The European Gateway for Women’s Entrepreneurship (WEgate) is an e-platform launched by the European Commission to support the female entrepreneur community. This e-platform allows female entrepreneurs to connect online, support each other and learn from their collective experience.
Despite making up 52% of the total European population, women only account for 34.4% of self-employed citizens and 30% of start-up entrepreneurs in the EU. The European Commission recognises that these figures are low, and launched WEgate to facilitate much needed discussion, and to put tools at the disposal of female entrepreneurs. On WEgate female entrepreneurs, women considering entrepreneurship as a career and others working to support female entrepreneurship, are able to network, exchange information and become more visible. In addition to being a form of search engine for information and contacts, the platform also encourages publication of updates, company stories, events and news in English, German and French.
The platform will be undergoing some changes and modernisation, and the European Commission would like to know what WEgate users think. In order to participate and give your opinion, make sure to fill out the feedback survey available here.
2016 has been a very successful year for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In total, 343 National EEPA entries were received from 31 participating countries, up from 318 in 2015 and above the average for the last 10 years.
Of this total, 57 have been selected by the national coordinators as the best of the best and put forward to the European level of the competition. ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’ proved to be the most popular of the six project categories, with 17 entries this year.
Of the 31 participating countries, 16 (51%) received more entries this year than in 2015. Indeed, some countries have shown continuous year-on-year growth in entry numbers. Croatia, for example, has gone from two entries in 2013, to eight in 2014, to 15 in 2015 and now 19 in 2016. True to form, the most national entries this year came from Portugal (50), followed by the UK with 48 entries and Germany with 30.
The countries with the most winners over the past 10 years have been Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, with five winners each, while some other countries have yet to get on the scoreboard, but this could be their lucky year!
The task of selecting the winners from all the high-quality entries goes to the EEPA Jury. The EEPA Jury is typically made up of a representative from the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the countries holding the first and second semester EU presidencies (this year the Netherlands and Slovakia), a European SME organisation (this year – UEAPME: European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), the Grand Jury prize winner from the previous year (this year Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship) and a representative from academia.
The Jury is set to meet in Brussels on 27 September to decide on a project shortlist for each of the EEPA’s six categories. The shortlisted projects will be announced soon after the Brussels meeting, and the winner in each category will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The competition is wide open and any of the entries could make it onto the project shortlists. Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to some of the contending projects, particularly those related to our theme of the month (women in business) and we will provide you with information on the shortlisted projects as soon as we have it. So make sure to check in!
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Do you have a bright idea about what the EU could do to help more young people become entrepreneurs? Would you like the opportunity to share your thoughts with policymakers and entrepreneurs on a European stage?
European SME Week, under the patronage of the European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, has launched a youth essay contest aimed at 16-25 year olds across Europe.
Write an essay of no more than 2,500 words under the heading: “What can the EU do to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs?” and you could be in with a chance of getting your voice heard on one of Europe’s most pressing economic questions.
The essay competition is part of European SME Week, an annual pan-European campaign to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. The flagship events of the Week are the SME Assembly and the European Enterprise Promotion Awards Ceremony.
The winner of the essay competition will receive an all expenses paid trip* to the SME Assembly in Bratislava, Slovakia, in November, where they will present their prize-winning entry before an audience of over 600 delegates from the world of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Submissions are due by 2 September, 2016 and winners will be announced in Brussels in November. The rules and conditions can be found below.
And spread the news! Download the flyer and share details of the competition with your friends and on social media.
- The competition is open to all 16 to 25 year olds from European Member States or COSME partners countries (see the list)
- Essays must not exceed 2,500 words in length.
- All essays must be in English.
- Only one entry per applicant.
- The deadline for submissions is 2 September, 2016.
- The winners will be announced in November ahead of SME Week.
- An all expenses paid trip* to the SME Assembly in Bratislava, Slovakia, to present your essay to 600+ Assembly delegates
- Presentation training before delivering your work live on stage at the SME Assembly.
2nd and 3rd prize:
- A video of you presenting your essay will be streamed on the event wall at the SME Assembly.
All winners will receive promotion of their essays across SME Week social media channels.
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* All travel and accommodation costs to and from Bratislava, Slovakia will be covered under the 1st prize.