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Archive for ‘Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship’

Launch of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards #EEPA2022

The time for a new edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) has come! Annually, EEPA identify and recognize the most successful promoters of enterprise and entrepreneurship around Europe.

The competition rewards the most innovative initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships, which support entrepreneurship, and small and medium sized enterprises.

How will it work?

The participating countries invite projects or initiatives to apply for the national competitions for the 2022 edition. Each national competition will announce two national winners, who will proceed to compete at the European level prior to the European deadline of 25 July 2022. The prestigious EEPA jury of 2022 will then carefully review each of the national winners, where the top projects will make the European shortlist.

All shortlisted nominees from both the national and European competition levels will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council and the European Commission in November.

Here are the six categories of this year:

Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
Investing in skills
Improving the business environment and supporting the digital transition
Supporting the internationalisation of business
Supporting the sustainable transition
Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

Plus…

The Jury’s Grand Prize that can be from any category and will go to the entry considered the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

Want to participate? Find your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here.

Stay Updated #EEPA2022

For information about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website, and for the latest updates, follow Promoting Enterprise News Portal as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first five categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we will take a closer look at the projects shortlisted in the final category, Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

The three projects shortlisted in this category come from Sweden, Turkey and the Netherlands. They take an innovative approach to scaling-up social entrepreneurship, create opportunities for Syrian refugees in Turkey and leverage recycling to create social jobs. The worthy finalists in this category have interesting stories to tell so, let’s take a closer look.

And so, in alphabetical order, we start with….

Inkludera – Sweden

Since 2011, Inkludera has been working to turn social innovations developed at the grassroots level into viable solutions that tackle the challenges that Sweden is facing. It does this by supporting social entrepreneurs who have developed unique solutions, helping them to scale up and become financially sustainable. One such solution is the Changers Hub, which creates positive meeting places for young adults and provides them with the tools they need to make constructive choices and achieve success. Inkludera selects the entrepreneurs and start-ups and supports them in building partnerships with the public sector. The combined experience of the Inkludera team is then put to use in strengthening the social organizations’ ability to work long-term and sustainably. Since 2013, entrepreneurs supported by Inkludera have entered into over 900 partnerships with 108 of Sweden’s municipalities. These partnerships have resulted in the entrepreneurs working with 27,200 people in 2020 to address various social issues.  

Opportunities for Entrepreneurs – Turkey

Migration not only involves a movement of labour, but also a movement of entrepreneurs. This project looks at the millions of Syrian refugees that have arrived in Turkey as a great opportunity, with many people ready to start a business and create jobs for others if they have access to guidance and support. The EU funded Opportunities for Entrepreneurs project provides this support and promotes refugee entrepreneurship in Turkey by mobilising the available local structures in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. To date the project has trained more than 500 budding entrepreneurs and mentored more than 100 others. The project has also provided seed funding to 70 entrepreneurs, enabling them to start or improve their businesses.

Opstuwen Kringloopbedrijven – The Netherlands

The programme Opstuwen Kringloopbedrijven (Pushing Up Recycling Companies), implemented by the cooperative Social Enterprise Lab U.A. and Branchevereniging Kringloopbedrijven Nederland (BKN), promotes social entrepreneurship at recycling shops in the BKN netowrk. The project helps to build an inclusive society by creating social jobs, while contributing to the circular economy through the collection, sale, recycling and upcycling of second hand products and materials. It adopts a large-scale approach at industry level, supported by various funds and partners, in combination with a top down and bottom up strategy. This approach has been successful and the project has created approximately 300 additional learning/work places for vulnerable people in the labour market since 2014.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and stay tunes for future updates on the EEPA 2021 finalists!

EEPA 2021 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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In our last EEPA national winners post on the Promoting Enterprise portal, we presented the EEPA 2021 national winners in the category Supporting the Sustainable Transition. This time it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

This category aims to reward projects that offer new and innovative solutions and approaches to promote socially and environmentally responsible business. This is done by encouraging disadvantaged groups to take part in entrepreneurship initiatives, for example. In addition, promoting corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises contributes to creating a more inclusive society.  

The national winners in Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship are:

The innovative approaches taken by these national projects impressed the national EEPA coordinators, and they were selected to advance to the next phase of the awards. They will now be reviewed by the European jury, which will decide on the final shortlist – we wish them the best of luck!

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

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Social Enterprise NL

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we introduced you to Germany’s Greentech.Ruhr, the winner in our ‘Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency’ category. If you haven’t read it yet, there is no time like the present!

We now travel to the Netherlands for an introduction to Social Enterprise NL, the ‘Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ winner. Social Enterprise NL is a national network and a key driver in the growing movement towards social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. The network currently has 405 members, all of whom benefit from various workshops and growth programmes aimed at strengthening their business. Members also receive support from network coaches and experts and gain online visibility and publicity. Social Enterprise NL also aspires towards better regulation and legislation and, with this goal in mind, is active in promoting these objectives at the municipal, regional and national levels.

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

We received a call from RVO – the national Dutch Enterprise Agency – in which they informed us that Social Enterprise NL might be a suitable candidate for the EEPA award. The RVO call came at the perfect time; we had just started working on various projects to support social entrepreneurs and the EEPA had the potential to boost our work even more.

How did you prepare your application?

The RVO provided us with all the necessary information and documents, which, despite the short deadline, enabled us to send a complete and comprehensive application. Of course, it was not difficult for us to write about our work, as we feel so passionate about it and deal with it on a daily basis. We also used our past experience and our research carried out with partners, which is of great value for us in terms of the impact we have on the sector.

What was it like to win the award?

Winning the award filled us with optimism, especially during these COVID-19 times. We feel so very grateful! We were already extremely pleased with the national award and the nomination for the EEPA jury shortlist. And then there it was, the European award! It stands as a great recognition of the work we’ve done so far. I immediately called the team after the announcement to share my happiness and excitement. Unfortunately, we were not able to celebrate with each other directly, but we definitely will when we can come together again.

How did winning the award impact your work?

After winning the award, we received many compliments from an astonishing number of people and organisations all over the world! It led to so much engagement online. This is giving a great boost to the social enterprise movement in the Netherlands and to everyone involved with Social Enterprise NL. The prize represents recognition for all the work we have done, and we will keep on doing the best we can to support social entrepreneurs.  

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

EEPA is a great opportunity to showcase your work and its results and to present them at the highest level. It puts a spotlight on your business and on the work that you do, and it helps you to become more visible. We definitely recommend others to apply!

What are your plans for the future?

We will continue our work to improve and further develop the social enterprise sector and to make our network become even bigger. We will always have enough ideas and projects to support social entrepreneurs. We can also give you a scoop – we have a podcast coming up! As the representative of the social enterprise sector in the Netherlands, we want to continue to lobby at the local, national and even international level. The EEPA awards shows us that we have to keep going, hold our heads high and strive for more impact. We want to make Europe a better place: better for the planet and better for our people.

Congratulations to Social Enterprise NL! Keep coming back to the News Portal for more EEPA winner testimonials and re-live their winning moment right here:

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

EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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

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

Italy: Emergency Management Program

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

Austria: Taugl – zammbringa zammkemma

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

Netherlands: Social Enterprise NL

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

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

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

EEPA 2020 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) reward projects from across participating countries that work to promote entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives. The EEPA have now moved to the European level of the competition and the national winners from each participating country have been selected by their National Coordinators.

So far, we have introduced the national winners for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, Improving the Business Environment, Supporting the Internationalisation of Business and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories*; “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”. This category “recognises initiatives that promote corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, legal migrants, disabled, or people from ethnic minorities.”

Find out more about the different competition categories on the EEPA website

*Due to certain national EEPA competitions being disrupted by COVID-19, this list is still subject to additions. Please keep checking the Promoting Enterprise News Portal for the most updated national winner information.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”!

Don’t forget to have a look at all of the different national winners and stay tuned for the announcement of the European shortlist, chosen by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

EEPA 2019 Testimonial – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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It is time to meet our last EEPA 2019 category winner, German project “Start-Up Your Future” the winner of the Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship category at the EEPA finals at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki.

“Start-Up Your Future” is a pilot project of the Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland (WJD), funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It aims to help refugees in Berlin-Brandenburg to set up their own businesses by giving them support and offering them the option of self-employment through mentoring partnerships with Gründerpaten. The mentorships invite voluntary mentors to guide refugee entrepreneurs through the founding process, from brainstorming ideas to writing a business plan. Since the project began, 185 mentorships have been implemented, 207 refugees have been helped in their business ventures and 22 businesses have received support.

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

We heard about the national competition from Ms. Kummer from RKW Kompetenzzentrum and saw it as a good opportunity to encourage others to get involved in the field of the social and economic integration of refugees and migrants. By entering the national competition, we got the chance to present our programme and share positive success stories with a wider audience.

What was it like to win the award?

Being awarded with an EEPA prize is a great honour for us. Winning this award shows us that our efforts to successfully establish a target group-oriented offer for refugees who want to become founders have paid off. Special thanks go to our volunteer mentors, who have contributed significantly to this success story. We would also like to thank our founders, who brought this mentoring program alive with their good ideas. Unfortunately, our team could not be present at the SME Assembly so we would also like to thank our EEPA National Coordinator Ms. Kummer from the RKW who represented us and accepted our prize on our behalf. Thank you very much!

How did winning the award impact your work?

It is really motivating to have your work recognised at European level. The award is very important for both national and international visibility for the project and represents an opportunity to disseminate the project and increase its replication potential.

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

We would definitely recommend participating in EEPA as it is a good opportunity to exchange experiences and views with other European organisations.

What are your plans for the future?

Start-Up Your Future has constantly learned from ongoing activities and improved its structure over the course of the last 2.5 years. We have learnt that our approach can be applied to other target groups and regions and hope to see the concept expand. The final project evaluation also underlined the strong potential to transfer the Start-Up Your Future approach elsewhere. The evaluation further highlighted that mentorships between voluntary entrepreneurs and refugees and migrants are a valid way to foster integration on a social and economic level.

The project funding will expire by March 2020, so the final phase will focus on the examination of the key learnings, which will be available and published in the first quarter of 2020.

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:

Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship – EEPA 2019 Shortlist

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Time to introduce the last of our shortlisted projects for EEPA 2019! These three projects were chosen by the EEPA 2019 Jury to compete in the EEPA 2019 finals at the SME Assembly in Helsinki this November.

Today we meet the projects nominated at European level in our final category, Category 6: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

Start-Up Your Future, Germany

“Start-Up Your Future” is a pilot project of the Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland (WJD), funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It aims to help refugees in Berlin-Brandenburg to set up their own businesses by giving them support and offering them the option of self-employment through mentoring partnerships with Gründerpaten. The partnerships invite voluntary mentors to guide refugee entrepreneurs through the startup process, from brainstorming ideas to writing a business plan. Since the project began, 185 start-up sponsorships have been implemented, 207 refugees have been helped in their business ventures and 22 startups have received support.

Insieme per il lavoro, Together for Work, Italy

Together for Work facilitates the inclusion of low-level autonomy individuals, including those in vulnerable situations living in the metropolitan area of Bologna and specifically, unemployed young people and adults in difficult financial and social situations, into the labour market. The project’s work is in line with the sustainable development goals aimed at ending poverty and providing employment for all. This is done through horizontal cooperation, via awareness actions and active involvement of local companies, professional training bodies, associations, unions and the non-profit sector. In the first two years 135 companies were involved and 260 individual placements in companies were achieved.

Reborn Programme – Programa Renace, Spain

The REBORN initiative reduces and where possible eliminates debts of businessmen and entrepreneurs whose businesses closed as a consequence of the financial crisis. Run by the Institute of Development, the initiative consists of a programme of exoneration of the liabilities accumulated through extrajudicial agreements agreed by the Public Authorities. The programme is an incentive to re-start entrepreneurial activities without entrepreneurs having to enter employment or committing fraud when restarting their business. So far, 69 companies and self-employed people in critical situations have managed to save their businesses, and a total of 7.3 million euros has been exonerated to allow entrepreneurs to start again and create employment for others.

Have a look at all of the 2019 shortlisted projects right here on the Portal!

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: Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

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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 sixth category in which projects compete is Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship. The projects listed below are national winners in this category and will be considered by the EEPA 2019 Jury for a place on the 2019 European shortlist.

Finland: The Shortcut Startup Entrepreneurship Track

France: L’incubateur de commerces de centre-ville (The incubator for town centre businesses)

Germany: Start-Up Your Future

Greece: Regeneration of sugarcane cultivation, revival of traditional sugarcane molasses product

Italy: Insieme per il lavoro, (Together for Work)

Latvia: Atbildīga biznesa vēstneši (Responsible Business Ambassadors)

Netherlands: Move2Social

Slovakia: Responsibly for the community of the blind and partially sighted (support of the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union – ÚNSS)

Spain: Reborn Programme – Programa Renace

This year this category received 9 entries from a variety of programmes, including projects helping refugees integrate into local business ecosystems, working to revive traditional farming practices to create jobs for underprivileged groups, bringing responsible businesses together to help impart lessons to other business owners and more.

This is the last EEPA category and you have met all of the national winners. But which national winners will make it onto the EEPA 2019 European shortlist? Stay tuned to the News Portal to find out!

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.

Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship – EEPA 2018 Shortlist

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We have reached the final EEPA 2018 category, Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. This category recognises projects and initiatives that promote corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, legal migrants, disabled, or people from ethnic minorities. For the 2018 competition, projects competing in this category come from France, Germany and Ireland.

Don’t forget to read about the shortlisted projects in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Category 2: Investing in entrepreneurial skills, Category 3: Improving the Business Environment, Category 4: Improving the Business Environment and Category 5: Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency.

France: Initiative remarquable

The Remarkable Initiative operates within the ‘Initiative France’ network and specialises in loans that are interest-free and without a guarantee. These are granted in addition to local loans received by the entrepreneurs from the local ‘Initiative France’ platform. The interest-free loan increases the enterprise funds, facilitates access to bank funding and is repaid over a maximum of five years. It also comes with a mentoring and sponsorship plan established jointly between the entrepreneur and the local platform. The loan favours enterprises that combine job creation, economic success, innovation and responsible commitments to their local communities and environment.

Germany: ProjectTogether

ProjectTogether is a leading digital incubator for social start-ups. As the first contact for young founders of social projects, ProjectTogether identifies functioning approaches and builds bridges between the active young generation and social institutions in order to actively shape social development. The incubator empowers young founders by supporting and training them, but also by obliging them to play a decisive role in shaping our society. Project leaders receive digital coaching through webinars and an active online community of founders and experts, as well as access to networks to connect with government bodies, companies and foundations.

Ireland: Laois Start Your Own Business Programmes

Laois Start Your Own Business Programmes cover the adaption of mainstream training and mentoring programmes into pilot programmes to meet the needs of groups traditionally excluded from enterprise opportunities. Identified groups include older people, ex-prisoners, migrants and asylum seekers. The programme includes the first of its kind delivered in an asylum seeker provision centre, as well as similar programmes delivered in several prisons. Each programme is adapted to the audience and addresses the different challenges and circumstances faced by each group. Trainers are also specifically selected and trained so as to be relatable for participants.

Keep coming back to the Portal to meet all of the shortlisted projects and don’t forget to follow all the updates to find out who wins in Graz at the SME Assembly 2018.

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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