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EEPA – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

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banner-eepa-blogThe European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) shortlist showcase continues! This week we are introducing you to the national winners competing in Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business. These projects have been shortlisted because of their initiatives that encourage enterprises, particularly SMEs, at national, regional and local level to benefit more from the opportunities offered by markets both inside and outside the European Union. The projects come from across Europe, representing Finland, Lithuania and Spain, and cover the themes of: facilitation of business partnerships, improving national competitiveness and practical training and advice for SMEs to thrive in foreign markets.

human_security_finland-zambiaHuman Security Finland (Business opportunities from the Human Security expertise) is a national international development and crisis management business network. It assists with the building of partnerships between Finnish companies and experts aimed at assisting developing countries and crisis-hit regions with solutions to support sustainable development. The network combines business, education and research for human security. 100 organisations are now involved in the concept known as ‘crisis business’, which is based on commercialising human security expertise.

wings_chocolate_naiveYoung export leaders program – WINGS is the first scheme in Lithuania to unite the public and private sectors towards the achievement of one common goal: to promote the country’s  competitiveness through the development of skilled export managers by applying a hands-on approach to meet current market demands. Sixteen graduates were trained in business and export development and management, marketing, business   promotion   and   other   relevant   modern techniques, and gained practical experience through working with SMEs. 23 social initiatives were launched during the programme which generated a value of €650 000. Watch their video here!

balebila-06Balebila Project – International & Digital Communications for SMEs (Spain) is a practical training and advice programme for innovative SMEs to help them take their businesses to foreign markets. The project provides businesses with tools and advice on communication and public relations strategies through hands-on training. Current successes include; companies that have successfully presented their product to Sir Richard Branson, to those that are now the leading Basque developers for Sony Playstation UK, USA and Asia. Watch these videos to learn about some of the SMEs, like Muka Design Lab & Enigmedia, that the Balebila project has helped. 

The final winner of the category, chosen by  the EEPA Jury, will be revealed in less than four weeks at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia, when the Grand Jury prize-winner will also be announced. Let the countdown begin!

An overview of the previous three categories presented:

EEPA – Meet the Jury!

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Each year, in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, an independent high-level Jury is faced with the difficult task of drawing up a shortlist of projects that will compete for the first prize during the SME Assembly. This year is no different – the EEPA Jury should select three shortlisted projects in each of the six project categories by mid-September, a task that is made especially difficult by the high quality of the participating projects.

This year’s Jury includes representatives from government, business and academia and also includes a representative from Slovakia, as Slovakia will host the SME Assembly in Bratislava in November as part of the Slovak EU presidency. There are two permanent representatives on the Jury, one from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and one from the Committee of the Regions. The winner of the previous year’s Grand Jury Prize is also invited to sit on the Jury.

Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to all of the people who make up this year’s EEPA Jury. This week we start, in no particular order, with a representative from academia and the representative from the Committee of the Regions.

Prof. Thomas M. Cooney

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology

Thomas-Cooney-2-thumbThomas is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland) and Visiting Professor at the University of Turku (Finland). He is also Academic Director of the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship, a Board Member of Startup Ireland and works in a supportive capacity with a number of businesses.

As an expert in entrepreneurship policy, he has worked with the Irish Government, the European Commission, the OECD, the European Training Foundation and other international organisations. He has published widely on the topic of entrepreneurship and full details of his career can be found at www.thomascooney.com.

Thomas Wobben

Committee of the Regions

téléchargementAfter studying Economics and Politics, Thomas worked for voluntary sector organisations. In 1993 he joined the European policy services of Saxony-Anhalt and in 1995 he began working in the Liaison Office of Saxony-Anhalt in Brussels taking over as Director in 2000.

Since March 2012 he has been Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks and, later on, for legislative works at the Committee of the Regions.

 

 

The judging process

For the EEPA Awards, individual countries were invited to conduct national competitions to determine the best projects to represent their nation. Hundreds of projects competed in these national competitions in 2016 for a chance to vie for an EEPA. Countries were allowed to nominate a maximum of two entries per category to the European competition. Each Jury member reads and assesses every entry against defined criteria covering: originality and feasibility, impact on the economy, improvement of stakeholder relations and transferability. The Jury then meets to discuss their top entries in each category, before agreeing on winners, runners up and any special mentions. The shortlist is published shortly after the jury meeting and the winners are announced during the Awards Ceremony at the SME Assembly.

For more information:

http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/support/enterprise-promotion-awards_en

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