What is the recipe for success? What is the secret? How can you make sure your project is one of the next European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) winners? EEPA is an opportunity for public bodies and public-private partnerships from across the EU Member States, (as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey) to put forward their most imaginative and successful initiatives that support entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Each country selects their top national winners to compete at European level across five different categories.
Today Promoting Enterprise brings you advice from the best of the best, past EEPA winners. Ready to discover the answers? Read on…
Why should you enter EEPA?
Many of the past winners have mentioned that one of the key benefits of entering EEPA is that it provides “a valuable opportunity to step back and reflect”, as “you can’t always focus on what you did well yesterday…the analysis is important and it gives you a chance to make your learning journey visible so that others can learn from it.”
Not only does it allow for reflection but it provides an opportunity to meet with other pioneering initiatives from across Europe, as “participating in a competition is a real opportunity to meet and share with initiatives and people…learning from their experiences is very enriching”. Some winners also mentioned the increased internal learning and contact saying that “entering EEPA gives a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and contacts with colleagues, experts and other stakeholders, drawing focus to the relevant questions and impact SME development”.
All the winners agreed that winning, in the words of one winner “the most rigorous and professionally run enterprise award in the world”, was quite an experience. Ultimately this award “provides recognition from a higher recognised entity like the European Commission”, which for many has led to exciting national and international developments for their projects.
Finally very importantly “you should enter because it is fun! The whole process requires a lot of work and you need to invest the necessary time, but once that part is done you can really enjoy the experience of being in the competition.”
What should you bear in mind when you apply?
So how did this variety of winners come out on top in each of their respective categories? Each winner has their own story to tell which you can read here , but read some of the tips they wanted to share with the potential winners of the future:
- “Apply and share as much as possible!”
- Lyon Ville de l’Entrepreneuriat, Category 1 Winner 2016 
- “It is important to evaluate whether a project has the following: quality, results, strong partnership, and replicability. Our advice would be that if your project has all of the above, then you should definitely compete!”
- PME Leader, Category 3 Winner 2016 
- “Focus your attention on strategy and results achieved.”
- City of Torino, Category 3 Winner 2012 
- “A good idea, a quality product, enthusiasm, detailed planning, active stakeholder involvement and teamwork were the key to our success. Our recommendation to future competitors would be to make sure to find their own distinctive formula.”
- Lime Trees and Honey Bees, Category 5 Winner 2016 
- “Develop a pitch and make it interesting and inspirational for others. Inspiration is a very important part of EEPA work, it is what makes a project stand out.”
- Rotterdam Business Case, Category 6 Winner 2016 
- “You should not be scared to point out things that you learnt from and definitely take help from others, don’t do it all on your own.”
- Entrepreneurial West Hisingen, Grand Jury Prize Winner 2016 
Interested in finding out more about EEPA? Are you going to apply and compete for a European title? Be sure to contact your national coordinator  for more information and check when your national deadline  is. Hurry up because the deadlines are approaching!