The winners of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are shining examples of the promotion of entrepreneurship. We recently spoke to last year’s Grand Jury Prize winner Agnes Vida, from Encouraging Business Start-ups by Mothers with Young Children. Her project helps mothers to acquire the entrepreneurial skills and mindset to start a business and make it profitable. The project delivers online resources including a blog, Facebook page, e-learning training programmes and a weekly newsletter, as well as the Entrepreneurial Women’s Roundtable meeting to help mothers navigate the world of business and network with each other. The project also hosts the annual Mother Company of the Year competition and the Business Mums’ Conference.
What did you learn from your experience with the European Enterprise Promotion Awards?
When you work at home, it never occurs to you how much impact you might be having on other people’s lives. When we wrote the application for the awards, it helped us to collect all of our results and reflect on how many mothers have we helped over the years. Applying for the awards also helped us to think about and measure the impact of our work. That alone was a very valuable experience.
And of course it was a great experience and a big surprise for me to win the Grand Jury Prize!
What did winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 SME Assembly in Naples mean to you?
When you work for others, the best feedback is when your clients are happy. But external feedback – when your work is recognised and rewarded on national and international level is a great pleasure and honour.
How has your business developed since winning the Grand Jury Prize?
We received a lot of press coverage in Hungary and other European countries as a result of winning the award. The major Hungarian magazines and television shows started to talk about our activities, which meant that more people were paying attention to our project. The attendance at our monthly free presentations doubled and our courses run at full capacity. People had previously expressed their frustrations about starting their own businesses, but they are now more open to the topic and trust us more.
What advice can you give to other organisations wanting to take part in the Awards?
It’s a great experience to participate in such a contest and have your work assessed on national and European level. I loved the atmosphere of the event in Naples and the presentations were very helpful.
I would also like to point that the other participants’ ideas are all available in the public domain, where they can be accessed to assist the work of organisations of other countries. If you fill in the application form and share your ideas and the results of your work, you are helping others to promote enterprises.
We have built Compedia up (using grants and R&D co-operation including the FP7 and Intel programmes) to be the leader in supplying products for the global market of education, serious games, e-learning and e-health, so that we give our customers advanced, cost effective and differentiated solutions. I’m especially excited by our new product developments that help children with autism and diabetes.
If you ask me what is needed to expand enterprise, I would say more resources for R&D, IP protection and international marketing; plus the creation of an environment (for example, more open markets and better access to finance) that truly supports SMEs like ours.
“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we have drive and energy to motivate, to create ideas and solutions in a way it is difficult to do in larger companies.”
Hero(es): Winston Churchill
Start up capital: Own
Growth rate p.a: 58%
Mentor(s): Advisers rather than mentors
Can you code?: Yes
Education/ Training: IT
Product/ Service: E – learning