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. The Jury typically consists 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.
In a series of blog posts over the past couple of weeks, we have been introducing you to the members of this year’s EEPA Jury. So far, you have been introduced to Dublin Institute of Technology Entrepreneurship Professor Thomas M. Cooney, Thomas Wobben from the Committee of the Regions, Pieter Waasdorp from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and UEAPME Vice President Alban Maggiar. This week it is the turn of the Grand Jury prize winner from last year and the representative of the Slovak EU presidency.
Ana Margarida Figueiredo
Ana Margarida is Director of Employment, Entrepreneurship and Business at Lisbon City Council. She is responsible for the areas of Investment Attraction, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Commerce Promotion.
Ana Margarida was responsible for the launch of the Lisbon-based business incubator Startup Lisboa, and for LISBOA EMPREENDE, an inclusive entrepreneurship programme created in 2013 by Lisbon City Council with other public and private organisations to develop the city’s economy by supporting the creation of small businesses. Previously, she was Chief Financial Officer at URBAFRICA and UCCLA, non-governmental organisations with a focus on cooperation and the development of Portuguese-speaking countries.
Slovak Business Agency
Marian is Director of National and International Programmes at the Slovak Business Agency, the oldest agency dedicated to SME development in the Slovak Republic. He represents Slovakia on the COSME committee and serves as a deputy SME Envoy and SBA representative to UEAPME – the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
Marian is also vice chairman of The Platform of Entrepreneurs for Foreign Development Cooperation and was a board member of the Slovak Women’s Platform. In 2015, he initiated the establishment of The Better Regulation Centre within the Slovak Business Agency, which aims to introduce Business Impact Assessment and the SME Test into national regulatory procedures.
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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