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EEPA 2022 – Meet the European shortlist

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This year almost 200 National EEPA entries were submitted for consideration from 26 participating countries. The EEPA National Coordinators then selected 47 of these projects for the EEPA 2022 Jury to evaluate. The EEPA 2022 European jury met to make their final selections for this year’s European shortlist. 

The decision came after 3-hour deliberations, during which jurors selected some of the most inspiring examples of entrepreneurship and SME-friendly initiatives in Europe. The jury members were very impressed with so many good projects, which made their job difficult, but they were pleased with their choices. 

The selected finalists who demonstrated innovation, creativity and passion for supporting entrepreneurship, will meet at the SME Assembly 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic, on 28 November in the final round of the EEPA. The winners in each category will be announced during a special European Enterprise Promotion and Small and Mid-Caps Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations to all of the selected finalists listed below in alphabetical order in relation to the project’s names.

Category 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Category 3 – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition

Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition

Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

About the EEPA selection process

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

A shortlist of nominees is chosen by the EEPA 2022 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.

Make sure to come back to the News Portal every week to learn more about each of the shortlisted projects that will be competing in the EEPA 2022 finals.

EEPA 2022 National winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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We have already introduced you to the national winners in Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, Category 4 and Category 5 in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Now it is the turn of Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. In total, five projects were selected to advance to the European stage of the competition in this category, where they join 423 other projects spread across the six categories of the awards, from which the EEPA 2022 European jury will decide on a final shortlist.

The Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship category aims to reward projects creating innovative approaches for the promotion of socially and environmentally responsible business. Previous projects in this category have encouraged disadvantaged groups to take part in entrepreneurship, or promoted corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises, for example. So, let’s take a look at this year’s Category 6 national winners.

  • Bulgaria: Academy for Local Entrepreneurs, from the Rinker Centre for Entrepreneurship and Training, part of the BCause Foundation, is a training programme for people with entrepreneurial ideas who want to start their own business in the tobacco producing regions of the country.
  • France: French Tech Tremplin, from French Tech, has the promotion of entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of its actions.
  • Ireland: co:worx project, from Edgeworthstown Enterprise Hub clg, is an excellent example of social innovators fostering economic growth and digital change in their community.
  • Poland: Business Mentoring Sessions, from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, is a cooperation platform enabling workshops and mentoring between foreign students and entrepreneurs and business representatives to promote an entrepreneurial spirit among young people.
  • Spain: Innovatia 8.3, from Instituto de las Mujeres y Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, aims to promote equal participation of women in science and research and to introduce the gender perspective in knowledge transfer processes at institutions and research centres.

The projects selected by the Portuguese national coordinators will be announced at a later.

All EEPA national winners will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly in November, where the winners in each category will be announced. This year the event will be co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union 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 the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

If you would like to find out more about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website. For the latest updates, visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal – we  will let you know soon who the winners in the other five categories are so make sure to check in regularly, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

Galatea, this summer’s chance for EU funding for smart ships, smart ports, smart shipyards and maritime surveillance

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Galatea, which stands for “Grow and AcceLerate your smArt projecTs in nEw value chAins of the European Blue Economy” has launched a call for services related to blue growth, specifically for smart ships, smart ports, smart shipyards and maritime surveillance. Thanks to this project, which brings together the expertise of 7 ICT, Aerospace and Maritime clusters and 1 research and technology organisation, SMEs can get support on elaboration of business models, technological expertise, internationalisation and funding opportunities. The deadline is 30th of September.

Galatea requirements and aims

Galatea’s call is open to members of the Galatea clusters and innovative SMEs from the maritime, ICT, aero-spatial and aeronautic sectors that are established or have a branch office in a country covered by the project: France, Greece, Poland, Romania and Spain. As well as being related to blue growth, their proposals should take account of the digital and ecological transitions and the circular economy.

The coaching services on offer should help to:

  • improve production processes and reduce raw material consumption;
  • enhance development of new value chains;
  • support development of large-scale demonstrators;
  • ensure access to support through vouchers, services and other mechanisms;
  • give SMEs the chance to expand their markets worldwide.

Details of both opportunities are available at the European Cluster Collaboration Platform here and here.

For information on further funding opportunities, keep checking the Promoting Enterprise News Portal and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

Celebrate International Photography Day with a look back to SME Assembly 2021

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It is International Photography Day! As we are counting the days for SME Assembly 2022, we wanted to commemorate the memories from 2021.

What a year! Relive more precious moments here.

Want to make your voice heard? Write!

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Making your voice heard is not all about who can shout the loudest. Writing in a clear and well-thought-out manner is often the best way to make people listen to what you have to say and to get your thoughts out to a wider public. To mark International Youth Day 2022, on the Promoting Enterprise Portal we are looking at how writing can help young people to realise their potential and make a greater impact. Indeed, one way this impact can be made is through the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2022.

Writing helps young people to develop their own voice and express how they feel on a variety of subjects, which in turn helps to improve their self-expression, boost their self-confidence and become more assertive when expressing their opinions. The writing process makes it easier for people to formulate their thoughts and express them in a logical way, which in turn improves communication skills.

As with most things – practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better your writing skills will become. Writing regularly will help you become more organized in your writing, and in structuring your thoughts. At the same time, your imagination and creativity will improve. Writing gives you the opportunity to review your thoughts, expand your perspective and express yourself in a measured and well-structured manner.

What’s more, writing helps you to speak out on topics that you care about, express what is important to you and get your ideas out there. So, have we convinced you of the benefits of creative writing? If we have, why not try out your writing skills by taking part in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition! The YEC gives 18-25-year-olds a platform to share their ideas with key figures and stakeholders involved in enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The YEC 2022 challenge

This year the competition asks young people to think about the theme: Our European economies are highly dependent on fossil fuel energies. How can future young entrepreneurs contribute to a more sustainable economy?

Do you have something interesting to say on this topic? Perhaps you could draw inspiration from the theme of this year’s International Youth Day – Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages – and look at intergenerational approaches to resolving our fossil fuel dependency. Let your imagination run free! All you have to do is write a 2,500-word essay in English on this year’s theme and submit it here or e-mail it to smeweek@loweurope.eu before the deadline of 26 September 2022.

The YEC jury will then select three finalists to attend the SME Assembly in November in Prague, where they will present their essays to the 500+ delegates gathered at the assembly. To help you make the best possible presentation, you will receive training from the YEC team before the event. The winning essay will then be selected in a public vote. The essays of all the finalists will be promoted across EU channels.

It’s time to unleash your inner writer and submit your entry for this year’s competition. Before you start, read through the rules of the competition and please contact smeweek@loweurope.eu if you have any questions.

You can find more information on the previous editions of the YEC here. We will also follow with more advice and tips to help you with your entries, so make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal regularly, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and subscribe to our newsletter.

Revolutionize your SME Week experience with the new Promoting Enterprise App

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The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) has launched a new and improved version of the Promoting Enterprise App, enabled by the SwapCard platform. The new app will revolutionize your SME Week and SME Assembly experience with its many novel features and will extend the benefits of SME Week long beyond the three days of the event.

The Promoting Enterprise App proved to be a big hit at the 2021 SME Assembly, to connect with other participants and to browse content and watch the event sessions later. This year the app will be available over a longer period of time, enabling SME Assembly participants and others interested in entrepreneurship and SMEs in Europe to connect with each other throughout the year.

New improved features

Beyond the scope of SME Week, the new Promoting Enterprise App will serve as a platform for everybody interested in enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs in Europe, offering them a space where they can network, make valuable contacts and leverage synergies. If this is the place for you, register for the app here.

The new app has many novel features and will improve the experience of SME Week participants by offering users access to the SME Assembly livestreaming, speaker previews, live chat, webinars and much more.

In addition, the app is a treasure trove of information, including:

• Policy topics, interesting webinars, and updates;
• Information on SME Week activities;
• European Enterprise Promotion Awards updates;
• Opinion polls and discussion forums;
• The Promoting Enterprise newsletters;
• Updates on SME Assembly programme highlights as they occur;
• Information and updates on SME Assembly speakers.

Through the app you will also be able to propose topics that you feel should be discussed at the SME Assembly, or make suggestions for other elements that could be included in the Assembly to improve the experience of participants.

Supporting SME Week goals

The core aims of SME Week are to promote entrepreneurship in Europe, to help existing entrepreneurs find information on available support, and to encourage more people to set up their own businesses. The new and improved Promoting Enterprise App will be a valuable tool in achieving these goals, acting as a one-stop-shop for information on European entrepreneurship and a networking hub for budding European entrepreneurs.

For more information on SME Week and the SME Assembly, 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.

There is only a short time left to register for EEPA! Check out the national competitions that are still open!

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The EEPA national competitions are underway and are currently looking for the best projects to compete at national level. If you are from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey, we have great news for you. The national competitions are still open in your country and you still have a chance to apply to the most prestigious European competition that rewards those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level.

If you want to participate, you can find your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here. For any further questions, be sure to contact your National Coordinator or the EEPA Secretariat.

For some amazing inspiration before applying, we recommend you take a look at the EEPA Compendium that showcases all projects that were shortlisted in the competition last year. It is the best way to get some insight into the awards process right from the source.

One last tip: make sure you read our exclusive interview with jury members. Thomas Cooney, Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker, Outi Slotboom and Marian Piecha have been the first four to give us valuable insights on the three top qualities they will look for in a winning project.

France and Luxembourg will soon communicate their own national deadlines, so make sure you visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal regularly to be up to speed. For all remaining participating countries – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, and Romania – applications are now closed.

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

SME Week Newsletter 2022: Issue #15

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Welcome to the latest edition of the SME Week Newsletter 

In this edition of the SME Week newsletter, we are delighted to remind you that the 2021 EEPA Compendium is now available for download. Every year the Compendium showcases all of the shortlisted projects from the previous year and celebrates their achievements, as well as providing some insight into the Awards process – so make sure you check it out!

Other news in this edition includes the ‘Get Digital – Go Green, and Be Resilient’ call for expressions of interest, which will result in a catalogue of innovative digital solutions from the European Union, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase economic resilience.

We also announce the members of this year’s EEPA Jury, tease the launch of the seventh edition of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition, and introduce you to some initiatives being implemented across the EU to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing Ukraine, following Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against its neighbour.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you too – so please share with us stories that you believe will be of interest to the wider SME community, along with your news and updates to be featured in an upcoming newsletter, or on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Read more >>

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER AND DON’T MISS ANY UPDATES

Make sure that you are also following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop!

SME Support Instruments by the EU

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As 99,7% of the companies in Europe are SMEs, the EU has launched various instruments to help SMEs access finance, notably financial instruments (loans, guarantees and venture capital) and grants (collaborative actions and the SME instrument) in order to recover and build up the resilience after the Covid-19 crisis.

During the SME Assembly 2021, these instruments were largely discussed and a dedicated workshop took place focusing solely on this topic.

With the participation of Maarit Nyman (DG Grow Deputy Head of the SME Unit), Igor Kalinic (EISMEA) and Salvatore Amico Roxas (DG Grow Access to Finance Unit), the workshop looked at the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and opportunities for SMEs with a special focus on the Single Market Programme (SMP), The European Innovation Council and Invest EU Programme.

We invite you to watch the session and find out which instruments are most suitable for your enterprise.

Here is what we noted down during the workshop:

The Single Market Programme focuses on strengthening the governance of the internal market, supporting the competitiveness of industry and in particular of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promoting human, animal and plant health and animal welfare and establishing the framework for financing European statistics. With €4.2 billion over the period of 2021-2027, out of which 1 billion is destined to SMEs, it provides an integrated package to support and strengthen the governance of the single market.

To be more specific, the SME pillar of the Single Market Programme will first ensure the continuity of the implementation of the most impactful actions of the COSME programme, in particular supporting a better access to markets, a more favourable business environment and promoting entrepreneurship. It aims to foster the competitiveness, capacity building and sustainability of enterprises, especially SMEs, including the tourism sector, highly affected by the pandemic.

On the other hand, the European Innovation Council (EIC), established under the EU Horizon Europe programme, has a budget of €10.1 billion to support game changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.

Last, but not least, Invest EU Fund, part of Invest EU Programme, is a single fund bringing together the many different EU-level financial instrument and it aims, among other things, facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), small mid-cap companies. This includes capital support for SMEs that were negatively affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

For more information on these topics, please follow the European Commission website, for the latest updates, follow Promoting Enterprise News Portal as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

EEPA 2021 Testimonial – Inkludera by Inkludera

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We continue our conversations with the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2021 winners. Last time we brought you the story of Grand Jury Prize winner COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V., who was also awarded first prize in Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards at the SME Assembly 2021.

Today we meet the Responsible and Incusive Entrepreneurship category winner, Inkludera by Inkludera.

Inkludera is supporting social entrepreneurs with unique solutions in order to scale them and make them financially sustainable. To accomplish this, Inkludera supports the entrepreneurs in building partnerships with the public sector. Since 2013 the entrepreneurs Inkludera supports have entered into over 900 partnerships with 108 of Sweden’s municipalities. These partnerships enabled the entrepreneurs to continuously work with 27 200 people in 2020 – addressing several different social issues.

Here is what they shared with us about their experience at the European Promoting Enterprise Awards 2021.

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

We are grateful that the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth nominated us, and we chose to enter to honor their trust and belief in us.

How did you prepare your application?

Two persons were involved in drawing up the application, which took 3-4 days in total. We prepared a tailor-made For us, the entrepreneurs that we support are always front and center. We wanted our application to be about them, and to share their stories.

What was it like to win the award?

We were honored and happy and we thank you for the recognition!

How did winning the award impact your work?

The award is a great testament to the work we have been dedicated to during the past decade and of course a motivation going forward.

What are your plans for the future?

Apart from continuous support of our entrepreneurs, we plan to spread our accumulated knowledge and experience of scaling social entrepreneurship to further strengthen the field in Sweden.

Why should others enter EEPA 2022? What advice would you give them?

We believe it’s a great forum for being inspired by other organisations. It’s important to be true to your cause and focused on impact – in your everyday work and in your application.

Do you want to watch other key moments from SME Assembly 2021? Relive the experience below!

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    • EEPA 2022 – Meet the European shortlist October 5, 2022
      This year almost 200 National EEPA entries were submitted for consideration from 26 participating countries. The EEPA National Coordinators then selected 47 of these projects for the EEPA 2022 Jury to evaluate. The EEPA 2022 European jury met to make their final selections for this year’s European shortlist.  The decision came after 3-hour deliberations, during which jurors […]
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    • YEC 2022 – You have more time than you thought! September 26, 2022
      Want to know some good news? The deadline for submitting entries to the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2022 is being extended to October 7! To the early birds who already submitted their applications – thank you and good luck during the selection process! The new deadline extension will give you the time you need to submit […]
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    • EEPA 2022 National winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship September 16, 2022
      We have already introduced you to the national winners in Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, Category 4 and Category 5 in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Now it is the turn of Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. In total, five projects were selected to advance to the European stage of […]
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    • The voice of experience: some advice from 2021 YEC winner Kristina Dimova September 14, 2022
      The deadline for participating in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition is almost upon us. But don’t worry – you can still enter, so get writing and make sure to submit your entry by September 26. To inspire you, the YEC winners from 2018, 2019 and 2020 have already shared their top tips and […]
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    • EEPA 2022 National Winners – Categories 4 & 5 September 13, 2022
      We have already introduced you to the national winners in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) that have made it to the next stage of the competition in EEPA Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3. Today, we are happy to announce the national winners in Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business […]
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    • The voice of experience: 2019 YEC winner Radu Dumitrescu has some advice September 7, 2022
      As the September 26 deadline approaches for submitting an entry in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition, on the Promoting Enterprise portal we have been speaking to previous winners to see what advice they have for this year’s participants. We have already heard from 2018 winner Marija Borg. This time it is the turn […]
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    • The voice of experience: some wise words from 2020 YEC winner Sabine Kerssens September 1, 2022
      We have already had some top tips from the winners of the 2018 editions of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition. Today, 2020 YEC winner Sabine Kerssens shares her wisdom, enabling this year’s entrants to benefit from her experience. If you are considering entering this year’s competition, perhaps Sabine can give you some inspiration, but […]
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    • Galatea, this summer’s chance for EU funding for smart ships, smart ports, smart shipyards and maritime surveillance September 1, 2022
      Galatea, which stands for “Grow and AcceLerate your smArt projecTs in nEw value chAins of the European Blue Economy” has launched a call for services related to blue growth, specifically for smart ships, smart ports, smart shipyards and maritime surveillance. Thanks to this project, which brings together the expertise of 7 ICT, Aerospace and Maritime clusters […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2022 National Winners – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition August 30, 2022
      We have already had a look at the shortlisted projects in Category 1 and Category 2 of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we introduce you to the EEPA national winners in Category 3 – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition. From the total 176 projects that entered the national […]
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    • The voice of experience: some top tips from 2018 YEC winner Marija Borg August 26, 2022
      As the 26 September deadline for this year’s European SME Week Youth Essay Competition approaches, we asked 2018 winner Marija Elena Borg to share her advice with this year’s cohort and to give them the opportunity to benefit from her experience. You can also read about Marija’s own experience of the YEC here. Marija impressed […]
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