The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are looking for the next set of inspiring projects that support entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across Europe. Every year there are hundreds of applications from across the participating countries, so how can you make your application stand out? What will catch your National Coordinator’s eye? What will draw the attention of the prestigious EEPA jury?
Promoting Enterprise has collated advice from both past winners on what they did to prepare their applications, and from past and present EEPA Jury members on what made projects stand out for them.
Making your application stand out
Ensuring that your application is unique and stands out amongst all the other strong projects it will be competing against is key to getting noticed by both your National Coordinator and later the EEPA jury. Being unique is important and can even lead to a Grand Jury Prize win.
“One of the main reasons behind our win was that we presented a new proposition (i.e. festivals as testing grounds for innovators) to add to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
- Innofest – Grand Jury Prize Winner 2017
EEPA jurors in particular want to see unusual and innovative projects that creative contribute to the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“In my opinion, the most important characteristic for a project to be special is that it is innovative. It has to bring something new and show creativity.”
- Jesús Casado Navarro-Rubio – EEPA 2018 juror
“An outstanding project combines innovation and cooperation and supports enterprises throughout their life cycle. It has visible and presentable results and helps to improve the role of entrepreneurs in society or to start up a business.”
- Matthias Tschirf – EEPA 2018 juror
Your application is also a chance to tell your project story and give a full picture of your work, how far you have come and the journey that both you and your project have been on. Including tangible results, lessons learnt and successes will ensure your application is complete and robust.
“When applying it is important to ask yourself if others can replicate what you do. Success is always a combination of vision, strategy, trial and error, lessons learnt and results, so be sure to include your project story and journey.”
- Business Generator – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills Winner 2017
Dedicate the necessary time to your application
Previous winners mention the need to take the necessary time when preparing an EEPA application, to not rush and ensure that all necessary supporting documentation is collected with enough time and included in the final application.
“Prepare well! Be aware that it requires quite a lot of work until your documents are “final”, so advice and help from the national body might be very useful, so make the most of it.”
- Internationalisation 2015 – 2020 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business Winner 2017
“We spent quite some time on the application to make sure that we got all the right and important information filled in.”
- Lean Landing – Grand Jury Prize Winner 2018
For more support with your EEPA 2019 applications be sure to have a look through previous EEPA winner testimonials for their advice and success stories and contact your National Coordinators for specific country information on your national EEPA competition.
Launch of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition: €150,000 for three innovations reducing plastic waste
On 28 February 2019, at an event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the European Commission launched the 2019 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition. Under the theme Challenging Plastic Waste, this year’s edition is looking for ideas and projects that reduce plastic waste by targeting systemic change at the local, national and European level. Independent Judges will determine the three projects that will each be awarded €50,000 in October 2019.
“We collect more than 27 million tons of plastic waste in Europe per year. Whilst addressing plastic waste is a big challenge, it is also an opportunity to innovate and create new solutions. That is why this year we are calling for ideas to tackle this societal issue, laying the foundations for new business models, new forms of cooperation and stimulating new ways of doing things for a better, cleaner and more sustainable future for all,” said Slawomir Tokarski, Director in charge of Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing at the European Commission.
The European Commission has already implemented several measures, as part of a determined action to turn the challenge of plastic waste into a positive drive for the future of Europe. This includes the first-ever Europe-wide Plastics Strategy, the launch of the Circular Plastics Alliance as well as a voluntary pledges campaign. With these measures, the Commission is laying the grounds for a transition towards a more circular economy, fostering growth and innovation.
The aim of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition is to support ideas and projects that reduce plastic waste and littering through changing and improving existing processes or through introducing brand-new products and initiatives. These innovations need to reduce the amount of plastic waste created or encourage and enable the greater re-use and recycling of plastic waste. Solutions should be scalable and target change at the systemic level and be rooted in one of the following areas:
- Reducing the consumption of single use plastic products;
- Recycling, reusing, and upcycling existing plastic waste;
- Dealing with accumulated plastic waste in landfills and the environment;
- Changing consumer behaviours, or retail and wider business practices;
- Implementing alternative business models and optimising supply chains;
- Introducing new materials fit for a circular economy or that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil-based plastics.
The European Social Innovation Competition is seeking ideas from social innovators, entrepreneurs, students, designers, businesses, doers, makers and change creators – anyone who has an innovative and creative idea for turning the tide on plastic waste.
The 2019 edition of the Competition was launched in Ljubljana, a sustainability pioneer, former European Green Capital and winner of the 2018 Sustainability category in the European Capital of Smart Tourism Awards. This zero waste city collects 68% of its waste separately (more than any other European capital). Furthermore, two recent winners of the Competition are from Slovenia, demonstrating a burgeoning social innovation ecosystem in the country. Ljubljana was therefore a natural choice to host this year’s Launch Event for the 2019 Competition.
At the Launch Event attendees had the opportunity to learn about the Competition and hear from one of last year’s winners, HeritageLab, regarding their experience. In addition, attendees were able to gain insights from a discussion panel in which some of this year’s Judges discussed the issue of plastic waste, as well as take part in a mini hackathon thinking up solutions to the plastics problem. The event closed with an exhibition titled “Toasted Furniture” from Slovenian artists Nuša Jelenec and Nina Mršnik. It showcased the artists’ innovative method of actually toasting plastic waste, transforming it into beautiful and colourful panels, which are then used as the building blocks for furniture and lighting. This offered a fantastic and creative example of Challenging Plastic Waste.
Applications are open until Thursday 4 April noon CET. For full details visit: eusic.challenges.org
Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 associated countries. Now in its 7th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better. Each year the Competition addresses a different issue facing Europe. This year, the focus is: Challenging Plastic Waste.
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2019 have opened across Europe and national competitions are well underway. Today on Promoting Enterprise we are having a look at one specific country, Belgium.
Belgium has been an active EEPA participant since 2006, submitting many projects at both national and European level. In its first EEPA year, Belgium won the Investing in entrepreneurial skills category with Fondation pour la Recherche et l’Enseignement de l’Esprit d’Entreprendre (FREE) and went on to win the same category the following year (2007) with Cap’Ten, sois capitaine de ton projet. The next win for Belgium came in 2013 when Starterscontracten voor Ondernemers won the Improving the business environment category. In addition to three European level wins, Belgium has also been nominated by the EEPA Jury on four occasions for the European shortlist.
This year Belgian EEPA candidates will have until Thursday 9 May 2019 to submit their projects to be considered for the 2019 national competition.
EEPA 2019 – 13 years of European excellence
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are now in their 13th cycle and looking for the next winning projects to take their place in the EEPA hall of fame. The awards launched at the end of January 2019 and all of the National Coordinators are working hard to find worthy projects to compete for the national EEPA titles.
In this edition you can find more information on EEPA 2019 as well as all the latest Portal articles answering your EEPA FAQs and providing inspiration for EEPA 2019 candidates.
Let us know what you would like to see in upcoming newsletters and on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal and don’t forget to follow us across social media for all the latest updates.
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) celebrate the best of Europe and allow for the diversity of enterprise and entrepreneurial support schemes across the EU to shine through. As such, each country has its own deadlines and variations for its national competition, all of which is coordinated by a designated national coordinator.
In order to understand the EEPA 2019 requirements in your country you will need to have a look at your national factsheets. Each factsheet (available in your national language) gives a breakdown and explanation of the six active competition categories, as well as the Grand Jury Prize. You can also find the central European Commission website for EEPA related information, as well as all of the specific contact information for your National Coordinator, including their email address and your national EEPA website.
Have a look at your national factsheet, get in touch with your National Coordinator and prepare your EEPA 2019 application today!
The EU Social Innovation Competition is back for a 2019 edition, and will kick off on 28 February 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The competition was set up by the European Commission in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, who was chairman of the Social Innovation Exchange. The Social Innovation Exchange is a global community that encompasses several types of stakeholders including NGOs, global firms, academics and public agencies, working together to tackle modern societal challenges such as ageing, climate change and public sector services such as healthcare. Diogo also launched several initiatives, including the Entrepreneurs Academy, before his passing in July 2011.
The launch event in Ljubljana will officially open the 2019 edition and bring together innovators, entrepreneurs and policy makers to discuss and share ideas on social innovation. The event will see the unveiling of the 2019 theme and mark the official entry start date. At the event, participants will have the chance to meet and listen to previous competition winners and innovation experts, as well as explore how Ljubljana became the first European zero waste capital. Participants will also take part in group activities related to the 2019 competition theme.
To round up the event, there will be a ‘Toasted Furniture’ art exhibition focused on circular economy by Nuša Jelenec and Nina Mršnik.
Thinking about applying for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2019? The first thing you should do is get in touch with your 2019 EEPA National Coordinator to find out about your national competition and for all the details regarding the 2019 entry criteria.
What about all the different categories, do you know what criteria apply? Where does your project fit best? Today on Promoting Enterprise we will take you through each category and have a look at some past winners to inspire your 2019 entries.
Grand Jury Prize
The Grand Jury Prize is awarded to the best overall project for the EEPA cycle that year. This prize is not dependant on category and goes to outstanding projects that are recognised on a higher level than in the category they entered.
- 2018: Lean Landing, Denmark
- 2017: Innofest, The Netherlands
- 2016: Entrepreneurial West Hisingen, Sweden
Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Projects in this category are recognised for their initiatives that promote an entrepreneurial mind-set, especially among young people and women.
- 2018: Piraeus Blue Entrepreneurship, Greece
- 2017: Enterprise Village, Estonia
- 2016: Lyon Ville de l’Entrepreneuriat (Lyon City of Entrepreneurship), France
Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills
Projects entering this category should possess initiatives that improve entrepreneurial and managerial skills.
- 2018: i2c STARTacademy, Austria
- 2017:Business Generator, Sweden
- 2016: Enterprise Educators Academe, United Kingdom
Improving the Business Environment
This category focuses on initiatives that support enterprise start-up and growth, and simplify both legislative and administrative procedures for businesses.
Supporting the Internationalisation of Business
This category includes an international perspective, and should be considered by projects that encourage enterprises and particularly small and medium-sized businesses to benefit more from the opportunities offered by markets, both inside and outside the EU.
- 2018: Kasvu Open – company growth sparring programme, Finland
- 2017:“Internationalisation 2015 – 2020”, Austria
- 2016: Human Security Finland, Finland
Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency
After a temporary suspension in 2017, this category came back in 2018 looking for initiatives that support SME access to green markets and help to improve their resource efficiency through, for example, green skills development and matchmaking, as well as funding.
- 2018: Matosinhos Carbon-zero Living Lab enhanced by local carbon market, Portugal
- 2016: Lime Trees & Honey Bees for Sustainable Development of the Danube Microregion, Serbia
Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
The final EEPA category is for projects that promote corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, legal migrants, disabled, or people from ethnic minorities.
- 2018: ProjectTogether, Germany
- 2017: ADIE (Association for Economic Rights Initiatives), France
- 2016: The Rotterdam Business Case (De Rotterdamse Zaak), The Netherlands
From 17-21 June 2019, the EU Sustainable Energy Week will be back for its 4th edition. The Week will take place in Brussels and is the biggest European event dedicated to efficient energy and renewables. The theme for 2019 is “Shaping Europe’s energy future” and will cover: the Policy Conference, Networking Village, EUSEW Awards, and the Energy Days.
The awards and Policy Conference applications have now closed, but there is still time to sign up for the 2019 Networking Village and to register a local 2019 Energy Day event.
The Networking Village will be a chance to meet and interact with stakeholders in sustainable energy innovation and will be hosted in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building and the Residence Palace from 18 to 20 June 2019. Find out more about the different elements of the Networking Village here and sign up to host a networking activity before 25 March 2019.
The Energy Days take place throughout May and June and collect together events that promote and focus on clean energy transition. Energy Day events are a chance for both citizens and businesses to learn about clean energy and sustainability, and to discover how it can impact and be incorporated into their daily activities and practices. Register your event as soon as possible and find out more about the Energy Days right here.
Get involved on social media with @euenergyweek and #EUSEW19, and become part of the EU Sustainable Energy Community for the latest updates.
Find out more about EU Sustainable Energy Week 2019 on the EASME website.
With the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) officially launched for 2019 it is time to get to know the important people that run the national awards in each country…your National Coordinators!
National Coordinators ensure that the national EEPA competitions run smoothly and that all applicants are supported throughout the competition process. They also have the very important role of nominating the two lucky projects that will represent their country at the European level of the EEPA competition.
If you are considering applying for EEPA 2019 then be sure to get in touch with your National Coordinator as soon as possible and make your application as strong as possible. Find all of the contact details for the 2019 National Coordinators below and don’t hesitate to contact the EEPA Secretariat for more information.
Find out more about EEPA participation and the national competitions for 2019 here.
Keep coming back to the News Portal every week for the latest EEPA 2019 information as well as the freshest updates from the worlds of entrepreneurship and enterprise.
The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot of the European Commission is hosting an exclusive pitching event for Women in Tech. The event will take place on 4 April 2019 in Brussels, and will be an opportunity to meet female entrepreneurs and top tier European investors, as well as discuss the challenges facing female entrepreneurs and how to address the financing gap.
By attending this EIC Investor Day, you will have a chance to:
• Pitch your technology and business case to a renowned jury of European investors;
• Be involved in discussions about the financing gap for women entrepreneurs;
• Network with fellow EIC pilot funded SMEs and engage directly with top European investors.
Who can apply?
The application is only open for small and medium-sized enterprises funded by the EIC pilot program and with the following criteria:
• Female founder or CEO; and/or
• A management team structure well represented by women; and/or
• Development of an innovative solution with a strong gender dimension.
Deadline for applications: 20 February 2019. Apply here.
For more information on the event and applications, read the original article on the EASME website.