2016 has been a very successful year for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In total, 343 National EEPA entries were received from 31 participating countries, up from 318 in 2015 and above the average for the last 10 years.
Of this total, 57 have been selected by the national coordinators as the best of the best and put forward to the European level of the competition. ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’ proved to be the most popular of the six project categories, with 17 entries this year.
Of the 31 participating countries, 16 (51%) received more entries this year than in 2015. Indeed, some countries have shown continuous year-on-year growth in entry numbers. Croatia, for example, has gone from two entries in 2013, to eight in 2014, to 15 in 2015 and now 19 in 2016. True to form, the most national entries this year came from Portugal (50), followed by the UK with 48 entries and Germany with 30.
The countries with the most winners over the past 10 years have been Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, with five winners each, while some other countries have yet to get on the scoreboard, but this could be their lucky year!
The task of selecting the winners from all the high-quality entries goes to the EEPA Jury. 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 (this year – UEAPME: European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), the Grand Jury prize winner from the previous year (this year Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship) and a representative from academia.
The Jury is set to meet in Brussels on 27 September to decide on a project shortlist for each of the EEPA’s six categories. The shortlisted projects will be announced soon after the Brussels meeting, and the winner in each category will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The competition is wide open and any of the entries could make it onto the project shortlists. Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to some of the contending projects, particularly those related to our theme of the month (women in business) and we will provide you with information on the shortlisted projects as soon as we have it. So make sure to check in!
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