2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.
This week, Manfred Radermacher from the award-winning Enterability project in Germany reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA one year on…
Manfred Radermacher, Social Impact GmbH IFD- Selbstständigkeit
|Organisation||Social Impact GmbH IFD- Selbstständigkeit|
|Award won||Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship|
What was it like to win the award?
We were very surprised and very happy. Before the award ceremony, we were unsure that we would win as we didn’t think the jury would understand what we do. Often people don’t understand the core of what we do, they only see the surface and think it’s easy as pie. But we were sure that we would have a good chance if the jury understood our work. During the ceremony, we were convinced that the Dutch delegation would win. No one was more surprised than we were to have won the prize.
How did winning the award immediately impact your work?
A direct effect or immediate impact didn’t happen at first. The media response in Germany was nil. Unfortunately, all press statements and official texts were in English only. For some of our contacts, especially those that are important for the project, many of whom are in the regions in offices and agencies, job centres and employment agencies, regional business organisations and disability organisations, etc. they don’t speak English. It’s a prerequisite that you address them in German if you want to achieve anything.
What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers?
Our direct colleagues and our founders were very happy. We celebrated together and were very proud. Some of our other colleagues also rejoiced with us, even if they were a little jealous:)
What has been the long-term impact?
There are two main long-term effects:
1) Our reputation among our supporters has solidified. This has improved our position in negotiations when it comes to survival and the scale of our funding.
2) Our reputation within the sector has increased. This is also important when it comes to resources.
Why did you decide to enter the national competition?
This might sound arrogant, but it’s honest: We entered because we wanted to win! And we wanted to win because:
1) We were convinced that we helped a lot of people with disabilities. What we do is really innovative and could, if imitated, help many disabled people in Europe. We wanted as many people as possible to get to know our work because that would help to change the image of people with disabilities. And we believed we could do that if we win.
2) The award helped us – and still does – in negotiations with funders for support and resources. This has been really helpful, so entering to win was our goal.
What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?
Focus on the essentials. Ask yourself: “What is the core of what we do?” and explain it simply but precisely with detailed justifications. Describe the positive impact of your work.
To find out more about Enterability, visit the website at www.enterability.de.
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