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Tag ‘European Enterprise Promotion Awards’

Meet the EEPA 2021 Jury

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Today on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we introduce you to the members of the 2021 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury. The EEPA jury is made up of representatives from the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies and the last Grand Jury Prize winner.

EEPA has now progressed to the European level of the competition! The national coordinators have selected up to two of the best national projects to put forward to this stage. Now it is the turn of the European jury to select the best of these national projects to include on 2021 European shortlist. But before that happens, we would like to take a moment to introduce this year’s jury members.

Jury member Professor Thomas Cooney

There are seven jury members in total.  We begin with Professor Thomas Cooney, who has been a jury member for several years and brings significant experience to the role. Thomas is Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Academic Director of the TU Dublin Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship.

Jury member Franciso Sá

Next is Franciso Sá, president of the board of directors of the Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI). Franciso represents the Portuguese EU Presidency on the jury. Mr Franciso Sá is the SME Envoy of Portugal.

Jury member Jernej Salecl

Representing the Slovenian EU Presidency is Jernej Salecl. Jernej is director-general of the Internationalisation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Directorate and former head of division for Industry, Innovation and Technology at the Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. Mr Salecl is the SME Envoy of Slovenia.

Jury member Dimitri Pivot

Dimitri Pivot represents last year’s Grand Jury Prize winner ‘Le Portail du Rebond’ or ‘The Recovery Portal’, a French organisation made up of associations that together provide a nationwide service to entrepreneurs to help them through difficult times.

Jury member Veronique Willems

The next jury member that we present to you today is Veronique Willems. Veronique represents crafts and SMEs in Europe as the Secretary-General of the SME organisation SMEunited (formerly known as UEAPME), a position she has held since January 2017.

Thomas Wobben

Another veteran jury member is Thomas Wobben, Director of the Directorate for Horizontal Policies and Networks at the Committee of the Regions. His responsibilities include monitoring the Europe 2020 strategy, relations with the OECD and Eurostat, and prospective works of the Committee of the Regions.

Jury member Kristin Schreiber

Finally, we introduce you to Kristin Schreiber. Kristin represents the European Commission, where she was appointed Director for Chemicals, Food and Retail in 2021, having served as Director for SME Policy from 2015 until 2021 and prior to that as Director for Governance of the Single Market and International Affairs.

The jury will meet in Brussels on 17 September to deliberate on this year’s entries and to select a shortlist to move forward to the next stage of the competition. Choosing between so many different projects demonstrating innovation, creativity and passion to support entrepreneurship makes their job difficult. We wish them the very best of luck in their deliberations.

Make sure to visit the News Portal regularly for updates on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) and to find out which projects are selected for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2021 jury.

EEPA 2021 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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In our last EEPA national winners post on the Promoting Enterprise portal, we presented the EEPA 2021 national winners in the category Supporting the Sustainable Transition. This time it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

This category aims to reward projects that offer new and innovative solutions and approaches to promote socially and environmentally responsible business. This is done by encouraging disadvantaged groups to take part in entrepreneurship initiatives, for example. In addition, promoting corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises contributes to creating a more inclusive society.  

The national winners in Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship are:

The innovative approaches taken by these national projects impressed the national EEPA coordinators, and they were selected to advance to the next phase of the awards. They will now be reviewed by the European jury, which will decide on the final shortlist – we wish them the best of luck!

Make sure to visit the News Portal each week to find out which projects have won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2021 jury.

EEPA 2021 National Winners – Supporting the Sustainable Transition

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In our last EEPA 2021 national winners post on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we presented the national winners supporting the Internationalisation of Business. Now it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition.

Projects in this category have a strong sustainability focus and propose innovative approaches to help the European economy transition to a more sustainable path. This could happen by adopting a circular economy approach in terms of producing, consuming and distributing SME products and services. The category also recognises initiatives with specific environmental features such as encouraging the use of recycled materials and renewable energy.

 The shortlisted projects in Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition are:

These national projects were shortlisted by national EEPA coordinators to advance to the next phase of the awards. They will now be reviewed by the European jury, which will decide on the final shortlist. All of the shortlisted projects are deserving winners. We wish them the best of luck in the next stage of the competition.

Make sure to visit the News Portal each week to find out which projects have won their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2021 jury.

EEPA 2021 National Winners – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

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Last time on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we introduced you to the EEPA 2021 national winners in the category Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition. This time it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business.

The ability to access a wide variety of markets can be critical to the success of any start-up. In light of this, this EEPA category aims to reward projects that make it easier for enterprises, and particularly small and medium-sized businesses, to break into international markets, both inside the EU and globally, to benefit from the opportunities that this expansion offers.

The national winners in EEPA 2021 Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business are:

All of the selected projects are taking a proactive and innovative approach to the internationalisation of business and are worthy winners in the national competitions. We congratulate all of the projects and wish them the best of luck going forward.

Make sure to visit the News Portal each week to find out which projects have been selected in their national competitions and are being considered for the European shortlist by our prestigious EEPA 2021 jury.

EEPA 2021 Top National Projects Selected

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The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2021 enter the next phase after the deadline on 16 July, when the national level was completed. 47 entries from 28 countries made it to the European stage as the National Coordinators submitted the nominations to the EEPA Secretariat.

The top projects that won at the national level are competing across the six categories, including two adapted ones. This year the category of improving the business environment includes supporting the digital transition. The fifth EEPA category is completely revamped into supporting the sustainable transition by focusing on sustainability in all its facets. Have a look at this year’s categories below:

During the European phase of the awards, the EEPA 2021 jury will review each of the national winners and create a shortlist of nominees. These shortlisted nominees will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the SME Assembly in November, having the chance to present themselves in a pan-European environment.

Don’t forget to check the News Portal to find out which projects shortlisted in each category will be presented.

Stay Updated #EEPA2021

For information about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website, and for the latest updates, follow Promoting Enterprise News, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Le Portail du Rebond

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We are back with our final European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we introduced you to Social Enterprise NL from the Netherlands, 2020 winner in our ‘Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ category. Make sure to read their story if you haven’t yet!

Our final testimonial tells the story of our 2020 Grand Jury Prize winner, ‘Le Portail du Rebond des Entrepreneurs’ from France. ‘Le Portail du Rebond’ or ‘The Recovery Portal’, is made up of associations that together provide a nationwide service to entrepreneurs to help them through difficult times. The associations have unique specialisations across different areas, allowing them to cover the entire value chain, from entrepreneurial failure and its prevention to entrepreneurial recovery and its promotion. The portal provides a single online point of access so that entrepreneurs can choose the association that corresponds to their entrepreneurial recovery needs. The associations help the entrepreneurs navigate necessary measures and authorities, and remove obstacles to their recovery.

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

The ‘Portail du Rebond des Entrepreneurs’ was told about the competition by BPIFRANCE. Our work to help struggling entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs who find themselves in hard times bounce back, corresponded exactly to the EEPA competition criteria. After discussing further with BPIFRANCE and working with their teams, we decided to enter, which was the right decision!

How did you prepare your application?

The ‘Portail du Rebond des Entrepreneurs’ is made up of six associations which create a ‘value chain’ that allows us to accompany the entrepreneurs we work with from the beginning when they are in difficulty, all the way through to when they have bounced back. We made this aspects of our work stand out in our application as we thought it was innovative and unique in the European setting.

We also decide to include a testimonial in order to illustrate our work and show how our unique value chain works. We presented one of our entrepreneurs who had successfully made their way through the entire value chain and managed to bounce back with support from one of our associations ‘Second souffle’.

What was it like to win the award?

Wining the Grand Jury prize was amazing! Firstly it was a wonderful recognition of our 10 years of work supporting entrepreneurs in difficulty. We also feel that winning this award and having our services recognised and spoken about during this period of health and economic crisis, will also help us reach additional entrepreneurs that may be in difficult situations.

How did winning the award impact your work?

Winning the award saw all the actors within the ‘Portail du Rebond des Entrepreneurs’ wanting to highlight this great prize and recognition, and this was done by increasing our communication activities and actions with entrepreneurs and public authorities to share the news.

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

Firstly, there is absolutely nothing to lose, but so much to win. Secondly, this competition allows for the work and initiatives we work so hard on to be shared with the public as well as other actors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Participating in this competition was an incredible collective adventure for the Portail du Rebond community which helped further solidify the strong bonds that we have between the participation associations!

What are your plans for the future?

We hope to further open and expand the ‘Portail du Rebond des Entrepreneurs’ to new associations that carry out meaningful work in relation to our own. We also hope to develop more events dedicated to entrepreneurs. After that, why not see if we can bring our organisation up to European level, and see if we have the support to succeed with this challenge!

Congratulations to our 2020 Grand Jury Prize Winner ‘Le Portail du Rebond’ from France! Make sure to read all the inspiring EEPA winner testimonials right here on the News Portal and re-live the Grand Jury Prize winning moment right here:

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Social Enterprise NL

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we introduced you to Germany’s Greentech.Ruhr, the winner in our ‘Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency’ category. If you haven’t read it yet, there is no time like the present!

We now travel to the Netherlands for an introduction to Social Enterprise NL, the ‘Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ winner. Social Enterprise NL is a national network and a key driver in the growing movement towards social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. The network currently has 405 members, all of whom benefit from various workshops and growth programmes aimed at strengthening their business. Members also receive support from network coaches and experts and gain online visibility and publicity. Social Enterprise NL also aspires towards better regulation and legislation and, with this goal in mind, is active in promoting these objectives at the municipal, regional and national levels.

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

We received a call from RVO – the national Dutch Enterprise Agency – in which they informed us that Social Enterprise NL might be a suitable candidate for the EEPA award. The RVO call came at the perfect time; we had just started working on various projects to support social entrepreneurs and the EEPA had the potential to boost our work even more.

How did you prepare your application?

The RVO provided us with all the necessary information and documents, which, despite the short deadline, enabled us to send a complete and comprehensive application. Of course, it was not difficult for us to write about our work, as we feel so passionate about it and deal with it on a daily basis. We also used our past experience and our research carried out with partners, which is of great value for us in terms of the impact we have on the sector.

What was it like to win the award?

Winning the award filled us with optimism, especially during these COVID-19 times. We feel so very grateful! We were already extremely pleased with the national award and the nomination for the EEPA jury shortlist. And then there it was, the European award! It stands as a great recognition of the work we’ve done so far. I immediately called the team after the announcement to share my happiness and excitement. Unfortunately, we were not able to celebrate with each other directly, but we definitely will when we can come together again.

How did winning the award impact your work?

After winning the award, we received many compliments from an astonishing number of people and organisations all over the world! It led to so much engagement online. This is giving a great boost to the social enterprise movement in the Netherlands and to everyone involved with Social Enterprise NL. The prize represents recognition for all the work we have done, and we will keep on doing the best we can to support social entrepreneurs.  

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

EEPA is a great opportunity to showcase your work and its results and to present them at the highest level. It puts a spotlight on your business and on the work that you do, and it helps you to become more visible. We definitely recommend others to apply!

What are your plans for the future?

We will continue our work to improve and further develop the social enterprise sector and to make our network become even bigger. We will always have enough ideas and projects to support social entrepreneurs. We can also give you a scoop – we have a podcast coming up! As the representative of the social enterprise sector in the Netherlands, we want to continue to lobby at the local, national and even international level. The EEPA awards shows us that we have to keep going, hold our heads high and strive for more impact. We want to make Europe a better place: better for the planet and better for our people.

Congratulations to Social Enterprise NL! Keep coming back to the News Portal for more EEPA winner testimonials and re-live their winning moment right here:

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

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Greentech.Ruhr

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of our ‘Supporting the Internationalisation of Business’ winner Portugal Bike Value from Portugal. Check it out, if you haven’t read it yet.

This week we travel to Germany to meet with Greentech.Ruhr, winner in the ‘Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency’ category. Greentech.Ruhr is an environmental management network in the Ruhr region that aims to strengthen the region’s environmental economy, thereby supporting its transition from a mining region to a diversified economy with a high degree of specialisation in tackling ecological challenges. Increased cooperation between all players in the Ruhr environmental economy is needed to deal with growing environmental protection challenges. Greentech.Ruhr facilitates this by bringing together local companies, educational and research institutions, and public bodies to promote the Ruhr’s innovative potential in the field of environmental economics.

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

We were contacted directly by RKW (Rationalisierungs- und Innovationszentrum der Deutschen Wirtschaft – Rationalisation and Innovation Centre of the German Economy), the coordinator of the national competition in Germany. They explained that our project would fit perfectly into the category ‘Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency’. Public awareness is essential for our Project, so we were glad to get this opportunity.

How did you prepare your application?

The application process was less effort than we thought. Presenting our project to new partners and reporting on our work to our current partners is part of our day-to-day business. Therefore, it was easy to put this down in the application. Greentech.Ruhr has been operational for four years already, so we already had enough results and testimonials to show what we do and explain about our work. We remained in close contact with RKW and were able to clarify all questions very quickly.

What was it like to win the award?

It was very exciting going through the whole process. First the recognition of being the national winner, then the good news of being shortlisted and then finally the big moment when Bastian Coes opened the envelope and announced the winner. It is a great honour for us, and very motivating for everybody involved in the project. Sure, we were a bit disappointed that, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the SME Assembly 2020 had to be a virtual event and our award-celebration was a home-office party but it was still an incredible honour to be named an EEPA 2020 winner.

How did winning the award impact your work?

The award gave our project a lot of positive public attention. We received many congratulations from our community. As a network for the environmental economy, it is very important for us to be known. Not only in our region but also all over the world. The EEPA will help us to enlarge our European network significantly. By winning the EEPA, we have provided further proof that the idea of a greentech network is worth sustaining and this will help us to acquire financial support later on.

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

Taking part in the competition and writing the application helps you to reflect on your project and your work. So, even if you don’t win, the time invested is not wasted. The positive effect when winning the award may differ from project to project, but it certainly brings a lot of attention and contacts. We definitely recommend taking part in EEPA 2021.

What are your plans for the future?

We are definitely striving to expand the network. We will further expand Greentech.Ruhr and will constantly improve our offers for our partners. With this in mind, we will intensify our collaboration in the environmental economy in our region to be independent from funding, with the support of our strong partners.

Congratulations to Greentech.Ruhr on your win! Don’t forget to watch and share their winning moment and keep up with their work and their greentech network on their website.

Don’t forget you can also catch up with SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Portugal Bike Value

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of our ‘Improving the Business Environment’ winner BIND 4.0 from the Basque Country. Check it out, if you haven’t read it yet.

This time we take a bike ride to Portugal to meet with Portugal Bike Value, winner in the ‘Supporting the Internationalisation of Business’ category. Portugal Bike Value is working to support and promote the potential of the Portuguese bicycle industry, establishing it as a player in the European supply chain. It is also promoting Portugal as a destination for foreign investment in the area of soft mobility. The initiative’s efforts saw exports to more than 50 destinations increase from EUR 226 million in 2011 to EUR 402 million in 2019. By investing in cleaner technologies that have a reduced environmental footprint, Portugal Bike Value is also helping to support the European Green Deal.

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

The first information we received was from AICEP, the Portuguese agency for investment and foreign trade. Then we looked for more details on the internet, where we received a lot of helpful information. The Commission website and News Portal were very informative and from the data we collected, we understood that Portugal Bike Value had a good chance of doing well.

How did you prepare your participation?

Preparations for participation were conducted almost completely internally, within the National Association of Two Wheel Industries (ABIMOTA), using two external consultants who have been involved in the Portugal Bike Value project from the very beginning. This means that it was quite easy to prepare for our EEPA participation.

What was it like to win the award?

First, it was a big surprise. Our job is to work on behalf of our associates, promoting the hardware and furniture sectors and, of course, two wheels and smooth mobility. Until that moment, we had no experience of participating in a contest like this. Later it made us think about the real value of Portugal Bike Value. After winning a prize like this, we could better understand the real value of our project.

How did winning the award impact your work?

First of all, as I said, it gave us a real perspective on the value of the project. Then, this victory gave us a major boost in terms of communication, both in Portugal and abroad. The EEPA awards are highly visible and boost the image of the participants.

Why should others join the EEPA? What advice would you give them?

In our experience, the best advice is – participate. As long as you have a solid, well-developed project, you can only win. The gains that you will receive in terms of experience and contacts with other projects are overwhelming. If you can reach the final, you will gain additional visibility and in the event of victory, then the return is massive.

What are your plans for the future?

The Portugal Bike Value project is concluding its cycle and, therefore, we are developing a new project, where we seek to deepen and build on the experience we have gained and, if possible, do even better.

Congratulations to Portugal Bike Value! Re-live their winning moment and make sure to keep up with their work and activities.

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

EEPA 2020 Testimonial – BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of our ‘Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills’ winner – Merkuur Mobile Workshops from Estonia. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do!

This week we are in the Basque Country to meet our ‘Improving the Business Environment’ winner BIND 4.0, a public-private acceleration programme specialising in promoting Industry 4.0 projects. BIND 4.0 is targeted at technological start-ups with 4.0 solutions in the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, health and food. The programme has been set up as an open innovation platform, where start-ups from all over the world and large industrial companies established in the Basque Country interact in an agile way to develop innovative high-impact projects. The start-ups receive intensive support and benefit from activities aimed at accelerating their development and immersion in the Basque industrial ecosystem.

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

The EEPA are well known throughout Europe for recognising initiatives that improve business at the local, regional or national levels. BIND 4.0 offers something valuable to all parties involved in our programme and our main goals are to increase talent, innovation and competition in our region. We decided to apply and see how we compare to the other incredible initiatives focused on start-ups and business development, and we are quite pleased with the results.

How did you prepare your application?

Our main goal is to contribute to improving the society in which we live through innovation and technology, so we felt our objectives were in line with those of the EEPA. We filled out the application by detailing the impact that BIND 4.0 has had on the industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem. We explained how our programme is symbiotic; there are benefits for technology start-ups, for the local economy and for established companies looking to collaborate on pilot projects.

What was it like to win the award?

It is a great honour for BIND 4.0 to receive this award from among 13 other stellar candidates throughout Europe. The EEPA is an official recognition of our on-going commitment to business development through the acceleration of start-ups, and of the collaboration between public institutions and private companies. We are thrilled to be acknowledged, at the European level, for our efforts over the last five years.

How did winning the award impact your work?

This award is a source of pride, for consistently accomplishing our goal to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. Since our inception, we’ve accelerated over 100 start-ups and facilitated the development of more than 170 Industry 4.0 projects. This award provides additional validity to our international initiative so we can continue to attract talent to the Basque region and promote collaboration between young start-ups and large corporations.

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

If you would like to see how your programme and efforts measure up against the other programmes being implemented throughout Europe, we recommend applying. The EEPA is a great way to stay informed about impactful programmes, ground-breaking initiatives and the benchmark models in the marketplace.

What are your plans for the future?

The BIND 4.0 Team is currently preparing for the fifth edition of the programme that begins in January 2021. We are also organising a new edition for the post-COVID climate, so we have redesigned the programme to continue supporting start-ups in an online format. The Basque Country is one of the strongest industrial ecosystems in Europe and this award helps enforce the impact BIND 4.0 continues to make toward innovation in entrepreneurship.

We have a positive outlook for the year ahead, as we offer a bridge between flexible, innovative start-ups and proficient, forward-thinking corporates. The COVID pandemic brought numerous significant changes, from establishing remote working conditions to creating new safety measures; we saw innovation in so many new areas. The health and technology innovations this year have been inspiring and are an indication of the direction on which all businesses will need to focus in the year ahead. We feel BIND 4.0 is in the best position to help connect start-ups and corporations and turn innovation into action. 

Congratulations to BIND 4.0! Re-live their winning moment and make sure to keep up with their work and future innovations on their website.

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

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