EEPA Category 6: Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship

We have already introduced you to the first five categories in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today, it is the turn of the sixth and final category – 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 could include encouraging disadvantaged groups to take part in entrepreneurship initiatives, or promoting corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises with a view to creating a more inclusive society.

Let’s take a look at some winners from previous years to get an idea of the type of project that is successful in this category.

The 2021 Category 6 winner was Inkludera from Sweden. Inkludera is supporting social entrepreneurs with unique solutions to scale them and make them financially sustainable. With this in mind, 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 various social issues.

The EEPA award is a great testament to the work we have been dedicated to during the past decade and of course a motivation going forward,” the team said, adding: “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.

From Sweden we travel southwest to the Netherlands to introduce you to Social Enterprise NL, the Category 6 winner in 2020. 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 over 400 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.

EEPA participation gave the project a lot of positive attention. “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 team said.

Give the publicity that they received, it is no surprise that the Social Enterprise NL team strongly encourage others to participate. “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!

From the Netherlands, we travel east to Germany to visit the 2019 Category 6 winner Start-Up Your Future. Start-Up Your Future is helping 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 start-up process, from brainstorming ideas to writing a business plan.

We regard the nomination for the EEPA Award 2019 as a recognition and appreciation of the work and impact “Start-Up Your Future” has achieved over the last two and a half years in Berlin. Special thanks go to our nearly 200 business mentors, who have contributed so much on a voluntary basis. With their support, SUYF was able to foster entrepreneurial spirits and contribute to the integration of refugees at an economic and social level,” the team said.

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,” they said, adding, “We would definitely recommend participating in EEPA as it is a good opportunity to exchange experiences and views with other European organisations.”

Judging by the experience of the EEPA alumni, the benefits of participating in the competition are clear. So why not try it yourself? This year it could be your turn to join the EEPA family! If you are interested in participating, check out your national EEPA factsheet with all the information you need here.

For more information, visit the the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

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