 2022 will then carefully review each of the national winners, where the top projects will make the European shortlist.

All shortlisted nominees from both the national and European competition levels will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council and the European Commission in November.

Here are the six categories of this year:

Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
Investing in skills
Improving the business environment and supporting the digital transition
Supporting the internationalisation of business
Supporting the sustainable transition
Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

Plus…

The Jury’s Grand Prize that can be from any category and will go to the entry considered the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

Want to participate? Find your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here.

Stay Updated #EEPA2022

For information about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website, and for the latest updates, follow Promoting Enterprise News Portal as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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