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Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Outi Slotboom

We have already heard from two of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury members – Thomas Cooney [1] and Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker [2]. This time we have the pleasure to introduce you to one more jury member – Outi Slotboom, a newcomer to the EEPA jury, representing the European Commission.

EEPA Jury Member Outi Slotboom

Outi is Director for Strategy and Economic Analysis at the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission. Her Directorate is in charge of the strategy for EU industrial policy and the Single Market, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship, the international aspects of industrial policy, as well as economic analysis underpinning these policies. Outi has some good advice for the participants in this year’s competition, see below!

What do you think makes this competition unique in Europe?

EEPA highlights and celebrates local and regional initiatives that support entrepreneurs and SMEs where they may need it most: supporting them to become more sustainable, more digital or supporting them to become more inclusive.

Do you have any advice for the participants on how to make their application stand out from the rest and include the information that you need to evaluate the project?

An application stands out when the actions and impacts of the initiative are tangible and innovative but also easy to grasp.

What do you think the jury members will be specifically looking for in the EEPA 2022 competition?

Just having overcome the most adverse effects of the COVID-crisis, European SMEs are again confronted with a particular set of challenges: high inflation with particularly high energy prices and disrupted supply chains, also due to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Thus, projects that support SMEs/entrepreneurs to become more energy-efficient, less dependent on fossil fuels, or increase the resilience of supply chains would be particularly welcome. If initiatives include elements that improve the (entrepreneurial) skills of migrants or refugees, this would be most welcome in the current context of Ukrainian refugees. Projects that mitigate the consequences of the climate crisis would also certainly catch my attention.

What are the top three qualities you will look for in a winning project?

The three qualities that I will be looking for are: (1) the impact of the initiative; (2) its innovative elements (what is new/done differently as opposed to similar initiatives); and (3) its ability to be replicated in other countries/settings.

We will introduce you to the other members of the 2022 EEPA jury soon – so make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal [4] regularly and to follow us on Twitter [5], Facebook [6] and Instagram [7] and subscribe to our newsletter [8] for all the latest news.