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Archive for ‘Promoting Enterprise News’

Have your say on the SME definition!

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The European Commission is currently preparing for an evaluation and possible revision of some aspects of the SME definition and is inviting any interested actor to provide feedback on its evaluation and impact assessment.

The SME definition is a widely used tool in EU policies such as competition (state aid), structural funds, research and innovation (Horizon 2020).

Moreover, the SME definition is relevant for some European administrative exemptions and reduced fees, such as for Regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH).

If you would like to know more about this initiative please check the public consultation on the review of the SME definition. You can contribute until 6 May 2018.

Read the original article on EASME news here.

EU Sustainable Energy Awards – 2018 nominations open

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The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is back for its 13th edition and giving you the chance to encourage and nominate projects to take part in this year’s Awards competition to determine the most innovative and impactful initiatives in energy transition.

If you are working on, or know someone who is, developing projects that fit the description, it is your time to shine: you can either apply for an award or nominate your favourite activities, projects and actions.

Interested? We look forward to receiving your application for one of this year’s categories: ‘Consumers’, for actions that lead to the behavioural change of individual energy users;‘Public Sector’, for exemplary initiatives led by public and non-profit organisations; ‘Businesses’, for forward-thinking businesses; and this year for the first time there will be a ‘Young Energy Leaders’ category, which aims to recognise extraordinary young individuals, or groups of individuals (under 30 years old), who are leading by example and impacting the sustainable energy field.

Additionally, there is the ‘Citizens’ Award’ which will be granted via an online vote allowing the general public to reward their favourite project among the finalists of the aforementioned categories.

You can find further information about the awards, as well as eligibility, assessment rules and the application process, on the EUSEW2018 website.

The deadline for applications is 23 February 2018.

Organised by the European Commission (Directorate-General for Energy and EASME), EUSEW takes place every year in June. The 2018 focus is on energy transition and will cover a series of activities with an EU-wide scope. In addition to the EU Sustainable Energy Awards, event activities will feature a policy conference (5–7 June 2018), networking opportunities and local sustainable energy events, all dedicated to building a secure energy future for Europe.

Read the original article here on the EASME website.

Interested in green projects and initiatives? Read through the European Enterprise Promotion Awards submissions for the Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency category and discover the leading European projects in the sector.

From waste to circular economy – ecoBirdy: A European Toy Story

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Supported by the EU’s programme for the competitiveness of SMEs (COSME), ecoBirdy will unveil its first collection of design furniture for kids made of recycled plastic toys at the trade fair Maison & Objet in Paris from 19 January.

The launch follows an in-depth two-year study period exploring how to sustainably recycle plastic toys. ecoBirdy has created pieces that are 100% made of recycled plastic waste and can easily be recycled again.

The Antwerp-based designers, Joris Vanbriel and Vanessa Yuan, have not only created design pieces, but a whole system from the collection and recycling of old, unused plastic toys to the design and production of the furniture.

It was essential to the founders that each step be based on social and environmental responsibility. An accompanying storybook and school programme has been designed to introduce youngsters to the circular economy and inspire them to contribute to a more sustainable future. The design, recycling and production of ecoBirdy furniture is all done in Europe.

“We found that plastic toys use plastic more intensively than other consumer goods: 80% of plastic toys end up in landfills, incinerators or in the ocean. By giving old plastic a new life, our aim is to free our ecosystem from its pernicious impact. As we use innovative technologies, made for the reuse of plastic, there is no need to add any pigments or resin.”

For the first collection, the designers have aimed to create pieces that enable kids to experience creativity and at the same time raise awareness of sustainability. All items are made entirely out of recycled plastic from European waste. Due to accurate sorting, cleaning and grinding during the recycling process, the plastic of all products is absolutely free from harmful chemicals. It is clean, pure and 100% safe. The whole collection is produced in Italy and includes a chair, a table, a storage container and a lamp.

The furniture will be available on the market from the end of January and can be ordered from the ecoBirdy online shop. ecoBirdy is one of the 10 projects funded under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of SMEs (COSME) 2016 Design-based consumer goods call.

Read the original article here on the EASME website. To find out more about other European sustainability and green projects, read about past EEPA entries in the Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency category.

Five books that helped me start a tech-company – Lieven Vervecken

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Today’s article is written by Dr. Ir. Lieven Vervecken, CEO & Co-founder of Diabatix, an innovative Belgian engineering company specialising in colling systems and products involving fluid mechanics and heat transfer. 

It is no secret that reading a book is one of the best ways to learn more about a particular topic. This of course, also holds when you are interested in starting a tech-company and you want to strengthen your knowledge on entrepreneurship. There are numerous books written related to this topic and making a selection is not always easy. Therefore, below are five books, covering a wide range of topics, that helped me start my tech-company.

 

  1. The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki

When you start a tech-company, you will likely want to raise money, to hire the right people, to manage a board, to create a brand, etc. The Art of the Start touches each of these topics, among many more, and describes how to go from an idea to a mature business. Each chapter zooms in on particular jobs that have to be done, while the FAQ sections address the questions the readers are most likely to have. I particularly recommend the chapters on pitching and raising funds.

  1. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 steps to a Successful Startup, by Bill Aulet

“Can a sustainable business be built around my idea?” is the most fundamental but probably also the most difficult question you will have to answer. Disciplined Entrepreneurship guides you through this question by breaking it down into 24 easy-to-understand steps. Among others, these steps discuss market segmentation, mapping the process to acquire a customer, charting your competitive position, etc.

  1. The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

Time is an extremely valuable good. So the last thing you want as an entrepreneur, is to waste it. One very common pitfall for starting tech companies is to spend time on developing the product they are passionate about before realizing there is no market for it. The Lean Startup methodology introduces a build-measure-learn loop to help you avoid falling into this pitfall. This way, the focus shifts from “Can this product be built?” to the far more valuable “Should this product be built?”.

  1. Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder

One question you will be asked a lot when starting a company is “How do you plan to make money?”. Although this seems like a straightforward question, what they are really asking is “What is your business model?”. Business Model Generation provides practical tools to understand, design, analyze and implement a business model (FYI, step 15 of Disciplined Entrepreneurship). Along the way, you are forced to think again about your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition.

  1. The Challenger Sale, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Not a single startup team is good at everything and that is perfectly fine. One skill any team must learn to master, however, is sales. Without sales your company simply will not survive. Of course, a strong product will help, but how you sell is at least as important as what you sell. The Challenger Sale introduces an (from own experience) effective sales approach in which you challenge your customer’s way of working, rather than you applying the traditional relationship-building approach. In brief, the focus is on being highly credible and the ability to teach, tailor and take control.

Read the original article here on LinkedIn and join the discussion with your suggestions for great books that can help entrepreneurs start a tech-company.

From Slovakia to Estonia – The 2017 review

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The end of 2017 draws nearer, so what better time to look back on the exciting year we are soon to leave behind us! The Promoting Enterprise News Portal has been lucky enough to host several guest contributors, high profile interviews from the worlds of innovation and entrepreneurship, and of course be the ‘one stop shop’ for all European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) related content, amongst other topics.

We began the year by getting ready for the launch of EEPA 2017, looking back on the EEPA 2016 winners and finding out what the attendees of the SME Assembly 2016 thought about their time in Slovakia. The year continued on with the exciting launch of the 2017 edition of EEPA, during which we presented the shortlisted projects who went on to compete for European prizes. The standard of projects was extremely high and we would like to thank all of the National Coordinators for their hard work and dedication to their national campaigns.

The Youth Essay Competition also came back to Promoting Enterprise for a second edition, which attracted over triple the number of entries than last year. With many high quality entries coming from across Europe, and even beyond, the 2017 essay competition jury had a tough time choosing just three finalists for the shortlist. The finalists, Evlampia Karavangeli from Greece, Pavle Kostić from Serbia and Oksana Vedmidska from Ukraine, all impressed the jury with their answers to ‘What skills do tomorrow’s entrepreneurs need?’, which they went on to present at the biggest event of the year…the SME Assembly 2017. After a live audience vote, Oksana Vedmidska was chosen as this year’s winner.

This year’s SME Assembly was held in Tallinn, Estonia from 22-24 November 2017 and focused on encouraging us all to start, scale and spread our wings. If you missed it, read our daily posts (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3), have a look at our Instagram and watch the highlights video for coverage of this European flagship event for entrepreneurs, facilitators and innovative thinkers. There is also an SME Assembly conclusions post discussing the main results from Tallinn.

2017 has been a busy year with exciting developments, news, competitions and events. The Assembly continues to grow, European SME Week continues to excel and innovators continue to share their thoughts with us here on Promoting Enterprise. As we close a busy year, the whole Promoting Enterprise team would like to thank you for your support throughout 2017, we hope you enjoyed our posts and will continue to bring you more next year in 2018.

 

The EIPP – Providing connection opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs

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The European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) is a virtual meeting place for project promoters and investors. This year the Portal was present at the SME Assembly 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia, and came to life in the first ever EIPP matchmaking session during which investors, entrepreneurs and project promoters were able to meet in person and discuss future partnerships and investment opportunities.

But what did the participants think? Check out the videos below to see what everyone thought and be sure to go through the photo albums on Flickr to see, as Vice President Jyrki Katanien once put it, ‘the tinder of investment’ in action!

Ichó, Steffen Preuss, DE

Slow Mills, Erwin Meijboom, NL

Virtual Medicine, Tomáš Brngál, SK

EIPP Session highlights

What are the most entrepreneurial cities and regions in Europe?

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The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has opened the call for applications for the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) 2019 award on 23 November in Tallinn, at the European SME Assembly organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The EER 2019 edition was launched by Johanna Mikl-Leitner (AT/EPP), CoR Member and Governor of Lower Austria, one of the three EER winners of the current year. The EER award is open to all EU regions and cities that are ready to implement an ambitious strategy to support their SMEs and entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply for the EER 2019 label is 17 April 2018.

Each year, the EER label is awarded to three EU territories with an outstanding, future-oriented strategy to promote entrepreneurship and support small and medium-sized enterprises in their territories. The forward-looking orientation of the EER initiative means that the EER label is open to all EU territories – not only to those that are already among the top performers, but also to regions and cities that may still be less prosperous, but that have an ambitious entrepreneurial vision to reinvigorate their economy and a credible action plan to transform this vision into reality.

Over the past seven years, the EER winners have demonstrated how cities and regions can successfully strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems. During the SME Assembly’s first day, Lower Austria (EER 2017) was awarded the Commission’s European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) in recognition of its outstanding achievements in supporting SME internationalisation.

“SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups are a motor for life quality and sustainable development in our cities and regions. I strongly believe that, as regional and local decision-makers, it is our responsibility to set up the right conditions for the emergence of flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystems. Through the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) label, the European Committee of the Regions contributes to this objective. We identify and reward EU regions and cities that create an environment in which entrepreneurial initiative can unleash its full potential”, stated CoR Member Johanna Mikl-Leitner.

The implementation of the awarded regional and local strategies will be monitored throughout 2019 by the EER jury, which is composed of CoR members, representatives of EU institutions and social partners. At the end of the award year, the jury will visit the awarded territories in order to verify the progress made, provide them with an objective outside appraisal of their policies and gain new insights and inspiration for the further development of the EER scheme. The main results and achievements of the EER 2019 winners will also be shared and discussed among regional and local authorities through the EER network, which since its inception in 2010 has grown to include 24 territories, giving it the critical mass necessary for a fruitful exchange of good practices, peer-learning and successful cooperation among past and present EER winners.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 17 April 2018. The application form and detailed information about the assessment criteria are available on the EER web page: www.cor.europa.eu/eer

Contact:
Carmen Schmidle
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 2366
Mobile: +32 (0)494 735787
carmen.schmidle@cor.europa.eu

The European Small and Mid-Cap Awards

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The European Small and Mid-Cap Awards, a joint initiative of the European Commission, the Federation of European Securities Exchanges and EuropeanIssuers, aim to promote best practices and encourage more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access capital markets via IPOs. Every year, awards are given in four categories: Star of 2017, Star of Innovation, International Star and Rising Star.

The Awards Ceremony was organised for the first time in 2013 by EuropeanIssuers and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), as an initiative of the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (now Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) of the European Commission. These two associations represent together the European Securities Exchanges and the companies listed on them. The Awards showcase the diversity of European markets, and aim to promote stock listings, in particular targeting SMEs and growth companies. These companies are critical to European economic recovery and to accomplishing the EU’s goals of job creation, competitiveness and growth.

So who is on the shortlist this year?

Want more information about the 2017 shortlist? Have a look here.


Visit the awards website to find out more about this year’s edition which will take place on 22 November in Brussels, Belgium.

WATIFY Solution Award – Could you be the 2017 winner?

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The first edition of the WATIFY Solution Award will take place this year on 15-16 November in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of the Global Finals of the Creative Business Cup 2017. The Award is looking to recognise the next innovative SME that has technological transformation at the core of its successful business. This SME should be an inspiring example for other European SMEs and encourage them to adopt digital and/or key enabling technologies.

All entries will be screened against a set of pre-defined criteria by WATIFY experts in the fields of innovation and technology. This screening will result in a shortlist of 5 finalists.

The finalists will then pitch their cases in Copenhagen before a live audience and a Jury composed of business executives and senior representatives from the European Commission (DG GROW), its Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), the Creative Business Cup and WATIFY, will decide on the overall WATIFY Solution Award winner 2017.

The prize

The winner will:

  • Receive a 1000 euro prize
  • Have the opportunity to showcase their technological transformation in a promotional video
  • Be awarded a CBC/WATIFY Diploma certificate
  • Have opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and investors from across the globe

Who can apply?

European SMEs and entrepreneurs that have gone, or are going through, a high-impact and innovative technological transformation.

In particular, the Jury will be looking for a creative transformation that:

  • Innovates in terms of technology, product or service
  • Brings about change in the value chains of industry and inside the company itself and/or can inspire new business models
  • Shows unique value propositions
  • Has scalability potential.

The application deadline is 24 October 2017. More information on the WATIFY Solution Award can be found here.

Apply here.

Targeted consultation on the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation

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On 3 October 2017, the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation was announced as part of the Public Procurement Package from the European Commission.

This Guidance is part of the ongoing work of the European Commission to encourage wider uptake of public procurement across the EU. In addition to the modernisation of public procurement rules in 2014, the European Commission has been exploring the area of public procurement of innovation as a means to ensure sustainable growth, job creation and innovation across the European Single Market.

The Guidance covers four main areas:

  • added value of public procurement of innovation
  • policy related considerations
  • tools attracting innovative suppliers through procurement policy decisions
  • tools for designing innovation-friendly tenders, including explanation and interpretation of legal instruments under the modernised public procurement directives from 2014.

This document will be open for public consultation in order to gather stakeholder feedback until 2 January 2018. If you are an interested stakeholder you can read more here about how to respond to the consultation.

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    • Five books that helped me start a tech-company – Lieven Vervecken January 16, 2018
      Today’s article is written by Dr. Ir. Lieven Vervecken, CEO & Co-founder of Diabatix, an innovative Belgian engineering company specialising in colling systems and products involving fluid mechanics and heat transfer.  It is no secret that reading a book is one of the best ways to learn more about a particular topic. This of course, also holds when […]
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