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EEPA 2021 Testimonial – Inkludera by Inkludera

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you prepare your application?

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

What was it like to win the award?

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

How did winning the award impact your work?

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

What are your plans for the future?

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

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

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

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

Interested in the green and digital transitions in the EU industry? We have NEWS!

The 2022 edition of the EU Industry Days is close! Europe’s flagship event on industry will take place from 08th to the 11th of February in hybrid format, giving you the possibility to join the conference online.
Registrations are already open!

Entitled “Unlocking the future: EU industrial ecosystems on the path to the green and digital transition”, this year’s edition aspires to stimulate discussions across industrial ecosystems on their green and digital transition, in order to further support and strengthen the resilience of EU industries and SMEs.

Since the first edition in 2017, the EU Industry Days were established and recognised as the European Commission’s main platform for an open stakeholder dialogue and discussion on industry.

The programme this year will be divided into 4 thematic days, giving you plenty of reasons to join the conference and take part in the discussion on turning industrial challenges into opportunities for Europe as well as to learn about the latest practical information on how to benefit from the new generation of EU programmes and initiatives supporting industrial transformation.

Here are some sessions you should keep an eye on:

• 9 February – Panel discussion on the unitary patent system and SME instruments in the area of intellectual property (15:15 – 16:00)
• 9 February – Standardization in support of the twin transition of industrial SMEs (16:15 – 17:00)
• 11 February – New SME Fund: Intellectual Property voucher for post-covid recovery and green and digital transitions (12:45 – 13:30)

Plus… the intervention of Kristina Dimova, SME Week 2021 Youth Essay Competition winner, on 10 February during the Plenary Session: Inspiring Dialogue with Young Europeans. We will tell you more about Kristina’s participation soon.

You can check out the full programme here.

Stay updated by following all news on European’s Commission website, but also on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you follow and use the official hashtag #EUIndustryDays.

Discovering Kristina Dimova, the winner of SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021

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Bulgarian Kristina Dimova won the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021 with an essay that highlighted that humanity is the key to sustainability not only for the business plan of the company, but in the context of management. We invite you discover what was the motivation behind Kristina’s participation in the Competition, but also what was her main takeaway from last year’s SME Assembly.

What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?

Ever since I started my higher education, I have been working and looking for ways to develop myself. From editorials, to academies, agencies – for the last four years I had the chance to see how the work process is constantly changing. Not only mine, but one of the biggest problems of other young proactive people I’ve been talking to, is the management system and the fact that, no matter how much it has changed regarding flexibility, home office, etc, it’s still strictly hierarchical and because of that it’s draining the creative force of youth and its talents. This is why, when I saw the theme of the SME Youth Essay Competition, I wanted to show that, no matter how genius and innovative a business idea can be, it is nothing without the people working for its happening.

Moreover, as I said in my gratitude speech, Sabine Kressens – 2020’s winner essay and how intriguing and complex her text was, inspired me even more to participate. I wanted to see if I can do what she did so gracefully – present such an innovative idea in a way everyone can understand it.

What was it like to be announced as a winner of the 2021 competition?

A moment of pure bliss. I have read the essays of the other finalists and until the announcement, I still was not quite sure if anyone will recognize my idea as a crucial one for the survival of the development of future SMEs’. This is mainly because management has always been looked over when people are talking about successful entrepreneurial projects. However, after my name was announced, I reassured myself that everyone who has voted for me has been feeling there is a crucial need for change in that field. Afterwards many representatives of various institutions and companies who were in the audience during the competition congratulated me on this thesis. The fact that they have appreciated the youth perspective is what truly made me happy and is the biggest success.

What did you think about the SME Assembly 2021?

In person contact is irreplaceable. Because of the fact that the SME Assembly 2021 gave me the chance to meet people not only through a zoom square, the feeling of excitement was with me throughout the whole event. I’m still talking not only to friends of mine, but to colleagues about how eye-opening and inspiring the Schumpeter Innovation in Enterprise Lecture which Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj held. Of course, all of the fantastic and bright people I have met at the SME Assembly 2021 are making my memories of it even more unforgettable.

SME_Assembly2021_Kanizaj-1922

What was your main takeaway from the SME Assembly 2021?

Time is limited. Therefore, we must not only make the most of it, but make it worthy for us and the world we live in. Every single business idea must be sustainable both for the environment and for society’s needs. In a world where people are more divided than ever on so many topics, we need to find the way to the right solutions for each of us. The SME Assembly 2021 showed me that with the right steps, the path towards re-establishing unity is possible to be walked.

What is next for you? Any exciting plans to share?

Currently, I am writing my Bachelor’s thesis and, fingers crossed I will be graduating in 2022. Afterward, as they say, hopefully, the future will become clearer and even brighter. 🙂 Besides that, the business academy I am part of – 9Academy is currently running its 9th season. The 9 circles of business we are looking through in the educational process (which is very practical on its own) are making the academy a unique piece of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria. In addition, who knows, maybe one day in Europe as well?).

You can find out more about Kristina from one of our previous materials and you can read Kristina’s essay here.

The other finalists of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay competition were Victoria Krah, half Spanish, half German, and Rui Teixeira from Portugal.

Check out the latest news on the SME Assembly and the Youth Essay Competition by regularly visiting the Promoting Enterprise blog. Subscribe to the SME Week Newsletter to stay up to date!

SME Assembly 2021 – Day 1

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The 2021 SME Assembly, the first pan-European post-COVID EC conference to be held in person, is finally underway. The three-day programme, packed with panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses and award ceremonies, got off to a fantastic start on 15 November in the beautiful town of Portorož in Slovenia.

The 3-day event kicked off with a presentation from the Slovenian Digital Center showcasing some of the best and most innovative projects that the Slovenian business sector has to offer. The SME Assembly delegates learnt how the Slovenian companies are tackling the digital transition to ensure continued sustainable and green development.

The highlight of Day 1 was the Schumpeter’ Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture. For the first time this year, the lecture was delivered by a non-economist. The climate scientist Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj delivered the speech in front of hundreds of delegates. As a pioneer in researching the impact of climate change and a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Professor Bogataj spoke about the effects of climate change on SMEs. She focused on the role of SMEs and enterprises in achieving the transition to a sustainable economy and explained how businesses could prepare and adapt to face climate change. Measuring and managing emissions from onsite operations, powering operations with renewable energy, and demanding more climate policy are some of the actions that SMEs could take to boost their environmental performance. You can find all about Professor Bogataj’s address in a separate blog post.

The opening day of the 2021 SME Assembly ended with the European SME Week Reception, where the Slovenian presidency presented some traditional crafts, arts and cuisine.

Welcoming guests on behalf of the presidency, the Slovenian Envoy Jernej Salecl spoke about the need to put the green economy and digital transformation is at the heart of all strategies for SMEs.

Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), highlighted the need to stay together and be resilient in order to achieve recovery.

What’s in store for Day 2? Follow the live streaming or take a look at the live coverage on Twitter via @EEPA_EU. Remember to use #SMEAssembly2021 to be featured on the feed and check out the photos on Flickr! Haven’t registered yet? Last minute registrations are still possible but be quick! You can register here.

EEPA 2021 – Entering The European phase of the competition!

The European Enterprise promotion Awards (EEPA) will shortly be moving into the next phase of the competition as we approach the European Deadline of July 16th. The EEPA Secretariat has received the vast majority of national winner projects from the National Coordinators for the jury to consider the European shortlist.  #EEPA2021 will see the top national projects competing across the six categories:

  • 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

Congratulations to all the national winners and good luck in the European round, where the national projects will be reviewed by the prestigious EEPA 2021 jury!

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.

The EEPA 2021 European jury will choose a shortlist of nominees. The shortlisted nominees will then compete at the final awards ceremony, which recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.

Stay Updated #EEPA2021

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

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    • EEPA 2021 Testimonial – Inkludera by Inkludera January 28, 2022
      We continue our conversations with the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2021 winners. Last time we brought you the story of Grand Jury Prize winner COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V., who was also awarded first prize in Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards at the SME Assembly […]
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    • Interested in the green and digital transitions in the EU industry? We have NEWS! January 27, 2022
      The 2022 edition of the EU Industry Days is close! Europe’s flagship event on industry will take place from 08th to the 11th of February in hybrid format, giving you the possibility to join the conference online.Registrations are already open! Entitled “Unlocking the future: EU industrial ecosystems on the path to the green and digital […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Discovering Kristina Dimova, the winner of SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021 January 19, 2022
      Bulgarian Kristina Dimova won the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021 with an essay that highlighted that humanity is the key to sustainability not only for the business plan of the company, but in the context of management. We invite you discover what was the motivation behind Kristina’s participation in the Competition, but also what […]
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    • Launch of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards #EEPA2022 January 17, 2022
      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 […]
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    • Discovering YEC 2021 Finalist Victoria Krah January 13, 2022
      “Over the past 1.5 years, the resilience of Europe’s SMEs has been challenged like neverbefore in recent European history.” This is how the essay that brought Victoria Krah among the finalists in the SME Youth Essay Competition starts. Today we are finding out more about what motivated Victoria Krah to enter the SME Youth Essay […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Testimonial – COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige January 6, 2022
      We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of the first category ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’ – Culinary Action! by Basque Culinary Centre from Spain. Today we are bringing the story of Grand Jury Prize winner COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V. was […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Testimonial – Culinary Action! December 15, 2021
      Here on Promoting Enterprise, we are excited to bring you the first of our European Enterprise Promotion Award winner testimonials! Throughout this series we will be interviewing the EEPA Class of 2021 to find out more about these outstanding projects, what they do, what winning the awards means to them, their journey to the finals […]
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    • SME Newsletter: Relive the SME Assembly Experience! December 9, 2021
      Welcome to this new edition of the SME Week Newsletter! What an exciting month! The SME Assembly on 15-17 November was a great success, and we would like to extend our warm thank you to our hosts from the Slovenian Presidency in Portorož, Slovenia. We hope you all enjoyed and benefitted from the event. If […]
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    • Bulgarian Kristina Dimova wins SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021 November 29, 2021
      Kristina Dimova, 22 year-old from Bulgaria, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the SME Assembly 2021. “Change is inevitable. That’s why businesses must adapt or perish. The way they could adapt is by being as human as possible. The main thesis of my essay is that humanity is […]
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    • SME Assembly – Day 3 November 18, 2021
      The third and final day of the SME Assembly 2021 kicked off with a series of panel discussions and the Youth Essay competition, which 22-year-old Bulgarian Kristina Dimova won. The morning panel discussions covered environmental, social and governance issues; transfer of business; European scale-up firms; and SME support under the new Multi-annual Financial Framework.A highlight […]
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