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Archive for ‘Promoting Enterprise News’

What can you do as a consumer to support small businesses?

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The current situation with the spread of COVID-19 is challenging for many and is a particularly uncertain and stressful time for small businesses. As a consumer you have spending power and influence, which you can choose to use to help support your favourite local and small businesses. But how exactly can you help?

At the moment several governments and international bodies have taken strict and necessary measures to “flatten the curve” and control the COVID-19 outbreak. Whilst these measures are necessary for public safety and to ensure that health services and infrastructures can cope, they have affected many businesses, both large and small.

The results of these measures range from severely reduced business, to none at all, and the need to find alternative solutions in order to survive. Some businesses have gone online; others are making that transition, or finding other ways to continue providing services during these uncertain times.

But how can you use your consumer power to support small and local businesses? What action can you take to help?

Have a look through some easy tips below:

  • Order online and provide regular business
    • Want to keep your favourite businesses open? Continue being a regular customer and recommend their services to others. Several businesses are developing and expanding their online presence to cater to new demand, so have a look at what is on offer.
    • Have a look at dedicated online platforms that support local business
  • Use food delivery and takeaway services
    • Many restaurants and other Food & Beverage businesses are having to adapt to fewer or no customers. Continue to support them and their employees by using food delivery and takeaway services.
  • Buy gift cards from small businesses as presents or to use later
    • Don’t need anything from ‘non-essential’ small businesses at the moment? Buy a gift card or a voucher! These small businesses also need your support and even if you don’t need their products right now you can always offer them as a gift or save the voucher to use at a later date, while providing a lifeline for small business.
  • Avoid pausing memberships where possible
    • Has your small independent gym, yoga studio or other small fitness establishment offered to pause your membership? This is an important source of revenue for small fitness businesses, so why not ask about online options or remote individual sessions and consultations?

Got any other suggestions? Write them in the comments and share your tips for helping and supporting small businesses.

Sources and useful resources:

Making Europe’s businesses future-ready

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The European Commission has developed an industrial policy package to help Europe’s industry lead the twin transitions towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. The package aims to drive Europe’s competitiveness and its strategic autonomy at a time of moving geopolitical plates and increasing global competition.

The package of initiatives outlines a new approach to European industrial policy that is firmly rooted in European values and social market traditions. It sets out a range of actions to support all players of European industry, including big and small companies, innovative start-ups, research centres, service providers, suppliers and social partners. A dedicated strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aims to reduce red tape and help Europe’s numerous SMEs to do business across the single market and beyond, access financing and help lead the way on the digital and green transitions. Today’s initiatives also include concrete steps to address barriers to a well-functioning single market, Europe’s strongest asset to allow all our businesses to grow and compete in Europe and beyond.

The industrial policy package includes the following initiatives:

  • A new industrial strategy
  • A new SME strategy
  • A single market that delivers for our businesses and consumers

For more information read the full announcement and consult the factsheet.

EntreComp – The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework

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The original article can be found on the EASME website.

The European Union and its citizens are constantly facing new challenges, digitalisation, the environment and equality to name a few. New challenges require new ways of thinking and different perspectives, things that the European Union wants to encourage amongst its citizens. But how can these different perspectives and new ways of thinking be encouraged?

The European Commission has developed “EntreComp”, the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. It aims to shape an entrepreneurial mindset by identifying its components and creating conversations across different sectors.

The EntreComp Framework includes 15 skills that encompass what is needed to be entrepreneurial. These skills are also further described and mapped, from the most simple to most advanced applications.

New actions funded under the framework

EntreComp Food aims to build a European Collaborative Communities of practice (CoCos) to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship among students and young entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector. 

EntreComp Europe will focus on increasing the quality and uptake of entrepreneurship as a key competence across Europe, in particular on youth work and formal education. 

The projects have received €1 million in funding and will implement their activities over the next three years. Belgium, Slovenia, France, Spain, Italy, Moldova and Turkey are taking part.

Do you want to know more about COSME actions? Then check out the COSME data hub and get insightful information, figures, participant countries, budget and much more! 

The 2020 call for energy efficiency is now open!

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The original article cane be found on the EASME website.

Around €64 million of EU funding is now available for energy efficiency innovation and market uptake projects.

The funding is available for proposals submitted under 10 topics addressing 5 main areas:

  • Buildings
  • Innovative finance
  • Public authorities
  • Consumers
  • Services

The call is managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the European Commission (EASME). All proposals for Horizon 2020 funding must be submitted through the EU’s Funding and Tender Opportunities portal.

Need help with preparing your proposal?

Each specific funding topic has supporting videos that provide additional information on EU policy context and specific EASME guidance on submitting a proposal. You can also have a look at the guide to writing an excellent proposal with top tips from EASME.

The deadline for applications is 10 September 2020, 17:00 Brussels time.

For more information, read the original EASME article and check out the infographic.

Innovation at the service of the EU Green Deal

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The original article can be found on the EASME website.

The European Innovation Council Accelerator pilot supports innovation that creates the markets of tomorrow and therefore has its part to play in bringing the European Green Deal to life. Here’s how the EIC supports innovators that deliver a climate-neutral circular economy on the ground, in a few numbers. 

The push towards a green economy has received new impetus under European Green Deal – the EU’s pledge to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world. This transition will largely be market-driven and will require many new technologies, processes, economic circuits to support the shift. From waste-sorting robots and more efficient production chains, to air-cleaning flower pots, cars that inhale their own fumes and smart energy devices, green innovations supported by the EIC Accelerator are making the transition towards a circular, low-carbon economy a reality. 

Young green companies at the forefront

The EIC supports over 1.100 green companies for over € 550 million in total. This represents almost 25% of all EIC-supported companies. Since the latest EIC Accelerator cut-off, companies can get equity in addition to their grant. So far, 14 green companies were offered equity for a preliminary total of € 36 million that will be negotiated on a case by case basis. 

Most green companies are young – almost half of them were founded between 2012 and 2017. A majority of 70% manufacture green technologies and products. 
Green innovators have attracted around € 730 million private investment after receiving their grant, which means that every 1€ invested in green companies by the EIC leveraged 1.72 € of private investment.

Most of the private investments were made in the energy, food and enterprise software industries. Five companies started floating on the stock market, mostly on Nasdaq First North, and eight companies were acquired by bigger players. 

Most of the funded companies are from Spain, Italy and the UK – as are most of the EIC-funded companies in general. However, most of the private investment rounds occurred in Germany, the UK and Croatia, which hosts a project that benefitted from a € 88 million investment in the clean tech electric car company Rimac Automobili by Huyndai and KIA. 

More support expected

More opportunities will soon be available for companies that support the European Green Deal through breakthrough innovations. 

one-off EIC Accelerator call for ‘green deal’ start-ups and SMEs is expected, whereby all applicants submitting for the 19 May 2020 cut-off will need to demonstrate how their innovation contributes to the goals of the European Green Deal. The 7 October 2020 cut-off for the EIC Accelerator Pilot will remain open to all innovations.
An advanced version of the amended EIC Work Programme is due to be released by the end of February, and the final version by the end of March, replacing plans for the year ahead in the current EIC Pilot Work Programme 2018 – 2020.

Discover all green innovations supported by the EIC Accelerator pilot in our datahub

Organise an Energy Day at the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

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The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the biggest event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy, is inviting you to organise local sustainable energy events  Energy Days!

If you are organising an event in May or June 2020, EUSEW awaits your visionary ideas on clean and efficient energy in a format of your choice. Anything goes from a guided tour to a workshop, picnic, an exhibition or online game.

Read the guidelines and fill in the registration form to make sure that your event receives EU-wide attention on the Energy Days interactive map.

apply for the EUSEW Award(call open until 27 January 2020) or sign up for an activity at the Networking Village.

Join EUSEW2020 on social media by using @euenergyweek and #EUSEW2020 or sign up to become a member of the EUSEW Community.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

ELIIT Project – Call for applications

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The European light industries innovation and technology project (ELIIT Project) seeks to support textile, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) SMEs in enhancing their competitiveness while helping them integrate new technologies in innovative or high added-value products, processes or services.

ELIIT will support TCLF SMEs in implementing the excellent research results achieved in many technological areas by providers and owners of novel innovative and disruptive technologies such as Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), digital technologies, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), etc.

These partnerships will pair technology owners/providers and TCLF SMEs for a period of 12-18 months during which each partnership will receive:

  • €70 000 in financial support to develop products or prototypes with high added-value and profitability
  • tailor-made coaching and advice to improve project relevancy and increase capabilities
  • networking activities and participation in workshops/conferences and exhibitions to aid market-positioning as well as build business relationships
  • SME tailored support to strengthen intellectual property rights protection

So how can you apply for ELIIT support? Applicants will need to register and apply before 31 March 2020.

Visit the ELIIT page for more information.

The 2019 Round Up – See you in 2020!

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It is the last day of 2019 and what a year it has been for Promoting Enterprise! Here on the News Portal we have been very lucky to meet some inspiring individuals in the world of entrepreneurship, who have taken the time to share their valuable insights and experiences with us. As this year draws to an end we have taken some time to look back on some of the highlights from 2019.

The year started off with a bang with the launch of the highly anticipated European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), which went into their 13th edition. This year saw some fierce competition with the announcement of a stellar EEPA shortlist, that went on to compete to become the EEPA Class of 2019 at the SME Assembly in Finland. You can find out more about all the projects in the EEPA 2019 Compendium.  

The Youth Essay Competition ran again for the fourth consecutive year and shook things up with two challenging questions for participants to answer, and asking for their speech as the next Commissioner. The standard of entries was very high, and the jury struggled to narrow the entries down to the top four finalists Radu Dumitrescu, Enzo Ercole Ribagnac, Estelle Beuve and Aureliano Ulndreaj. Our top four took on their final challenge, presenting and speaking at the SME Assembly 2019, where our delegates chose Radu Dumitrescu as this year’s winner. Congratulations Radu!

2019 also saw the launch of the next edition of the Secrets of Success brochure, “Entrepreneurs of Europe – Connecting, Sharing and Innovating”, featuring previous Ideas from Europe winners with cutting edge innovative ideas and businesses.

The SME Assembly 2019 was the flagship event of the year and took place in Helsinki, Finland under the Finnish Presidency of the European Commission. This year’s Assembly featured many inspiring and well-known speakers, including famed economist Mariana Mazzucato, the 2019 Schumpeter Lecturer, Professor Daniel Isenberg, the 2019 keynote speaker, Alberto Onetti, Chairman and Founder of Mind the Bridge and Petri Peltonen, Finland’s Under-secretary of state. If you missed out on our live coverage of the Assembly you can still read the Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 summary posts right here on the News Portal. You can also continue the conversation in the Online SME Assembly LinkedIn group and get involved in the ongoing SME Strategy Exchange.

We hope that you have enjoyed following us in 2019 and see you in 2020!

INNOSUP Innovation Associate programme: making SMEs thrive

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SMEs encounter multiple challenges over their life cycle. They are often unable to access skills and knowledge and they experience more obstacles when having to recruit specialised professionals. 

This is where the INNOSUP Innovation Associate programme comes into play. The programme provides grants at European level to SMEs to employ a highly-skilled researcher – the ‘innovation associate’ – for a continuous period of one year. The associate’s task will be to turn the SME’s innovative idea into an innovation project.

Gaining such expertise can have many advantages. In the case of Intrapore GmbH, a German SME working on groundwater decontamination, the innovation associate brought knowledge from previous international research projects. The associate’s work enabled the company to modernise its remediation planning approach completely and helped unlock the potential of Intrapore business plan.

According to AMIGO, an Italian SME working on climate system analysis, its innovative project could not have proceeded without the innovation associate. Firstly, the SME was able to acquire her scientific background and expertise in extreme events identification and attribution. Secondly the associate supported the consolidation of an existing climate service prototype.

In the case of TubaScan, a Dutch SME dealing with molecular diagnostics, the associate managed to broaden the network of the SME thanks to new partnerships and collaborations. 

All three researchers received a longer contract in the SME at the end of the one year. Furthermore, they were able to gain new expertise through training courses organised by the programme.

In fact, during the 12 months of employment covered by the grant, as a part of the funding scheme, every associate participates in a training programme on industrial innovation and business management. At the same time, SMEs get financial support to implement a training and development plan tailored to the needs of the associate and the enterprise. 

Personnel costs, relocation costs, and travel and subsistence costs: everything is covered by the grant. 

The new call for the INNOSUP Innovation associate programme is now open until 15 January 2020. Do not miss this opportunity. Submit your application!

Read the original article on the EASME website.

Skills for the industry of the future!

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Can you imagine what the jobs will look like in the industry of the future? Innovation, digitalisation and technology are driving the industry towards more competitiveness and change. Workforce needs new skills, competencies and creativity. The project ‘Skills for Smart Industrial and Digital Transformation’, launched two years ago by the European Commission, has helped cities, regions and Member States shape policies tackling this new challenge.

The overall objective of the project was to develop a shared vision and supporting actions on skills for smart industrial specialisation and digital transformation. The challenge was to help policymakers, industry, and social partners in shaping the workforce’s transformation.

Throughout two years, the initiative has helped regions, cities and Member States in designing ambitious skills policies for smart industrial specialisation and digital transformation strategies.

Recommendations

After an extensive analysis of the current strategies, policies and initiatives on high-tech “T-shaped” skills in the EU and following a consultation process of more than 100 stakeholders, a comprehensive and ambitious “Skills for Industry Strategy 2030” has been put forward. 

The policy recommendations encourage the development of forward-looking, dynamic and interactive upskilling initiatives and call for significant investments mobilising and combining resources at local, national and EU level. They also underline the need for a data and technology-driven industry strategy and highlight the need for motivated and engaged leadership.

Best practices

Among the twenty best practices selected to inspire other interested players, many break with traditional ‘silo’ organisation structures. All of them encourage active collaboration and show that Europe needs new innovative and agile skills initiatives.

Airbus Engineer of the Future & AGUPP, Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Brainport Development, Cisco Networking Academy, or Skillnet Ireland are among the selected examples.

To find detailed and extensive information on the project and its results, check the full report and brochure.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

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