Each year, in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, an independent high-level Jury is faced with the difficult task of drawing up a shortlist of projects that will compete for the first prize during the SME Assembly. This year is no different – the EEPA Jury should select three shortlisted projects in each of the six project categories by mid-September, a task that is made especially difficult by the high quality of the participating projects.
The EEPA Jury is typically made up of a representative from the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the countries holding the first and second semester EU presidencies (this year the Netherlands and Slovakia), a European SME organisation, the Grand Jury prize winner from the previous year (this year Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship) and a representative from academia.
Last week we began with an introduction to the academia representative – Thomas M. Cooney, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland, and Thomas Wobben from the Committee of the Regions. This week we continue by presenting the representative of the Dutch first semester EU presidency and the representative from a European SME organisation which, this year, is UEAPME – the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs
Pieter is director of Entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands and has been an EU SME envoy since 2014. He has over 25 years’ experience in policy-making and has worked at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in several management functions.
He was the manager of a joint programme of the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Education, Culture and Science. Entrepreneurship is a topic that runs through his curriculum vitae. As EU SME Envoy, he launched the TEDx Binnenhof Ideas from Europe platform. Pieter has been a member of many entrepreneurship competition juries.
Vice President, UEAPME
Alban is in charge of European Affairs for CGPME, the French Association of SMEs. He is also vice-chair of UEAPME, the Brussels-based federation of European SMEs and chairs its Economic and Fiscal Committee.
For over a quarter of a century, Alban has been the head of Laboratoire CARRARE, a French company that specialises in probiotics, yeasts and botanicals-based food supplements. He was Chairman of the French association SYNADIET from 2005 to 2015, and of the European association EHPM from 2013 to 2016. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Law and an Advanced Master’s Degree in Tax Law.
The judging process
For the EEPA Awards, individual countries were invited to conduct national competitions to determine the best projects to represent their nation. Hundreds of projects competed in these national competitions in 2016 for a chance to vie for an EEPA. Countries were allowed to nominate a maximum of two entries per category to the European competition. Each Jury member reads and assesses every entry against defined criteria covering: originality and feasibility, impact on the economy, improvement of stakeholder relations and transferability. The Jury then meets to discuss their top entries in each category, before agreeing on winners, runners up and any special mentions. The shortlist is published shortly after the jury meeting and the winners are announced during the Awards Ceremony at the SME Assembly.
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