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EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Open Entrepreneurship

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Here on Promoting Enterprise we are thrilled to bring you the first of our European Enterprise Promotion Award winner testimonials! Throughout this series we will be interviewing the EEPA Class of 2020 to find out more about these outstanding projects, what they do, what winning the awards means to them, their journey to the finals and more.

Let us kick things off with the winner of our first category ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’. The 2020 winner is “Open Entrepreneurship” from Denmark, who won with their project that connects researchers, investors and entrepreneurs to develop collaborations between them and improve the role of research in startup creation.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

We were introduced to the EEPA 2020 award via the Danish Chamber of Commerce and decided to enter. They then went on to nominate us for the award at European level.

How did you prepare your application?

The process of preparing the application was an important and sound exercise. We used the application to reflect on our activities, as well as refresh our minds on what the impact and purpose of our project is. These are the elements that we made sure to communicate in our original application.

What was it like to win the award?

It was a great honour to receive this award. We are very proud on behalf of the whole team that includes seven university partners in Denmark.

In the Open Entrepreneurship programme, we work together to help successful entrepreneurs from Denmark and across the globe to come and have a conversation with our researchers – and together we see that this conversation leads to the co-creation and development of some amazing spinouts. We see that this is a great combination as it allows the researchers to focus on what they are good at, namely their research – and at the same time they get resources and the experience from the external entrepreneurs and their network – we see that they inspire each other in both domains.

We are very grateful for the support from our sponsor the Danish Industry Foundation who helped us launch this programme. We also want to thank the Danish Chamber of Commerce for nominating us for this prestigious award.

How did winning the award impact your work and what are your plans for the future?

Open Entrepreneurship winning the award has already gained political attention in Denmark, and we are confident that this alone will support our collaboration across universities and our long-term financial anchoring of the project. Being recognised by EEPA and the European Commission has also strengthened our presence in the Danish innovation ecosystem.

It is of great importance to us, that a project that celebrates the collaboration between seven Danish universities, wins a European level award.

Congratulations to Open Entrepreneurship! Re-live their winning moment below and find out more about their work in the EEPA 2020 Compendium.

You can also catch up with the SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

European Enterprise Promotion Awards – Class of 2020

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Today during the yearly SME Assembly, the most important event for small and medium enterprises in Europe, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2020 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). The initiative rewards entities promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses at national, regional and local level.

The 2020 winners are as follows:

The Grand Jury Prize: France: Le PORTAIL DU REBOND

CATEGORY 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Denmark: Open Entrepreneurship

CATEGORY 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Estonia:  Mobile Workshops, Merkuur OY

CATEGORY 3 – Improving the Business Environment

Spain: BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

CATEGORY 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

Portugal: Portugal Bike Value

CATEGORY 5 – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

Germany: Greentech.Ruhr

CATEGORY 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Netherlands: Social Enterprise NL

Congratulations to our class of 2020! Re-live their winning moments by watching their videos and stay tuned for the winner testimonials.

EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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The time has come to meet each project on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2020 shortlist! Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to each project that has been carefully evaluated and selected by our EEPA 2020 jury.

Today we are meeting the projects competing in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit. This year our finalists come from France, Greece and Denmark, and their projects focus on providing youth with transferable entrepreneurial skills, creating a national open entrepreneurial ecosystem with state-of-the-art infrastructure in exponential technologies, and formalising collaboration between researchers, investors and private business, to increase the role of research in startup creation.

France: Atlantic Futures

The Atlantic Futures programme, developed by the Atlantic Cities association in 2018, is a transnational programme offering young people opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills at European level. Existing initiatives are combined with personalised and targeted support to help the programme participants build upon their ambitions, make their projects a reality, and to develop and nurture their talents. The scheme benefits young job-seekers by providing them with experience and transferable skills that they can take forward into their careers.

Greece: ‘Demokritos’: Innovation Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Greek public research institution Demokritos transformed itself, with financing from the European Investment Bank, into a smart and autonomous open entrepreneurial ecosystem, with state-of-the-art infrastructure in exponential technologies. This dynamic innovation ecosystem houses numerous programmes and activities that are accessible to all innovative enterprises in the country, such as the Industrial Scholarships Programme, the ‘Lefkippos’ Technological Park and the AHEDD digital innovation hub. The institution’s interdisciplinary environment attracts international investment and research talent from all over the world.

Denmark: Open Entrepreneurship

The Open Entrepreneurship project works to formalise collaboration between researchers, investors and private business, with a view to improving and increasing the role of research in startup creation. By developing a new approach to the commercialisation of research, the project aims to make better use of existing research to fuel innovation, facilitate knowledge transfer to SMEs, and increase the number and quality of startups emerging from universities. To date, the project has led to the establishment of over 35 new companies and increased the knowledge surrounding the commercialisation of research amongst hundreds of students and researchers.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2020 finalists!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

EEPA 2020 – Meet the European shortlist

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This year 185 National EEPA entries were submitted for consideration from 27 participating countries. The EEPA National Coordinators then selected 49 of these projects for the EEPA 2020 Jury to evaluate and compose the European shortlist.

The EEPA 2020 Jury met on Wednesday 9th September to discuss and make their final selections for this year’s European shortlist. With so many outstanding projects to choose from that demonstrated innovation, creativity and passion for supporting entrepreneurship, it was a difficult decision.

Congratulations to all of the selected finalists!

Category 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Category 3 – Improving the Business Environment

Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

Category 5 – Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency

Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

About the EEPA selection process

The competition has two stages. Applicants must first compete at national level to be eligible to compete at European level. For the national competition, each country selects up to two entries to be nominated for the European competition.

A shortlist of nominees is chosen by the EEPA 2020 European jury. The shortlisted nominees will then compete at the final awards ceremony, which recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.

Make sure to come back to the News Portal every week to learn more about each of the shortlisted projects that will be competing in the EEPA 2020 finals.

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

EEPA 2020 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) reward projects from across participating countries that work to promote entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives. The EEPA have now moved to the European level of the competition and the national winners from each participating country have been selected by their National Coordinators.

So far, we have introduced the national winners for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, Improving the Business Environment, Supporting the Internationalisation of Business and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories*; “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”. This category “recognises initiatives 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.”

Find out more about the different competition categories on the EEPA website

*Due to certain national EEPA competitions being disrupted by COVID-19, this list is still subject to additions. Please keep checking the Promoting Enterprise News Portal for the most updated national winner information.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”!

Don’t forget to have a look at all of the different national winners and stay tuned for the announcement of the European shortlist, chosen by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

EEPA 2020 National Winners – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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The National Coordinators have run their national competitions and submitted the best entries to the European jury to consider for the shortlist. But which projects are competing this year? What initiatives will the jury be judging?

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we would like to introduce the projects competing in “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”. This category recognises initiatives that promote an entrepreneurial mind-set, especially among young people and women.

Congratulations to the national winners of “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”!

Come back to the News Portal each week to find out which projects won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit – EEPA 2019 Shortlist

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It is time to meet this year’s shortlisted projects! Over the next few weeks each of the projects that the EEPA 2019 Jury have chosen will be presented in the category in which they will be competing in the EEPA 2019 finals at the SME Assembly in Helsinki this November.

To start the introductions, we are meeting the three shortlisted projects competing for the prize in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Port Incubator CVBA-SO, a safe port for young experimentation. Haven (Port), Belgium

Haven [Port] supports and strengthens enterprising young people who want to develop a project, and offers a safe testing ground to encourage creative youth entrepreneurship to grow into socially relevant companies. By offering a risk-free environment Haven encourages entrepreneurial youth to learn, experiment and fail, and thus enhance their competences for their future enterprises. As a result, these youth will be able to address our evolving societal challenges with their ideas, and have the experience to carry them out. The project has been active for two years and has 49 young affiliates that have benefited from the scheme.

Game Hub Scandinavia, Denmark

Game Hub Scandinavia allows current gaming market students at Viden Djurs business school, to continue their education in game development at established company Dania Games. Students can establish companies in the Game Incubator, spread across four locations in Denmark and Sweden. The Incubator works with young talent to develop their businesses and teach them the specifics of the highly competitive game industry, to ensure survival of young companies. The Incubator also conducts research that can be used to guide business models for the companies of the incubator. To date, the project partners have created approximately 100 companies and 157 workplaces.

The path of the young entrepreneur, Serbia

“The path of the young entrepreneur” focuses on promoting the entrepreneurial spirit of young people, and educating them about opportunities for starting businesses and developing innovative ideas, in response to the growing problem of youth unemployment. The project has established connections between youth (over 2000), entrepreneurial initiatives (100), corporations and startups (over 50), to facilitate the construction of a stable entrepreneurial community, and provide resources and information for the youth to launch entrepreneurial careers. Project activities include youth entrepreneurship fairs, business training, entrepreneurship competitions, a startup business forum, university visits and public panel discussions and lectures.

Keep coming back to the News Portal every week to meet the 2019 shortlisted projects!

Don’t forget to have a look at all of the EEPA 2019 national winners that represent the top projects across all of the participating countries right here.

EEPA 2019 – Meet the National Winners: Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit

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The European Enterprise promotion Awards (EEPA) are an opportunity for outstanding projects from across the European Union and COSME countries to be recognised for their work in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2019 have closed and the jury will deliberate over the outstanding national winners submitted by each National Coordinator. But who is in contention for a spot on the shortlist? Time to meet the contenders in Category 1: Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit!

Belgium: Port Incubator CVBA-SO, a safe port for young experimentation. Haven (Port)

Croatia: R1novatorR1

Denmark: Game Hub Scandinavia

Estonia: Huppelaud (Spring Board) Summer School

France: Start-1ère©

Hungary: Start your own businesses Józsefváros! idea competition

Ireland: Community Entrepreneurship – An Innovative Approach to Create Change Agents for the Community

Lithuania: Moksleivių  socialinio verslumo skatinimas: JuniorSO

Malta: National campaign to promote employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector and ‘MAKE IT’ Campaign

Poland: Pilska Akademia Umiejętności

Serbia: The path of the young entrepreneur

This year this category received 10 entries, with a variety of projects ranging from youth business programmes to supporting specific sectors with employment opportunities and many more.

Good luck to all of the national winners, and keep coming back to the News Portal to discover the national winners in each category for EEPA 2019!

About the EEPA selection process

The competition has two stages. Applicants must first compete at national level to be eligible to compete at European level. For the national competition, each country selects up to two entries to be nominated for the European competition.

A shortlist of nominees will be chosen by a European jury. All nominees from the national and European competitions will be invited to attend the final awards ceremony. The ceremony recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.

Why should you enter the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2019?

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With the beginning of a new European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) cycle, many of you might be wondering if you should take the chance and try to secure your place in the EEPA hall of fame. But why should you enter EEPA? What should you prepare?

Promoting Enterprise has collected some advice from previous winners to showcase the best parts of entering EEPA and their advice for prospective candidates. Collect some tips and tricks from our past winners, and don’t forget to watch their winning moments on our YouTube channel!

“Other organisations and projects should enter EEPA because it is a great way to get recognised for the work that each of us put in daily and it is truly a great experience to participate in the ceremony. Furthermore, it is great way to meet like-minded people and expand your network.”

  • Lean Landing, Grand Jury Prize Winner 2018

“Any organisation that believes its project has a beneficial impact on promoting entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional or local level should enter EEPA. It is a great opportunity to make your project known to a wider audience, to have insight into similar ones running across Europe and to be part of a pan-European business promotion environment.

EEPA 2019 candidates should extensively document their activities, carefully assess the effectiveness, sustainability and impact of their initiatives, and present concrete, measurable and usable results. The potential of transferring the project to other regions in Europe is an important asset too. Overall, do not hesitate to participate in EEPA if you have a significant entrepreneurship promotion practice to share.”

  • Piraeus Blue Entrepreneurship, Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit Winner 2018

“My advice for future applicants would be to work a little more upstream, and to focus on having good national mobilisation around your project and work. Once this is established this can then be complemented by working with the public entities that transmit the EEPA message and that organise the awards.”

  • ADIE – ‘Responsible and Inclusive entrepreneurship’ Winner 2017

Firstly, it is always useful to take, from time to time, an “outside view” on what you do, based on the criteria of the EEPA.  Taking part in an EU Award means competing with a lot of other projects – so there is also the chance to learn from others.

Secondly, EEPA is a chance for recognition on an EU level. 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.

Finally, prepare well! Be aware that it requires quite a lot of work until your documents are “final” (based on the requirements of the EEPA). Advice and help from the national body (in our case the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy) might also be very useful, so make the most of it.

  • Internationalisation 2015–2020 – ‘Supporting the Internationalisation of Business’ Winner 2017

I would recommend working on the tangible results of your projects. Showing that the submitted project has a positive impact on their territory and that it can help other European countries and citizens!

  • Reempresa, ‘Improving the business environment’ Winner 2017

Keep coming back to the Promoting Enterprise News Portal for the latest on EEPA 2019 and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Lean Landing – ‘Grand Jury Prize’ Winner 2018

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Ready for our next EEPA winner interview? Today we are proud to welcome our 2018 Grand Jury Prize Winner, Lean Landing from Denmark!

The Lean Landing network consists of a total of 19 partners, accelerators and incubators. The network has members from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom. Members of the Lean Landing network open up their facilities to the 190 participating SMEs, giving them bases in their target countries, as well as a local business support system. These local bases allow SMEs to gather first impressions of the foreign market, establish contacts, and learn important local business etiquette and practices. So far, of the 190 SMEs involved, 80 have successfully been abroad with the Lean Landing project.

The project is run by Væksthus Sjælland, a non-profit organisation established in 2007 that provides services for entrepreneurs and micro SMEs with scalability and growth potential. The organisation is also responsible for providing business support to the Zealand Region of Denmark and is one of five national units.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

Our organisation has known about the national EEPA competition for a few years, and in the past been national winners three times as well as receiving a ‘special mention’ award. We decided to enter again because EEPA is THE place and event to be at, if you are running EU projects, and winning the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ this year is the biggest prize any EU project can receive.

How did you prepare your application?

We didn’t really prepare, but we spent quite some time on the application to make sure that we got all the right and important information filled in.

What was it like to win the award?

We were honestly just very overwhelmed and very surprised. We had hoped to win in our category ‘Supporting internationalisation for business’ but we did not expect to win the ‘Grand Jury Prize’. It has probably been the biggest recognition our organisation has ever received for any EU project.

How did winning the award impact your work?

Winning the award hasn’t really had that much of an impact on my daily work, but there has been a lot of positive attention from many people from other organisations both nationally and internationally. Furthermore our 19 partners in the project have also been very happy about the result and it has sparked a new sort of energy internally, that we have actually done something really special with our project.

The exposure from EEPA and Euronews, who worked with the EU commission since we won, has also been great. The video from when we received the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ was available the day after and the film that was shot by Euronews for ‘Euronews Business Planet’ is going to be part of our ongoing marketing material for the project.

Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?

Other organisations and projects should enter EEPA because it is a great way to get recognised for the work that each of us put in daily and it is truly a great experience to participate in the ceremony. Furthermore, it is great way to meet like-minded people and expand your network.

What are your plans for the future?

Our plans for the future are to continue to develop new and value-creating projects like Lean Landing, with the purpose of helping SMEs to grow locally, nationally and internationally.

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