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Archive for ‘European Enterprise Promotion Awards’

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Portugal Bike Value

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of our ‘Improving the Business Environment’ winner BIND 4.0 from the Basque Country. Check it out, if you haven’t read it yet.

This time we take a bike ride to Portugal to meet with Portugal Bike Value, winner in the ‘Supporting the Internationalisation of Business’ category. Portugal Bike Value is working to support and promote the potential of the Portuguese bicycle industry, establishing it as a player in the European supply chain. It is also promoting Portugal as a destination for foreign investment in the area of soft mobility. The initiative’s efforts saw exports to more than 50 destinations increase from EUR 226 million in 2011 to EUR 402 million in 2019. By investing in cleaner technologies that have a reduced environmental footprint, Portugal Bike Value is also helping to support the European Green Deal.

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

The first information we received was from AICEP, the Portuguese agency for investment and foreign trade. Then we looked for more details on the internet, where we received a lot of helpful information. The Commission website and News Portal were very informative and from the data we collected, we understood that Portugal Bike Value had a good chance of doing well.

How did you prepare your participation?

Preparations for participation were conducted almost completely internally, within the National Association of Two Wheel Industries (ABIMOTA), using two external consultants who have been involved in the Portugal Bike Value project from the very beginning. This means that it was quite easy to prepare for our EEPA participation.

What was it like to win the award?

First, it was a big surprise. Our job is to work on behalf of our associates, promoting the hardware and furniture sectors and, of course, two wheels and smooth mobility. Until that moment, we had no experience of participating in a contest like this. Later it made us think about the real value of Portugal Bike Value. After winning a prize like this, we could better understand the real value of our project.

How did winning the award impact your work?

First of all, as I said, it gave us a real perspective on the value of the project. Then, this victory gave us a major boost in terms of communication, both in Portugal and abroad. The EEPA awards are highly visible and boost the image of the participants.

Why should others join the EEPA? What advice would you give them?

In our experience, the best advice is – participate. As long as you have a solid, well-developed project, you can only win. The gains that you will receive in terms of experience and contacts with other projects are overwhelming. If you can reach the final, you will gain additional visibility and in the event of victory, then the return is massive.

What are your plans for the future?

The Portugal Bike Value project is concluding its cycle and, therefore, we are developing a new project, where we seek to deepen and build on the experience we have gained and, if possible, do even better.

Congratulations to Portugal Bike Value! Re-live their winning moment and make sure to keep up with their work and activities.

You can also catch up with the SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of our ‘Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills’ winner – Merkuur Mobile Workshops from Estonia. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do!

This week we are in the Basque Country to meet our ‘Improving the Business Environment’ winner BIND 4.0, a public-private acceleration programme specialising in promoting Industry 4.0 projects. BIND 4.0 is targeted at technological start-ups with 4.0 solutions in the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, health and food. The programme has been set up as an open innovation platform, where start-ups from all over the world and large industrial companies established in the Basque Country interact in an agile way to develop innovative high-impact projects. The start-ups receive intensive support and benefit from activities aimed at accelerating their development and immersion in the Basque industrial ecosystem.

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

The EEPA are well known throughout Europe for recognising initiatives that improve business at the local, regional or national levels. BIND 4.0 offers something valuable to all parties involved in our programme and our main goals are to increase talent, innovation and competition in our region. We decided to apply and see how we compare to the other incredible initiatives focused on start-ups and business development, and we are quite pleased with the results.

How did you prepare your application?

Our main goal is to contribute to improving the society in which we live through innovation and technology, so we felt our objectives were in line with those of the EEPA. We filled out the application by detailing the impact that BIND 4.0 has had on the industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem. We explained how our programme is symbiotic; there are benefits for technology start-ups, for the local economy and for established companies looking to collaborate on pilot projects.

What was it like to win the award?

It is a great honour for BIND 4.0 to receive this award from among 13 other stellar candidates throughout Europe. The EEPA is an official recognition of our on-going commitment to business development through the acceleration of start-ups, and of the collaboration between public institutions and private companies. We are thrilled to be acknowledged, at the European level, for our efforts over the last five years.

How did winning the award impact your work?

This award is a source of pride, for consistently accomplishing our goal to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. Since our inception, we’ve accelerated over 100 start-ups and facilitated the development of more than 170 Industry 4.0 projects. This award provides additional validity to our international initiative so we can continue to attract talent to the Basque region and promote collaboration between young start-ups and large corporations.

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

If you would like to see how your programme and efforts measure up against the other programmes being implemented throughout Europe, we recommend applying. The EEPA is a great way to stay informed about impactful programmes, ground-breaking initiatives and the benchmark models in the marketplace.

What are your plans for the future?

The BIND 4.0 Team is currently preparing for the fifth edition of the programme that begins in January 2021. We are also organising a new edition for the post-COVID climate, so we have redesigned the programme to continue supporting start-ups in an online format. The Basque Country is one of the strongest industrial ecosystems in Europe and this award helps enforce the impact BIND 4.0 continues to make toward innovation in entrepreneurship.

We have a positive outlook for the year ahead, as we offer a bridge between flexible, innovative start-ups and proficient, forward-thinking corporates. The COVID pandemic brought numerous significant changes, from establishing remote working conditions to creating new safety measures; we saw innovation in so many new areas. The health and technology innovations this year have been inspiring and are an indication of the direction on which all businesses will need to focus in the year ahead. We feel BIND 4.0 is in the best position to help connect start-ups and corporations and turn innovation into action. 

Congratulations to BIND 4.0! Re-live their winning moment and make sure to keep up with their work and future innovations on their website.

You can also catch up with the SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Mobile Workshops

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last week we brought you the story of our ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’ winner – Promoting Entrepreneurship from Denmark. Make sure to read their story if you haven’t yet!

This week we travel to Estonia to learn about our ‘Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills’ winner – Merkuur Mobile Workshops from Estonia. Merkuur has developed a series of mobile workshops to introduce young people to the various professions, work practices, and tools to be found in the metal and woodworking sectors. It provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in these professions, increasing young people’s career awareness and competitiveness in the fields of technology and engineering. In mobile classrooms equipped with modern technology, students can test their engineering skills, try various techniques and tools, and make exciting products. In three years, the Merkuur team has organised over 700 science, technology and engineering workshops for about 7000 young people.

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

This year, Estonia’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications organised the 14th edition of the ‘Recognise Entrepreneurship Promoters’ competition in Estonia. Many very interesting and exciting projects have been recognised every year as part of this competition.  Our team was encouraged to apply by the success stories of other Estonian business projects and out of a desire to promote the ‘Mobile Workshops’ project in Estonia and internationally.

How did you prepare your application?

Filling in the application was an interesting process which gave us the opportunity to summarise the important activities and challenges of the ‘Mobile Workshops’ project and to define future plans with the team. It was like a journey through our three years of operations; it gave us the chance to map the current situation of our company and look towards the future.

What was it like to win the award?

It was a great honour! The whole team was thrilled. Any recognition, whatever form it takes, encourages you to put in even more of an effort and to accept even greater challenges. Thank you very much for the award and the recognition!

How did winning the award impact your work?

We are happy our project was noticed in Europe and we feel that international recognition will open more doors to our team, give us support and help us find new fans outside of Estonia. We hope the ‘Mobile Workshop’ service will become an important link in the Estonian education system, making it possible to introduce new technologies and methodological approaches to technology classes.

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

Applying is a great way of introducing the general public to the best business initiatives and projects from different European countries and to gain international attention and recognition. During the application process, we advise any applying projects to note down all of the goals, challenges, results and social problems encountered by your project, along with the social problems to which solutions will be sought when implementing the activities.

What are your plans for the future?

It has been great to offer youngsters the opportunity to study in a mobile technology class and to encourage them to be creative and enterprising. Our team’s goal is to create a concept and methodological materials for future mobile classrooms for both students and teachers, in order to expand within Estonia and into the sphere of international education. We want young people to be encouraged by the opportunities in the fields of science, technology and engineering and for them to be able to create cool products and services with which they can conquer the world in the future.

Congratulations to the Mobile Workshops project! Keep coming back to the News Portal for more EEPA winner testimonials and re-live Merkuur’s winning moment right here:

You can also catch up with the SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Open Entrepreneurship

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Here on Promoting Enterprise we are thrilled to bring you the first of our European Enterprise Promotion Award winner testimonials! Throughout this series we will be interviewing the EEPA Class of 2020 to find out more about these outstanding projects, what they do, what winning the awards means to them, their journey to the finals and more.

Let us kick things off with the winner of our first category ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’. The 2020 winner is “Open Entrepreneurship” from Denmark, who won with their project that connects researchers, investors and entrepreneurs to develop collaborations between them and improve the role of research in startup creation.

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

We were introduced to the EEPA 2020 award via the Danish Chamber of Commerce and decided to enter. They then went on to nominate us for the award at European level.

How did you prepare your application?

The process of preparing the application was an important and sound exercise. We used the application to reflect on our activities, as well as refresh our minds on what the impact and purpose of our project is. These are the elements that we made sure to communicate in our original application.

What was it like to win the award?

It was a great honour to receive this award. We are very proud on behalf of the whole team that includes seven university partners in Denmark.

In the Open Entrepreneurship programme, we work together to help successful entrepreneurs from Denmark and across the globe to come and have a conversation with our researchers – and together we see that this conversation leads to the co-creation and development of some amazing spinouts. We see that this is a great combination as it allows the researchers to focus on what they are good at, namely their research – and at the same time they get resources and the experience from the external entrepreneurs and their network – we see that they inspire each other in both domains.

We are very grateful for the support from our sponsor the Danish Industry Foundation who helped us launch this programme. We also want to thank the Danish Chamber of Commerce for nominating us for this prestigious award.

How did winning the award impact your work and what are your plans for the future?

Open Entrepreneurship winning the award has already gained political attention in Denmark, and we are confident that this alone will support our collaboration across universities and our long-term financial anchoring of the project. Being recognised by EEPA and the European Commission has also strengthened our presence in the Danish innovation ecosystem.

It is of great importance to us, that a project that celebrates the collaboration between seven Danish universities, wins a European level award.

Congratulations to Open Entrepreneurship! Re-live their winning moment below and find out more about their work in the EEPA 2020 Compendium.

You can also catch up with the SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

EEPA 2020 Compendium

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One of the highlights of this year’s SME Assembly 2020 was the finals of the 14th edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) which took place on Monday 16 November.

The EEPA recognise the best of the best, with six individual category awards, 1 Grand Jury Prize and Special Mentions. We got see all of the winning moments on screen but it is now time to learn a little more about these winning projects and why the EEPA jury selected them!

The 2020 EEPA compendium is now available for you to read and explore here.

The EEPA Compendium is an annual publication that compiles all of the shortlisted projects to celebrate their achievements and provide an insight into the Awards process. This year’s Compendium features introductions to all of the shortlisted projects, as well as additional information on the Grand Jury Prize winner.

Learn more about each of our EEPA jury members as well as the EEPA judging process that goes on behind the scenes. This year’s compendium also contains

In addition you will find out more about this year’s prestigious jury, their experience being behind the scenes of EEPA, testimonials from previous winners and a focus on how SMEs are leading the recovery.  

To find out more about the EEPA, visit the EEPA website, and look through the previous compendiums from 201920182017 2016201520142013, and 2012.

European Enterprise Promotion Awards – Class of 2020

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Today during the yearly SME Assembly, the most important event for small and medium enterprises in Europe, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2020 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). The initiative rewards entities promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses at national, regional and local level.

The 2020 winners are as follows:

The Grand Jury Prize: France: Le PORTAIL DU REBOND

CATEGORY 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Denmark: Open Entrepreneurship

CATEGORY 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Estonia:  Mobile Workshops, Merkuur OY

CATEGORY 3 – Improving the Business Environment

Spain: BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

CATEGORY 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

Portugal: Portugal Bike Value

CATEGORY 5 – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

Germany: Greentech.Ruhr

CATEGORY 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Netherlands: Social Enterprise NL

Congratulations to our class of 2020! Re-live their winning moments by watching their videos and stay tuned for the winner testimonials.

What is on the 2020 programme? – Awarding initiatives in enterprise and entrepreneurship

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The SME Assembly 2020 is getting closer and we are here to bring you a closer look at this year’s exciting and high-level programme. Have a look at the full programme here and don’t forget to register for the SME Assembly before it is too late!

Every year at the SME Assembly delegates have the chance to watch the best projects from across Europe and COSME countries be awarded for their efforts and work in the areas of enterprise and entrepreneurship. This year the SME Assembly is proudly hosting not one but two awards ceremonies, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards and the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards, where the most innovative projects in our Promoting Enterprise community are recognised.

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards – EEPA

The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen via a series of rounds including a national competition, a European competition to determine the shortlist and finally an awards ceremony where the prestigious EEPA jury reveals their top choices per category and their selection for the Grand Jury Prize. Find out more about the EEPA 2020, discover the projects competing on the shortlist and don’t forget to join us for the EEPA 2020 finals at the SME Assembly 2020.

The European Small and Mid-Cap Awards

This year the SME Assembly will also be hosting the finals of the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards, which promotes best practices and encourages more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access capital markets via IPOs. Running since 2013, the awards recognise SMEs across four different categories: International Star, Rising Star, Star of Innovation and Star of the year. Find out more about the projects shortlisted for the 2020 finals and don’t forget to secure your place at the ceremony to find out who the 2020 winners will be.

More about the SME Assembly 2020

The SME Assembly 2020 will feature a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, informative masterclasses, and innovative networking opportunities to help answer the difficult questions facing our community post-COVID. Top speakers include Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Commissioner Thierry Breton, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, and the distinguished economist Dr. Maja Göpel.

Register for the SME Assembly 2020 here.

EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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Time for our final round of introductions to this year’s shortlisted projects! Don’t forget to follow the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) finals ceremony at the upcoming SME Assembly 2020 and follow #SMEAssembly2020 to be amongst the first to find out the category winners and the Grand Jury Prize Winner of the 2020 competition.

Today we are meeting the shortlisted projects competing in Category 6: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Our 2020 finalists come from Italy, Austria and the Netherlands. Our EEPA Jury felt that these projects deserved recognition and stood out due to their work on developing an emergency management scheme that focuses on building a culture of prevention and resilience, establishing an infrastructure for a mountain village to support its community entrepreneurs and the fostering of a national network designed to support and encourage social entrepreneurs on a national level.

Italy: Emergency Management Program

The Emergency Management Programme is a public-private partnership set up to respond to emergencies and support businesses, communities and territories affected by catastrophes. The programme also aims at promoting the transition from a culture of emergency response to that of prevention and resilience. With a network of 140 entrepreneurs and experts from the public and private sectors, the network works to ensure production continuity and safety during emergency situations. Community-wide engagement is needed for resilient SMEs and territories, so the programme promotes prevention and increases awareness of risks and the culture of resilience among institutions, citizens and businesses.

Austria: Taugl – zammbringa zammkemma

“Taugl – zammbringa zammkemma” is developing branding for the mountain village of Taugl in Austria’s St. Koloman district in an effort to develop community projects and to support citizens in implementing their entrepreneurial ideas. In this way, it is transforming the traditional core of the village community into a modern international digital hub. The project supports start-ups and promotes cooperation, sustainability and the internationalisation of local economic potential. Citizens who think and act regionally are able to buy from Taugler Körberl, an association of local producers providing products from the town and the surrounding area.

Netherlands: Social Enterprise NL

Social Enterprise NL is a national network and a key driver of the growing movement towards social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. The network currently has 405 members, who benefit from the large number of workshops and growth programmes organised throughout the year aimed at strengthening their business. Members also receive support from network coaches and experts and gain online visibility and publicity. Social Enterprise NL also aspires towards better regulation and legislation and, with this goal in mind, is active in promoting these objectives at the municipal, regional and national levels.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and the finalists for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, Improving the business environment, Supporting the internationalisation of business, and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency and don’t forget to check our social media to find out who the 2020 winners are on 16 November!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

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We are almost at the end of our shortlist introductions and getting closer to this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) finals! Make sure to tune into the finals ceremony during the SME Assembly 2020 and follow #SMEAssembly2020 to find out who will be the 2020 winners of the EEPA competition.

Today we are meeting the shortlisted projects competing in Category 5: Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency. Our 2020 finalists come from Germany, Malta and Portugal. These projects all have strong sustainability aspects that stood out to this year’s EEPA Jury including actions to strengthen regional environmental economies, boosting energy efficiency amongst businesses on a national level and improving the social responsibility and environmental sustainability of the national hotel industry.

Germany: Greentech.Ruhr

Greentech.Ruhr is an environmental management network in the Ruhr region that aims to strengthen the region’s environmental economy, thereby supporting its transition from a mining region to a diversified economy with a high degree of specialisation in tackling ecological challenges. Increased cooperation between all players in the Ruhr environmental economy is needed to deal with growing environmental protection challenges. Greentech.Ruhr facilitates this by bringing together local companies, educational and research institutions and public bodies to further promote the Ruhr’s innovative potential in the field of environmental economics.

Malta: MBB Energy Ecosystem

MBB Energy Ecosystem is the first comprehensive network of energy stakeholders and businesses of its type in Malta. The Ecosystem aims to boost energy efficiency among Maltese businesses through technical support, training, networking, and addressing financing gaps. It also allows for the dissemination of best practices, policy learning, and concrete action towards boosting energy efficiency in industry. The initiative has reached around 150 Maltese companies and will continue to expand its network and to offer continuous support.

Portugal: HOSPES by AHP – Digital Plataform

The HOSPES Programme is a corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability programme developed by the Portuguese Hospitality Association in cooperation with participating hotels. The programme supports hotels in achieving their social and environmental goals. It facilitates the donation of hotel goods to social and environmental support institutions. Over a period of just one month, more than 100 000 items were donated by over 100 hotels to field hospitals and support centres working with vulnerable members of the community. The programme also helps mitigate the environmental impact of hotel activity by reducing waste and supporting the circular economy.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and the finalists for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, Improving the business environment and Supporting the internationalisation of business, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2020 finalists!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Supporting the internationalisation of business

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Ready to meet more projects competing in the 2020 European Enterprise Promotion Award finals?

Today we are meeting the shortlisted projects competing in Category 4: Supporting the internationalisation of business. Our 2020 finalists come from Belgium, Portugal and Ukraine. These projects focus on supporting national projects and industries, and helping them get into international markets. This year’s finalists are diverse and focus on offering international activities and opportunities to Belgian SMEs to give them international exposure, helping to support and establish the Portuguese bicycle industry in the European supply chain, and making local and international export expertise available to Ukrainian companies to facilitate their entry onto international markets.

Belgium: Digital Wallonia International

Digital Wallonia International offers a programme of international activities, such as trade fairs, economic missions and festivals, to support the international development of Walloon digital companies and increase the international visibility and presence of the Walloon digital sector. The initiative has rolled out a network of ten hubs in cities and regions with a high level of digital innovation to give digital startups and companies a primary point of contact for information to help accelerate the growth of their business. To date, more than 360 digital companies and startups have participated in 75 international events proposed by the project.

Portugal: Portugal Bike Value 

Portugal Bike Value is working to support and promote the potential of the Portuguese bicycle industry, establishing it as a player in the European supply chain. It is also promoting Portugal as a destination for foreign investment in the area of Soft Mobility. The initiative’s efforts saw exports to more 50 destinations on all continents increase from EUR 226 million in 2011 to EUR 402 million in 2019, including a 22% increase between 2018 and 2019. By investing in cleaner technologies that have a reduced environmental footprint, Portugal Bike Value is also helping to support the European Green Deal.

Ukraine: Nationwide educational program “Export R|Evolution Ukraine”

Export R|Evolution Ukraine is a nationwide educational programme that leverages the experience of the best experts in their field. The programme shares international and local expertise on export operations with Ukrainian companies. Over a three-year period, Export R|Evolution Ukraine trained more than 2 300 people from every region in the country on how to maximize their export potential. Over 75% of the participating companies confirmed that their exports increased as a result. Export sales by participating companies grew on average by 3.6 mln UAH per year after participating in the programme.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and the finalists for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, and Improving the business environment and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2020 finalists!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

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