We are back with the next category of 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 2: Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills . This year our finalists come from Ireland, Belgium, Estonia and France. These shortlisted projects focus on providing specific training for local SMEs to promote innovation, raising awareness of stimulating business to work on their online activities, providing opportunities for young people to have hands-on experience in the metal and woodworking sectors, and providing a nationwide service to help entrepreneurs through difficult times.
Ireland: Engenuity Engineering Cluster Midlands 
The Engenuity Engineering Cluster Midlands pilot provides local engineering businesses with sector specific professional training, tailored mentoring and action planning, and networking and collaboration opportunities. The Engenuity Programme is an integral part of a structured effort to promote market-led innovation, stakeholder collaboration, best practice transfer, and product and trade development among engineering companies in the region. In total, 20 engineering companies directly benefited from the pilot, which helped them achieve their growth objectives – with 70% of the companies creating new jobs and witnessing an increase in turnover and 15% growth in exports.
“Het internet. Ook uw zaak” is working to raise awareness of online marketing and e-commerce for businesses and aims to stimulate businesses to work on their online activities. It shows them what they can achieve in the online arena and offers concrete tools and practical tips and information to help them reach their goals. It also provides a forum for peer exchange, allowing businesses to get inspiration from each other. Businesses are seeing a positive effect on turnover as a result – not only online, but in their physical premises also.
Estonia: Mobile Workshops 
Merkuur has developed a series of mobile workshops to introduce young people to the various professions, work practices, and tools to be found in the metal and woodworking sectors. It provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in these professions, increasing young people’s career awareness and competitiveness in the fields of technology and engineering. In mobile classrooms equipped with modern technology, students can test their engineering skills, try various techniques and tools, and make exciting products. In three years, the Merkuur team has organised over 700 science, technology and engineering workshops for about 7000 young people.
France: Le PORTAIL DU REBOND 
The Recovery Portal is made up of associations that together provide a nationwide service to entrepreneurs to help them through difficult times. The associations have unique specialisations across different areas, allowing them to cover the entire value chain, from entrepreneurial failure and its prevention to entrepreneurial recovery and its promotion. The portal provides a single online point of access so that entrepreneurs can choose the association that corresponds to their entrepreneurial recovery needs. The associations help the entrepreneurs navigate necessary measures and authorities, and remove obstacles to their recovery.
Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register  for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.