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SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #4

Welcome to the June edition of the SME Week Newsletter.

Over the past months, Promoting Enterprise has been working to bring you the latest COVID related policy updates, exciting developments from the EEPA 2020 competition and news from the world of SMEs.

In this issue, we wanted to bring you something more and share stories, from SMEs, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders about their transformation, adaptation, and initiatives during the pandemic. We believe you and your network will find their stories inspiring.

We also want to hear YOUR stories, how are you overcoming these challenging times? Share your news and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue or on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Read more >>

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EEPA 2020 – Running a national competition with German coordinator Juliane Kummer

Today on Promoting Enterprise we are delighted to introduce one of the key players in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), a national coordinator! National coordinators are responsible for promoting and driving applications for the national EEPA competitions. They offer assistance to applicants, ensure that they understand what is expected of them and reach out to organisations and projects that could be eligible to apply. In addition they are in charge of the national selection process, including finding the national jury, bringing them together and ultimately facilitating the final national winner choices.

Today’s interview is with German National Coordinator Juliane Kummer who gave us an insight into what it’s like to coordinate a national competition, her experiences in the role and how she has adapted EEPA to run during COVID-19.

How long have you been the EEPA national coordinator for Germany?

I started as the EEPA national coordinator for Germany in the spring of 2015, shortly after the national jury meeting. That year the selected national winner was ‘Enterability’, which went on to become the 2015 winner in the ‘Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ category.

©RKW Kompetenzzentrum

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your experience as National Coordinator?

One thing that I love as an EEPA National Coordinator is that I get to learn from outstanding projects and initiatives at both national and European level, and I get to do this every year! Related to that – one of the most important things I’ve adopted is the motto “Do good and talk about it!” This describes EEPA and the initiatives it recognises perfectly. If you have a great initiative and you are making a difference, make sure to talk about it!

What was different about organising this year’s national competition? What changes did you have to implement?

We launched our German EEPA campaign at the end of February and searched for applicants until 9 April. Because of the coronavirus and its economic consequences (both long- and short-term) the supporting institutions that we work with to search for EEPA applicants were very busy and facing various challenges. As such, it was not easy to reach potential EEPA participants and we took special care with our communications activities and modified them where necessary. In the end, we were very lucky to receive 22 great German entries, and I thank all of them for having found the time to participate in this year’s competition.

Another thing that was different was that we held our national jury meeting in May via video conferencing rather than in person, as we usually do. That was an interesting experience, but it required more preparation, especially from the jury members. I was very grateful for our experienced national expert jury and for the fact that each jury member was very well prepared.

You have chosen your two national winners, what made them stand out from the other applications?

We chose “Start-up BW Local” and “Greentech.Ruhr” as our national winners and have put them forward to represent Germany at the European level.

“Start-up BW Local” focuses on one of the most important base elements in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem: municipalities. It rewards the most founder-friendly concepts from municipalities – assessed by founders – and supports them with implementing their concepts. I think the direct and indirect impact on the local entrepreneurial culture could be immense.

“Greentech.Ruhr” is outstanding because the project team has built up a regional green economy network consisting of 175 partners, and covers all industries of the environmental economy. Furthermore, they address an important challenge by supporting the local transformation process from mainly coal and steel industries to a diversified and ecologically-responsible economy, while also contributing to achieving the aims of the European Green Deal.

What are you most excited for in the EEPA 2020 competition?

Like every year, I am very excited to see the national winners and to see which projects will win. Of course, I am especially looking forward to seeing how the German projects will do in the competition.

However, this year I am most excited to see how we will celebrate the EEPA winners and national winner projects at the SME Assembly in November, given the current situation. I hope for the best, in all participating countries! Now and in post-crisis times, it will be even more important to show best practice in promoting enterprises across European countries, and continuing doing so even more than before.

Find out more about the 2020 national German winners here and stay tuned for the latest EEPA 2020 updates right here on the News Portal.

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Call for applications – Science is Wonderful! 2020

Science is Wonderful! brings the world of science, research and innovation to the public. This year, the exhibition will take place fully online from 22 to 24 September as part of the second edition of the European Research and Innovation Days.

Through an array of digital activities, researchers will interact with children, students and citizens,explain what researchers’ role is in a post-crisis context and highlight how research impacts citizens’ daily lives. The event will also address hundreds of stakeholders from all over Europe in the framework of the European Research and Innovation Days.

This is a unique opportunity to put your outreach and communication skills into action, be impactful andshow how you are contributing to develop solutions addressing the current crisis, its consequences and the priorities that will be at the core of the recovery.

We are looking for EU-funded projects working in all disciplines and speaking all languages to participate in the online exhibition. If you are convinced that you are up to this exciting e-encounter with many fledgling future scientists, citizens and stakeholders, please fill in the online form by 5 July 2020.

If your application is successful, you will be contacted to prepare your activities.

For any questions concerning your application, please contact the EU R&I Days communication team.

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Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress started making masks

Today on Promoting Enterprise we are bringing you the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which will look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they are adapting to their new business environments.

Our first story focuses on Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her sewing business to aid the medical sector and general public by learning how to make masks and fabricating them, as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gowns and shirts for nurses at children’s hospitals who found themselves facing shortages as the urgent demand for PPE continued to rise.

In this interview she tells about what motivated her to start her business and how she brought her plans to fruition, as well as the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on her business.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your business?

My name is Catherine Lorent and I own a sewing business called ‘L’Or en 4’. I started my current business in 2017 after I had become unemployed. Up until that point I had been working for a company for many years, until it closed around 2016. I was 54 at the time and I realised that my re-employment opportunities were limited due to my age and that it would be potentially difficult to reintegrate into the workforce.

It was at this point that I decided to re-pursue my passion for sewing, and try and make a business out of it to be able to keep working. I’ve always enjoyed sewing and I did have a small business at one point so I decided to start it up again as I wanted to become independent and work for myself.

My sewing business covers just about everything, I’m a seamstress so I can fix clothes, furnishings (like curtains and upholstery), and I also do restoration work. In addition, I’m a creative seamstress so I help people bring their designs to life and co-create bespoke pieces for them from scratch.  

What were the initial effects of COVID-19 on you and your business?

At the beginning of the pandemic it was really stressful because my clients stopped coming to my premises to have their garments tailored due to the lockdown measures which really affected my source of income. What’s more, some of my contracts started to be put on hold or dry up, like my work with the scouts to produce their scarves, seeing as all activities were suspended. The cancellation of several events also had quite a big knock on effect. My business is also tied to a lot of shops, as I work with several of them as their main seamstress for alterations, and when they had to close due to the health measures that also halted another line of work for me.

Overall it was an incredibly stressful period, and at one point I called one of my sons who helps me with the business and told him that I thought that I was going to have to close my business and stop working. I just couldn’t see how to replace my normal work and keep my business afloat. It was a difficult moment for both of us but it made me realise just how passionate I am about what I do and that I wanted to keep going however I could.

When and how did you start making masks for the hospitals?

I started making the masks as an act of solidarity as I realised that supplies were low and there was a genuine need. There was also this general expectation that people with skills like mine should pitch in and help out the hospitals and travelling nurses where they could, so I started experimenting with patterns and construction and making my first fabric masks. There was a lot of trial and error at the beginning as there were no official guidelines, requirements or certifications in Belgium for non-medical grade masks at the time.

Even sourcing the correct fabric was difficult during lockdown and I began by using my own stocks of hard polyester. When I ran out I turned to my own network to source more in order to keep up with demand. The fabric shop owner that I work with really helped out and at one point was throwing my fabric order down to me from a window! This was the only way that we could keep our supply chain going and helping the hospitals whilst keeping ourselves safe and socially distancing. It really emphasised that sense of community and just highlighted how everyone wanted to play their part and work together.

At this stage I was being paid by the national government via a dedicated scheme (Droit passerelle pour indépendants / Overbruggingsrecht voor zelfstandigen) for the self-employed that needed temporary financial support due to COVID-19. Through the scheme I was paid for my time and contribution so I was able to keep the business afloat, but I was still quite worried about how to keep my business going in the future.

What about the hospital gowns and shirts, when did you start making those?

Once I had already started making masks I saw an appeal on Facebook that was launched to find seamstresses willing to help children’s hospitals. The nurses that were working in these hospitals were running out of protective clothing as the main hospitals treating COVID-19 patients used up most of the supplies. The appeal asked for help in producing this protective clothing but also for the seamstresses to try and source ‘fun’ fabrics, as these nurses were treating young patients. I responded to the appeal and managed to make shirts for the nurses out of recycled fabric that I already had.

That is something else that I really stand for, the idea of recycling fabric or using what you have. Where possible I want to respond to the need for new products but not contribute to waste or harm the environment. If I can, I re-use or recycle fabrics or upcycle existing products into something completely new.

What was it like diversifying your activities to include masks and protective clothing? Was it difficult to keep up with demand?

At first it was a slower uptake but then it got to a point where I was not able to do it all on my own. I was very lucky to have neighbours giving me their time and helping out, as well as my sons. I taught them to sew when they were young so they helped me on the weekends to keep up with the orders and make sure we got everything out on time.

How did Catherine continue to diversify her business? How is she doing now and where does she see the future of her industry? Find out all of this and more in our next interview right here on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal. You can follow L’Or en 4 on Instagram and Facebook.

Have you got a COVID Story like Catherine’s to tell? Do you know an SME owner that has adapted to COVID-19 and wants to share their story? We would love to hear about it and feature it right here on the News Portal. Contact us at: promotingenterprise@gopacom.eu

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European Commission consults Member States on proposal to expand State aid Temporary Framework

The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner.

On Friday 12 June, the European Commission sent Member States for consultation and comment a draft proposal to further extend the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The Temporary Framework was first amended on 3 April 2020 to increase possibilities for public support to research, testing and production of products relevant to fight the coronavirus outbreak, to protect jobs and to further support the economy. On 8 May 2020, the Commission adopted a second amendment extending the scope of the Temporary Framework to recapitalisation and subordinated debt measures.

The Commission is now proposing to further extend the scope of the Temporary Framework by enabling Member States to:

  • Support certain micro and small enterprises, including start-ups that were already in difficulty before 31 December 2019, and
  • Provide incentives for private investors to participate in coronavirus-related recapitalisation measures.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said “Micro, small and start-up companies face specific challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis. They are crucial for the economic recovery of the Union. That’s why we propose to extend the Temporary Framework to enable Member States to give further support to micro and small companies, including start-up companies. Furthermore, we propose to introduce conditions that provide incentives for private investors to participate alongside the State in recapitalisations. This is welcome as it reduces the need for State aid and the risk of distortions to competition. We continue to work closely with Member States to ensure that European businesses have access to urgently needed liquidity, to contribute to the economic revival post-coronavirus.”

Micro and small companies have been particularly affected by the liquidity shortage caused by the economic impact of the current coronavirus outbreak, exacerbating their existing difficulties to access financing compared to medium-sized and large enterprises. If left unaddressed, these difficulties could lead to a large number of bankruptcies of micro and small companies, causing serious disturbances for the entire EU economy. The new proposal would allow Member States to extend aid to SMEs that qualify as being in financial difficulty on 31 December 2019 and increase the possibilities for small and start-up companies to receive support.

The new proposal also includes adaptations that incentivise private investors to contribute alongside the State, and thus limiting the risk of competition distortions and preserving effective competition in the Single Market.

Check out other COVID-19 related news and updates here on the News Portal.

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EEPA 2020 – Germany selects their national winners!

The EEPA competitions are going ahead as usual and national coordinators and juries are compiling their strongest national projects and making the difficult decision about who should compete at European level.

This year in Germany, the expert jury selected their national EEPA winners via a video jury meeting, during which they assessed the 22 applications received by national EEPA Coordinator Juliane Kummer at RKW Kompetenzzentrum.

©RKW Kompetenzzentrum

After two selection rounds the experienced national jury selected the following projects to represent Germany at this year’s European competition:

Start-up BW local

“Start-up BW Local” is a federal competition that supports and honours the most founder-friendly concepts from municipalities. The concepts are assessed by founders and the winners receive a certificate and financial support to realise their concepts. Start-up BW local will be competing in Category 3: Improving the Business Environment.

Greentech.Ruhr

Greentech.Ruhr is a network consisting of 165 enterprises (mainly SMEs), research and educational facilities and other institutional partners. The network supports the regional environmental economy and the transformation process from mainly coal and steel industry to a more diversified economy with a particular focus on ecological solutions. Greentech.Ruhr will be competing in Category 5: Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency.

Congratulations to these two outstanding projects and good luck for the European competition!

Interested in following the rest of the German EEPA 2020 campaign? Make sure to have a look at the German competition website, the national coordinator website, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

More about EEPA

The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen via a series of rounds including a national competition, a European competition to determine the shortlist and finally an awards ceremony where the prestigious EEPA jury reveal their top choices per category and their selection for the Grand Jury Prize. Find out more about the updates for EEPA 2020 here.

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Coronavirus: EU grants €314 million to innovative companies to combat the virus and support recovery

The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner.

The European Commission has awarded nearly €166 million, via the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot, to 36 companies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, over €148 million will be granted to another 36 companies to contribute to the recovery plan for Europe, bringing the total investment from Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, to €314 million in this round.

The selected 36 companies will work on pioneering projects, such as on expanding the production of bio-decontamination wipes, developing ventilation monitoring systems that provide first aiders with real-time feedback on the quality of the ventilation given to the patient, developing an antibody platform to treat severe cases of infection, and many more. Furthermore, 139 companies tackling the coronavirus that could not receive funding in this round due to budget limitations have received the newly introduced COVID-19 Seal of Excellence, in recognition of the value of their proposal and in order to help them attract support from other funding sources.

The additional 36 companies, set to support the recovery plan for Europe, will work across a multitude of sectors and projects, which include for example the development of stronger and taller wind turbine towers made from wood modules, with the potential to massively reduce wind energy costs, an organic fertiliser production system, and a blockchain-based solution for sustainable recycling practices of manufacturers. An additional 679 high quality proposals passed the EIC funding criteria and were awarded Seals of Excellence, but unfortunately could not be funded due to limited budget.

A record number of almost 4000 start-ups and small and medium businesses (SMEs) applied to the EIC Accelerator pilot in March, and over 1400 of the proposed innovations were relevant to the coronavirus outbreak. In light of this an extra €150 million was recently allocated to this funding round, bringing the combined total to over €314 million.

Check out other COVID-19 related news and updates here on the News Portal.

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What is the impact of winning an EEPA?

There is still time to submit an application for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) and get involved in this celebration of enterprise! Check your national deadline here.

The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen via a series of rounds including a national competition, a European competition to determine the shortlist and finally an awards ceremony where the prestigious EEPA jury reveal their top choices per category and their selection for the Grand Jury Prize. Find out more about the updates for EEPA 2020 here.

We have once again asked our EEPA Class of 2019 for their advice and experiences of being winners in the EEPA 2019 competition. Today we wanted to bring you their insights on what winning an EEPA has done for their projects and their work.

Winning the award impacted our work directly because there is outside endorsement for what we do. Awards like this help develop the GreenPAC iLab further and to sustain the work we do. We have also had a lot of questions about our programme from the international community, and the EEPA has facilitated this by giving us an international podium to share how we support sustainable startups.

Receiving an EEPA also highlights and recognises the support provided by the regional government. GreenPAC iLab has strong connections with (regional) governments, and the province of Overijssel and the municipality of Zwolle are crucial for stimulating sustainable entrepreneurship in the region. Both provide support for our program and can function as a launching customer for startups. Winning the EEPA Grand Jury Prize has given us additional proof to demonstrate that the regional funding of GreenPAC iLab should be sustained.

It is really motivating to have your work recognised at European level. The award is very important for both national and international visibility for the project and represents an opportunity to disseminate the project and increase its replication potential.

Winning this award served as motivation for the local Municipality, employees and the broader Tilos community to continue their hard work and remain dedicated to the vision of energy autonomy for the island of Tilos. As with the two prestigious EUSEW 2017 Awards, the EEPA 2019 award will also contribute to our efforts to communicate the success stories of our island to a wider audience, making Tilos an attractive destination for all Europeans.

  • TILOS, EEPA 2019 Winner, Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

I posted about the win on LinkedIn and Facebook and have never before gotten so many comments and congratulations! The project’s lead partner organization Innovation Skåne also published several very engaging posts in social media as well as sent out a widely read press release. We also watched as HealthTech Nordic got increased social media attention after the awards, so that growth has been quite exciting to watch. It has also helped on a practical level with our new funding application to Interreg ÖKS, who also congratulated us on our win.

Winning the award has put a spotlight on our work and the change that we are trying to bring about for SME involvement in public procurement. The prize not only represents recognition of the teamwork and effort that went into the project, but also that this work has a positive effect on sustainable business development and thus on employment generation.

We have received congratulations and encouragement from fellow colleagues, family and friends, and have also been mentioned in the local media which is quite exciting. It is also nice to see the City Council being recognised as an organisation and being praised for some of the valuable work it does. It is a shame that the national media has hardly mentioned the award, which has limited its effect in bringing the issue of SME involvement in public procurement to the authorities that need to be made aware.

Winning an EEPA has given us a lot of publicity in national press, across both printed and digital channels. We have also received congratulations from the government, business associations and from so many people. Most importantly, we made our partners and supporters proud, and we would like to especially mention the visionaries at the Bank of Cyprus, that believed and supported IDEA since its inception. For us, the IDEA team, who invest a significant amount of personal time and voluntary work into the IDEA project, being the winners of a prestigious EEPA is a powerful motivation to continue our work and keep aiming higher.

Winning the award gave us an identity on European level. As a young organisation this is really important as we need to find new European level partners to work with, but has also proved valuable at local level as EEPA has created more visibility and recognition for the hard work we are doing. The biggest opportunity as a result of EEPA for us now is to work together with new partners and expand our methodology.

  • Haven, EEPA 2019 Winner, Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

If you haven’t completed your EEPA application yet, don’t forget that you can ask your national coordinator for support!

Make sure to submit before your national deadline. Note that some of the 2020 national deadlines have been extended, so keep checking your national pages and the News Portal for updates.

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The SME Strategy

“SMEs are the backbone of Europe’s economy” is a statement that many of us have likely heard or come across in various European publications. But how is this essential backbone supported? What policy exists to ensure that our European SMEs are able to operate and thrive within our entrepreneurial ecosystems?

One important part of the European framework that exists to support SMEs is the SME Strategy, released by the European Commission in March 2020. In developing this Strategy, the European Commission kept the variety in function, size and make-up of European SMEs firmly in mind, while also recognising their individual requirements and the need to support the innovation, jobs and diversity that they bring to the EU economy.

Within the SME Strategy the Commission puts forwards actions clustered around three main pillars:

  • Capacity-building and support for the transition to sustainability and digitalisation;
  • Reducing regulatory burden and improving market access; and
  • Improving access to financing.

The SME Strategy is part of the “New Industrial Strategy for Europe” and can be consulted in full here.

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What is it like to win an EEPA?

Have you submitted your application for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) yet? There is still time to take part! Check your national deadline here.

The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen via a series of rounds including a national competition, a European competition to determine the shortlist and finally an awards ceremony where the prestigious EEPA jury reveal their top choices per category and their selection for the Grand Jury Prize. Find out more about the updates for EEPA 2020 here.

Today on Promoting Enterprise we asked the EEPA Class of 2019 what it was like to win an EEPA and to share their experiences with you right here on the News Portal. Have a read through and re-live their winning moments!

It was a great feeling and surprise to win the award. It represents a great acknowledgment for the hard work of the GreenPAC iLab team, the universities Windesheim and NHL Stenden. It was not always easy to get funding for our plans and recognition of the work that the startups and GreenPAC iLab do. Over the last couple of years we have developed a big movement and community which have had an impact on sustainability, circular business models and growth of startups. It is truly a great feeling for all of this to be recognised and valued by the EEPA jury.

Being awarded with an EEPA prize is a great honour for us. Winning this award shows us that our efforts to successfully establish a target group-oriented offer for refugees who want to become founders have paid off. Special thanks go to our volunteer mentors, who have contributed significantly to this success story. We would also like to thank our founders, who brought this mentoring program alive with their good ideas. Unfortunately, our team could not be present at the SME Assembly so we would also like to thank our EEPA National Coordinator Ms. Kummer from the RKW who represented us and accepted our prize on our behalf. Thank you very much!

We take great pride in winning this award, which stands as another recognition for the accomplishments of our island in the clean energy and environment protection sector. Tilos and its people remain faithful to the vision of sustainable development for the island, welcoming innovation and producing inspiring results for small enterprises and for addressing the problems of the most vulnerable island regions in Europe.

  • TILOS, EEPA 2019 Winner, Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

Amazing! It was really nerve-wracking sitting in the audience and listen to the presentations of the three category finalists. Both we and the project from the Netherlands were convinced that the Romanian project would win, their film was so good! When we heard our project announced as the winner we couldn’t believe it!

As I was standing on the podium giving my Thank You speech I just blacked out and completely forgot the name of my project colleague standing next to me. We have worked together for almost 2 years and her name was totally gone. I almost panicked there and then, on stage, so I just admitted that I had forgotten her name! Looking back at the recording I realise that the ‘eternity’ when I blacked out was really just a second or two. After the ceremony so many people came up to me and thanked me for being me on stage, displaying happiness, surprise and passion and for giving them a reason to laugh at this otherwise very formal event. Overall it was an amazing evening and experience.

It was tremendously exciting, as we did not expect it! It was already a huge achievement for us to have passed the national phase and be nominated for the EEPA jury shortlist. We knew that our project was different from past category winners, which tended to be specifically aimed at the creation or development of new companies as opposed to our project which involves indirect support to existing companies. But luckily for us the Jury recognised the impact of our public procurement system on companies and how it allows them to develop their potential as a public supplier, be more competitive and innovative, and receive fair and fast payment for their work.

Winning an EEPA showed us that our path is the right one and implements one of the objectives of public procurement in Europe, as stated by the Commission and the European Parliament in the three Contracting Directives of 2014.  We hope that our win can also serve as an example to others with similar projects to keep going and inspire contracting authorities in particular to undertake similar SME-friendly measures.

The award made the whole of Cyprus proud! It proved that it is not the size of the country that matters, but the ambition, vision and extent of collaboration that count. Through our win we inspired confidence and showed the rest of Cyprus that we can achieve great things in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. We proved that by applying the values of sharing, giving-back and creating opportunities, the benefit comes back to all of us involved. Winning this Award is a noble endorsement from our European Family.  

Being in Helsinki and experiencing the moment was amazing, and even though not all of our team could make it to Helsinki we were all there together in spirit. This illustrates another beautiful side of Europe: In the same way that it brings businesses together, it brings people together, and we are grateful for this.

It was amazing and completely unexpected! We really did not expect to win, and were there because we were nominated by the Belgian delegation. We are super thankful for winning this award, and especially for giving us the chance to meet so many great people from across Europe.

  • Haven, EEPA 2019 Winner, Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

If you haven’t completed your EEPA application yet, don’t forget that you can ask your national coordinator for support!

Make sure to submit before your national deadline. Note that some of the 2020 national deadlines have been extended, so keep checking your national pages and the News Portal for updates.

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    • SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #4 June 30, 2020
      Welcome to the June edition of the SME Week Newsletter. Over the past months, Promoting Enterprise has been working to bring you the latest COVID related policy updates, exciting developments from the EEPA 2020 competition and news from the world of SMEs. In this issue, we wanted to bring you something more and share stories, […]
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    • EEPA 2020 – Running a national competition with German coordinator Juliane Kummer June 26, 2020
      Today on Promoting Enterprise we are delighted to introduce one of the key players in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), a national coordinator! National coordinators are responsible for promoting and driving applications for the national EEPA competitions. They offer assistance to applicants, ensure that they understand what is expected of them and reach out […]
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    • Call for applications – Science is Wonderful! 2020 June 23, 2020
      Science is Wonderful! brings the world of science, research and innovation to the public. This year, the exhibition will take place fully online from 22 to 24 September as part of the second edition of the European Research and Innovation Days. Through an array of digital activities, researchers will interact with children, students and citizens,explain […]
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    • Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress started making masks June 18, 2020
      Today on Promoting Enterprise we are bringing you the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which will look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they are adapting to their new business environments. Our first story focuses on Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her […]
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    • European Commission consults Member States on proposal to expand State aid Temporary Framework June 16, 2020
      The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner. On Friday 12 June, the European Commission sent Member States for consultation and comment a draft proposal to further extend the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. […]
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    • EEPA 2020 – Germany selects their national winners! June 11, 2020
      The EEPA competitions are going ahead as usual and national coordinators and juries are compiling their strongest national projects and making the difficult decision about who should compete at European level. This year in Germany, the expert jury selected their national EEPA winners via a video jury meeting, during which they assessed the 22 applications […]
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    • Coronavirus: EU grants €314 million to innovative companies to combat the virus and support recovery June 9, 2020
      The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner. The European Commission has awarded nearly €166 million, via the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot, to 36 companies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, over €148 million will be granted to another 36 companies to contribute to the recovery plan for Europe, […]
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    • What is the impact of winning an EEPA? June 4, 2020
      There is still time to submit an application for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) and get involved in this celebration of enterprise! Check your national deadline here. The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning […]
      promotingenterprise
    • The SME Strategy June 2, 2020
      “SMEs are the backbone of Europe’s economy” is a statement that many of us have likely heard or come across in various European publications. But how is this essential backbone supported? What policy exists to ensure that our European SMEs are able to operate and thrive within our entrepreneurial ecosystems? One important part of the […]
      promotingenterprise
    • What is it like to win an EEPA? May 28, 2020
      Have you submitted your application for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) yet? There is still time to take part! Check your national deadline here. The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen […]
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