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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Following the announcement of the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), we would like to introduce you more closely to the shortlisted projects in each category. Today we will kick off with the projects competing in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit.

The Category 1 finalists this year come from Slovenia, Spain and France, and their projects strengthen the economic impact of creative sectors, create new business models for gastronomy, and promote women’s entrepreneurship. Let’s take a closer look.

We are listing the shortlisted finalists in alphabetical order, beginning with…

Centre for Creativity – Slovenia

The Centre for Creativity is a one-stop-shop offering support to the cultural and creative sectors in Slovenia. Through the platform, individuals working in these sectors are able to network, present their projects and develop their creativity. The platform cooperates with the Ministry of Culture to provide funding to develop creative ideas and enterprises and to help these ideas and enterprises become viable by creating stronger ties with business. The Centre supports activities that take shape at the intersection of different creative disciplines – art, experimentation, entrepreneurship, and business – and that have not yet received system-wide public funding.  In particular, it promotes projects that target social problems or contribute to social progress and welfare.

Culinary Action! – Spain

Culinary Action! (CA!), implemented by the Basque Culinary Centre, provides training and supports the professionalization of the gastronomy sector. Since 2011, Basque Culinary Centre has been contributing to innovation and growth in the gastronomy sector, not least through its involvement in the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences at Mondragon University and the unique Centre for Research and Innovation in Food and Gastronomy, where the project is helping to produce the chefs and food scientists of the future. What’s more, through other projects, such as Building a Green Gastronomic City, CA! is helping to find circular economy solutions to food sustainability challenges and create an environment where experts, suppliers, producers, chefs, and consumers can co-create solutions to reactivate local gastronomy and educate citizens on sustainability. The project’s overarching goal is to instil its values of passion, excellence, and social commitment into gastronomy research and innovation.

Youth Awareness Weeks – France

Since 2013, the association 100,000 Entrepreneurs has been organising “Weeks of Awareness of Young Women and Entrepreneurship” to increase awareness among young people aged 13 to 25 about women’s entrepreneurship. Too often, women make choices about their education and their careers based on persistent stereotypes. They are also unaware of business creation in their training and do not integrate it into their career choices, due to a lack of role models. With this initiative, the association is showing young people success stories, embodied by successful women entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. The ninth edition of the event, in March 2021, enabled more than 1,400 women to engage with more than 35,000 young people throughout France.

Don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

EEPA 2021 National Winners – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, we would like to introduce the national winners competing in the category Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit at the European level of the EEPA 2021.

Every year the top national projects are selected by national coordinators, and the most innovative continue to the next phase of the awards, during which the European jury reviews the entries and decides on the final shortlist. 

The Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit category recognises initiatives that promote an entrepreneurial mindset, especially among young people and women. Below you can find out more about which initiatives the jury will be considering this year.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”!

Come back to the News Portal each week to find out which projects won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2021 jury.

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 Shortlist – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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The time has come to meet each project on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2020 shortlist! Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to each project that has been carefully evaluated and selected by our EEPA 2020 jury.

Today we are meeting the projects competing in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit. This year our finalists come from France, Greece and Denmark, and their projects focus on providing youth with transferable entrepreneurial skills, creating a national open entrepreneurial ecosystem with state-of-the-art infrastructure in exponential technologies, and formalising collaboration between researchers, investors and private business, to increase the role of research in startup creation.

France: Atlantic Futures

The Atlantic Futures programme, developed by the Atlantic Cities association in 2018, is a transnational programme offering young people opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills at European level. Existing initiatives are combined with personalised and targeted support to help the programme participants build upon their ambitions, make their projects a reality, and to develop and nurture their talents. The scheme benefits young job-seekers by providing them with experience and transferable skills that they can take forward into their careers.

Greece: ‘Demokritos’: Innovation Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Greek public research institution Demokritos transformed itself, with financing from the European Investment Bank, into a smart and autonomous open entrepreneurial ecosystem, with state-of-the-art infrastructure in exponential technologies. This dynamic innovation ecosystem houses numerous programmes and activities that are accessible to all innovative enterprises in the country, such as the Industrial Scholarships Programme, the ‘Lefkippos’ Technological Park and the AHEDD digital innovation hub. The institution’s interdisciplinary environment attracts international investment and research talent from all over the world.

Denmark: Open Entrepreneurship

The Open Entrepreneurship project works to formalise collaboration between researchers, investors and private business, with a view to improving and increasing the role of research in startup creation. By developing a new approach to the commercialisation of research, the project aims to make better use of existing research to fuel innovation, facilitate knowledge transfer to SMEs, and increase the number and quality of startups emerging from universities. To date, the project has led to the establishment of over 35 new companies and increased the knowledge surrounding the commercialisation of research amongst hundreds of students and researchers.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions 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 National Winners – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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The National Coordinators have run their national competitions and submitted the best entries to the European jury to consider for the shortlist. But which projects are competing this year? What initiatives will the jury be judging?

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we would like to introduce the projects competing in “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”. This category recognises initiatives that promote an entrepreneurial mind-set, especially among young people and women.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”!

Come back to the News Portal each week to find out which projects won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

EEPA 2019 Testimonial – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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It is time to start meeting our European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2019 winners, starting with the winner of Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit!

The 2019 winner is the Haven project from Belgium, which supports and strengthens enterprising young people who want to develop a project. Additionally the project offers a safe testing ground to encourage creative youth entrepreneurship to grow into socially relevant companies. By offering a risk-free environment Haven encourages entrepreneurial youth to learn, experiment and fail, and thus enhance their competences for their future enterprises. As a result, these youth will be able to address our evolving societal challenges with their ideas, and have the experience to carry them out. The project has been active for three years and has 80 young affiliates that have benefited from the scheme.

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

We heard about the award in a few different ways. To begin with, one of our coaches found the award in a newsletter, and then we also received information on the EEPA from colleagues from the federal government. At first we didn’t realise just how big the award was and how extensive the EEPA network is, so we just approached it as an opportunity to do our best, show what we have done through our project and ultimately meet people from all over Europe who share the same beliefs surrounding youth and entrepreneurship.

How did you prepare your application?

We prepared the application with a small group of our members. It was interesting to write the application and define what we are doing and how we differ from others. Some of our preparation was a bit rushed and looking back we could have done more, but in the end it all worked out and the experience was worth it.

What was it like to win the award?

It was amazing and completely unexpected! We really did not expect to win, and were there because we were nominated by the Belgian delegation. We are super thankful for winning this award, and especially for giving us the chance to meet so many great people from across Europe.

How did winning the award impact your work?

Winning the award gave us an identity on European level. As a young organisation this is really important as we need to find new European level partners to work with, but has also proved valuable at local level as EEPA has created more visibility and recognition for the hard work we are doing. The biggest opportunity as a result of EEPA for us now is to work together with new partners and expand our methodology.

Why should others enter EEPA 2020? What advice would you give them?

The EEPA network is an incredibly diverse and encouraging network, and shows that Europe is investing in entrepreneurship and bringing together social entrepreneurs from across Europe. We would advise future participants to join EEPA 2020 because it opens so many doors and opportunities. Just give it a try!

What are your plans for the future?

We want to make entrepreneurship a viable and realistic choice next to studying and working as an employee. Young people with ideas need to easily find their way to entrepreneurship. In order to make this a reality, we want to work with our government towards a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship and make laws ‘entrepreneurship friendly’, particularly for young entrepreneurs.

At Haven we create a safe space for youth to build upon and make their dreams a reality. We want what we do at Haven to become mainstream and ‘normal’ in Belgian society. We meet youth who have ‘missed’ their chance, whether it be in education or the labour market, and through our work we want to ensure that we can create opportunities for them and give them the support they need.

EEPA gave us the opportunity to meet other people that believe just as strongly in both youth and entrepreneurship which was incredibly inspiring and a true motivation to continue our work and keep providing opportunities and support for youth entrepreneurs.

Keep coming back to Promoting Enterprise for more EEPA 2019 winner testimonials and don’t forget to watch their winning moments on our YouTube channel:

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit – EEPA 2019 Shortlist

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It is time to meet this year’s shortlisted projects! Over the next few weeks each of the projects that the EEPA 2019 Jury have chosen will be presented in the category in which they will be competing in the EEPA 2019 finals at the SME Assembly in Helsinki this November.

To start the introductions, we are meeting the three shortlisted projects competing for the prize in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Port Incubator CVBA-SO, a safe port for young experimentation. Haven (Port), Belgium

Haven [Port] supports and strengthens enterprising young people who want to develop a project, and offers a safe testing ground to encourage creative youth entrepreneurship to grow into socially relevant companies. By offering a risk-free environment Haven encourages entrepreneurial youth to learn, experiment and fail, and thus enhance their competences for their future enterprises. As a result, these youth will be able to address our evolving societal challenges with their ideas, and have the experience to carry them out. The project has been active for two years and has 49 young affiliates that have benefited from the scheme.

Game Hub Scandinavia, Denmark

Game Hub Scandinavia allows current gaming market students at Viden Djurs business school, to continue their education in game development at established company Dania Games. Students can establish companies in the Game Incubator, spread across four locations in Denmark and Sweden. The Incubator works with young talent to develop their businesses and teach them the specifics of the highly competitive game industry, to ensure survival of young companies. The Incubator also conducts research that can be used to guide business models for the companies of the incubator. To date, the project partners have created approximately 100 companies and 157 workplaces.

The path of the young entrepreneur, Serbia

“The path of the young entrepreneur” focuses on promoting the entrepreneurial spirit of young people, and educating them about opportunities for starting businesses and developing innovative ideas, in response to the growing problem of youth unemployment. The project has established connections between youth (over 2000), entrepreneurial initiatives (100), corporations and startups (over 50), to facilitate the construction of a stable entrepreneurial community, and provide resources and information for the youth to launch entrepreneurial careers. Project activities include youth entrepreneurship fairs, business training, entrepreneurship competitions, a startup business forum, university visits and public panel discussions and lectures.

Keep coming back to the News Portal every week to meet the 2019 shortlisted projects!

Don’t forget to have a look at all of the EEPA 2019 national winners that represent the top projects across all of the participating countries right here.

EEPA 2019 – Meet the National Winners: Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit

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The European Enterprise promotion Awards (EEPA) are an opportunity for outstanding projects from across the European Union and COSME countries to be recognised for their work in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2019 have closed and the jury will deliberate over the outstanding national winners submitted by each National Coordinator. But who is in contention for a spot on the shortlist? Time to meet the contenders in Category 1: Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit!

Belgium: Port Incubator CVBA-SO, a safe port for young experimentation. Haven (Port)

Croatia: R1novatorR1

Denmark: Game Hub Scandinavia

Estonia: Huppelaud (Spring Board) Summer School

France: Start-1ère©

Hungary: Start your own businesses Józsefváros! idea competition

Ireland: Community Entrepreneurship – An Innovative Approach to Create Change Agents for the Community

Lithuania: Moksleivių  socialinio verslumo skatinimas: JuniorSO

Malta: National campaign to promote employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector and ‘MAKE IT’ Campaign

Poland: Pilska Akademia Umiejętności

Serbia: The path of the young entrepreneur

This year this category received 10 entries, with a variety of projects ranging from youth business programmes to supporting specific sectors with employment opportunities and many more.

Good luck to all of the national winners, and keep coming back to the News Portal to discover the national winners in each category for EEPA 2019!

About the EEPA selection process

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

A shortlist of nominees will be chosen by a European jury. All nominees from the national and European competitions will be invited to attend the final awards ceremony. The ceremony recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.

EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Piraeus Blue Entrepreneurship – ‘Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit’ Winner 2018

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The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2018 may be over, but Promoting Enterprise is back with a series of winner interviews! Today we begin with Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, which was won by “Piraeus Blue Entrepreneurship” from Greece.

“Piraeus Blue Entrepreneurship” highlights blue entrepreneurship and economy, which cover the sustainable use of the sea and its resources for economic development. The Municipality of Piraeus has implemented several blue entrepreneurship actions including the BlueGrowth innovation competition, the BLUACT network, the Blue Development Strategy, two European programs and the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Centre for Blue Development. The goal is to create new sustainable businesses and jobs in the Blue Economy and to promote a new innovative business ecosystem. So far the project has produced 20 new startups, 45 new jobs and 55 networking events.

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

The Municipality of Piraeus first heard about the EEPA national competition in February 2017 through a call launched by the Greek Ministry of Economy & Development (General Secretariat of Industry) as EEPA National Coordinator. At the time, the Piraeus Municipality chose not to compete and instead take the time to strengthen and document our candidacy in order to win the 2018 award, which is exactly what happened!

How did you prepare your application?

Every application of this kind should focus on the project’s goals, team, timing, and deliverables—and telling the story of the project correctly requires detailed planning and management. When preparing an application it is important to present the project scope and clearly define the objectives and steps, which is what we did throughout our preparation process. In addition the experienced and highly committed employees of Piraeus Municipality who planned and implemented the “blue projects” helped the candidature preparation team, which was extremely helpful and insightful.

What was it like to win the award?

It was an incredible honour to be awarded an EEPA prize. We also felt that our carefully planned efforts over the last few years to bring out Piraeus as one of the first cities promoting new and sustainable jobs through investing in the blue economy has now been widely acknowledged. This acknowledgment has made us even more confident and increased our dedication to continue our blue growth development strategy.

How did winning the award impact your work?

The most obvious part for us was the satisfaction of knowing that we are on the right path regarding our local development policy for the creation of new competitive and sustainable jobs in local level. The EEPA jury is well-known and reputable as an awarding body and thus winning an EEPA gave special credit to our efforts and recognition for the work our team have been doing. In addition, winning the award is an opportunity to take the time to look at what we have achieved, and where we want to take our blue growth policy in the future. It is a chance to take a step back and see how much we have accomplished and how we will motivate our municipality team to carry on working towards the future.

Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?

Any organisation that believes its project has a beneficial impact on promoting entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional or local level should enter EEPA. It is a great opportunity to make your project known to a wider audience, to have insight into similar ones running across Europe and to be part of a pan-European business promotion environment.

EEPA 2019 candidates should extensively document their activities, carefully assess the effectiveness, sustainability and impact of their initiatives, and present concrete, measurable and usable results. The potential of transferring the project to other regions in Europe is an important asset too. Overall, do not hesitate to participate in EEPA if you have a significant entrepreneurship promotion practice to share.

What are your plans for the future?

Regarding the promotion of entrepreneurship in the blue economy there are currently two ongoing flagship projects in Piraeus Municipality’s growth planning:

The first one involves the adaptation and effective transfer (re-use) of our Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) to other economic environments and countries through URBACT Programme. BGI helps young entrepreneurs realise innovative concepts and create jobs in Blue Economy. To this end we formed the BluAct transnational Transfer Network, the added value of which is to introduce and mainstream the BGI in the policy setting context of other seven European cities. Our goal is to expand and consolidate the BluAct network in the next two years.

Blue Growth Digital Innovation HUB (BG-DIH) aims to provide information, education and training services through the use of advanced technological equipment. It also seeks to promote experimentation in the production of innovative products and services by pupils, students and young people – potential entrepreneurs in the Blue Economy sector. BG-DIH is in the preparation phase and will be fully operational in spring 2019.

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit – EEPA 2018 Shortlist

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It’s time to meet the shortlist! Last week we announced the official EEPA 2018 European shortlist, and starting from this week we will be introducing each of the nominated projects, here on Promoting Enterprise. Today we begin with Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit. This year we have projects from Belgium, Estonia and Greece competing for the prize. Find out more about who is competing for the European title in Graz this year.

Belgium: De Makersrepubliek: Handmade in Brugge, The Box en Turbo

The Makersrepubliek brings together three initiatives, Handmade in Brugge, TURBO and The Box Brugge. With a shared physical space, the initiatives reinforce each other and encourage cross-fertilisation of ideas to achieve the overall objective of stimulating entrepreneurship in Brugge. The project specifically targets young people and women and has become a pioneering springboard for the city’s economy. Brugge is known for pioneering craftsmanship and through this initiative wants to bring traditional and innovative practices together to encourage businesses to consider the city as an attractive location, with innovative facilities like the ‘plug&play’ business premises offered in the inner city.

Estonia: Superheroes

Superheroes is an entrepreneurship and leadership accelerator dedicated to unlocking the potential of 13-17 year old girls. Over the course of four months and 10 workshops, participating girls test their strengths, boost their life skills and develop bonds with each other. Most importantly, they turn their dreams into reality by running projects they are passionate about in teams of five, supported by mentors. A unique methodology combined with a daring and engaging set of activities empowers girls to become more independent and entrepreneurial, and to be inspired by diverse role models across the globe.

Greece: Piraeus Blue Entrepreneurship

This project highlights blue entrepreneurship and economy, which cover the sustainable use of the sea and its resources for economic development. The Municipality of Piraeus has implemented several blue entrepreneurship actions including the BlueGrowth innovation competition, the BLUACT network, the Blue Development Strategy, two European programs and the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Centre for Blue Development. The goal is to create new sustainable businesses and jobs in the Blue Economy and to promote a new innovative business ecosystem. So far the project has produced 20 new startups, 45 new jobs and 55 networking events.

EEPA – The European Enterprise Promotion Awards, recognises outstanding projects from across Europe that are working to support entrepreneurs and small businesses across six different categories.

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