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EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

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We are almost at the end of our shortlist introductions and getting closer to this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) finals! Make sure to tune into the finals ceremony during the SME Assembly 2020 and follow #SMEAssembly2020 to find out who will be the 2020 winners of the EEPA competition.

Today we are meeting the shortlisted projects competing in Category 5: Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency. Our 2020 finalists come from Germany, Malta and Portugal. These projects all have strong sustainability aspects that stood out to this year’s EEPA Jury including actions to strengthen regional environmental economies, boosting energy efficiency amongst businesses on a national level and improving the social responsibility and environmental sustainability of the national hotel industry.

Germany: Greentech.Ruhr

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 further promote the Ruhr’s innovative potential in the field of environmental economics.

Malta: MBB Energy Ecosystem

MBB Energy Ecosystem is the first comprehensive network of energy stakeholders and businesses of its type in Malta. The Ecosystem aims to boost energy efficiency among Maltese businesses through technical support, training, networking, and addressing financing gaps. It also allows for the dissemination of best practices, policy learning, and concrete action towards boosting energy efficiency in industry. The initiative has reached around 150 Maltese companies and will continue to expand its network and to offer continuous support.

Portugal: HOSPES by AHP – Digital Plataform

The HOSPES Programme is a corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability programme developed by the Portuguese Hospitality Association in cooperation with participating hotels. The programme supports hotels in achieving their social and environmental goals. It facilitates the donation of hotel goods to social and environmental support institutions. Over a period of just one month, more than 100 000 items were donated by over 100 hotels to field hospitals and support centres working with vulnerable members of the community. The programme also helps mitigate the environmental impact of hotel activity by reducing waste and supporting the circular economy.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and the finalists for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, Improving the business environment and Supporting the internationalisation of business, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2020 finalists!

SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #5

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In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the European Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event.

The event will feature the usual array of top-level speakers, panels and masterclasses, and will feature a highly curated programme designed for the European enterprise community to share, innovate and continue to build the resilience that has helped us get through the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19.

In this edition we will also be sharing the latest EEPA 2020 announcements, including introductions to some of our top finalists, as well as a closer look at the projects awarded Special Mentions by the 2020 jury.

Don’t forget that we also want to hear YOUR stories, how are you facing these challenging times? Share your news and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue or on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

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EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Improving the business environment

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Another week and another round of introductions to the projects that have been shortlisted by the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury for the 2020 European finals!

Today we are meeting the projects competing in Category 3: Improving the business environment. Our 2020 finalists come from Finland, Germany and Spain. The work that made the jury take notice of these projects focuses on: providing a wide range of entrepreneur support services from a single hub, facilitating the development of local start-up friendly structures and public-private acceleration specialised in promoting Industry 4.0 projects

Finland: Business Espoo – Helping companies thrive

Business Espoo is a business service network that supports the vitality of local entrepreneurs and companies by providing a wide range of high-quality business support services from one hub. For example, the network provides advisory services to entrepreneurs setting up or developing a company, in addition to support in acquiring skilled workers, finding access to funding, and in conducting international recruitment campaigns. Entrepreneurs are also offered opportunities to network through various events and trainings. Business Espoo supports entrepreneurs and companies through all stages of the business life cycle.

Germany: Start-up BW Local –Landeswettbewerb für gründungsfreundliche Kommunen

Start-up BW Local is a regional competition in Baden-Württemberg that helps communities, cities and districts develop concepts for startup-friendly local structures. Entrepreneurs then evaluate these concepts and award a “Startup-friendly” label to the best ones. The award has helped to increase the founding of start-ups and enterprises in Baden-Württemberg. In the first round of the competition, 75 municipalities were awarded the title “Excellent place for founders and start-ups”. The competition has strengthened the community of startup supporters and has helped to establish un-bureaucratic structures from which startup entrepreneurs can really benefit.

Spain: BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

BIND 4.0 is a public-private acceleration programme specialised in promoting Industry 4.0 projects. It is aimed at technological startups 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 startups 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 startups receive intensive support and benefit from activities aimed at accelerating their development and immersion in the Basque industrial ecosystem.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and the finalists for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2020 finalists!

The SME Assembly 2020 goes ONLINE!

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In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event.

The SME Assembly 2020 will feature a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, informative masterclasses, and innovative networking opportunities to help answer the difficult questions facing our community post-COVID.

Top speakers, such as Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz, have already confirmed their participation in this year’s event. We are delighted to inform you that Professor Stiglitz will deliver the 2020 Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture from New York.

We will also be joined by many other top speakers such as Commissioner Thierry Breton, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, the distinguished economist Dr. Maja Göpel, and many more.

So, if you haven’t already, SAVE THE DATES in your diaries.

You can start following the SME Assembly 2020 conversation and join in by using #SMEAssembly2020 on Twitter and by following @EEPA_EU, or by heading over to Facebook and following the @PromotingEnterprise page. Other updates on the SME Assembly 2020 will also be posted right here on the News Portal.

We look forward to seeing you online on the 16th and 17th November for this exciting virtual version of SME Assembly 2020!

For any questions on this year’s SME Assembly 2020 please contact the SME Assembly Secretariat.

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.

EEPA 2020 National Winners – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

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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 and Supporting the Internationalisation of Business.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories*; “Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency”. This category “recognises initiatives that support SME access to green markets and help to improve their resource efficiency through, for example, green skills development and matchmaking, as well as funding”.

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 “Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency”!

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.

EEPA 2020 National Winners – Improving the business environment

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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 the 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 and Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories; “Improving the Business Environment”. This category recognises initiatives that support enterprise start-up and growth and simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses.

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

Congratulations to the national winners of “Improving the Business Environment”!

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.

EEPA 2020 – Running a national competition with German coordinator Juliane Kummer

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Today on Promoting Enterprise we are delighted to introduce one of the key players in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), a national coordinator! National coordinators are responsible for promoting and driving applications for the national EEPA competitions. They offer assistance to applicants, ensure that they understand what is expected of them and reach out to organisations and projects that could be eligible to apply. In addition they are in charge of the national selection process, including finding the national jury, bringing them together and ultimately facilitating the final national winner choices.

Today’s interview is with German National Coordinator Juliane Kummer who gave us an insight into what it’s like to coordinate a national competition, her experiences in the role and how she has adapted EEPA to run during COVID-19.

How long have you been the EEPA national coordinator for Germany?

I started as the EEPA national coordinator for Germany in the spring of 2015, shortly after the national jury meeting. That year the selected national winner was ‘Enterability’, which went on to become the 2015 winner in the ‘Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ category.

©RKW Kompetenzzentrum

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your experience as National Coordinator?

One thing that I love as an EEPA National Coordinator is that I get to learn from outstanding projects and initiatives at both national and European level, and I get to do this every year! Related to that – one of the most important things I’ve adopted is the motto “Do good and talk about it!” This describes EEPA and the initiatives it recognises perfectly. If you have a great initiative and you are making a difference, make sure to talk about it!

What was different about organising this year’s national competition? What changes did you have to implement?

We launched our German EEPA campaign at the end of February and searched for applicants until 9 April. Because of the coronavirus and its economic consequences (both long- and short-term) the supporting institutions that we work with to search for EEPA applicants were very busy and facing various challenges. As such, it was not easy to reach potential EEPA participants and we took special care with our communications activities and modified them where necessary. In the end, we were very lucky to receive 22 great German entries, and I thank all of them for having found the time to participate in this year’s competition.

Another thing that was different was that we held our national jury meeting in May via video conferencing rather than in person, as we usually do. That was an interesting experience, but it required more preparation, especially from the jury members. I was very grateful for our experienced national expert jury and for the fact that each jury member was very well prepared.

You have chosen your two national winners, what made them stand out from the other applications?

We chose “Start-up BW Local” and “Greentech.Ruhr” as our national winners and have put them forward to represent Germany at the European level.

“Start-up BW Local” focuses on one of the most important base elements in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem: municipalities. It rewards the most founder-friendly concepts from municipalities – assessed by founders – and supports them with implementing their concepts. I think the direct and indirect impact on the local entrepreneurial culture could be immense.

“Greentech.Ruhr” is outstanding because the project team has built up a regional green economy network consisting of 175 partners, and covers all industries of the environmental economy. Furthermore, they address an important challenge by supporting the local transformation process from mainly coal and steel industries to a diversified and ecologically-responsible economy, while also contributing to achieving the aims of the European Green Deal.

What are you most excited for in the EEPA 2020 competition?

Like every year, I am very excited to see the national winners and to see which projects will win. Of course, I am especially looking forward to seeing how the German projects will do in the competition.

However, this year I am most excited to see how we will celebrate the EEPA winners and national winner projects at the SME Assembly in November, given the current situation. I hope for the best, in all participating countries! Now and in post-crisis times, it will be even more important to show best practice in promoting enterprises across European countries, and continuing doing so even more than before.

Find out more about the 2020 national German winners here and stay tuned for the latest EEPA 2020 updates right here on the News Portal.

EEPA 2020 – Germany selects their national winners!

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The EEPA competitions are going ahead as usual and national coordinators and juries are compiling their strongest national projects and making the difficult decision about who should compete at European level.

This year in Germany, the expert jury selected their national EEPA winners via a video jury meeting, during which they assessed the 22 applications received by national EEPA Coordinator Juliane Kummer at RKW Kompetenzzentrum.

©RKW Kompetenzzentrum

After two selection rounds the experienced national jury selected the following projects to represent Germany at this year’s European competition:

Start-up BW local

“Start-up BW Local” is a federal competition that supports and honours the most founder-friendly concepts from municipalities. The concepts are assessed by founders and the winners receive a certificate and financial support to realise their concepts. Start-up BW local will be competing in Category 3: Improving the Business Environment.

Greentech.Ruhr

Greentech.Ruhr is a network consisting of 165 enterprises (mainly SMEs), research and educational facilities and other institutional partners. The network supports the regional environmental economy and the transformation process from mainly coal and steel industry to a more diversified economy with a particular focus on ecological solutions. Greentech.Ruhr will be competing in Category 5: Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency.

Congratulations to these two outstanding projects and good luck for the European competition!

Interested in following the rest of the German EEPA 2020 campaign? Make sure to have a look at the German competition website, the national coordinator website, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

More about EEPA

The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen via a series of rounds including a national competition, a European competition to determine the shortlist and finally an awards ceremony where the prestigious EEPA jury reveal their top choices per category and their selection for the Grand Jury Prize. Find out more about the updates for EEPA 2020 here.

What is the impact of winning an EEPA?

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There is still time to submit an application for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) and get involved in this celebration of enterprise! Check your national deadline here.

The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at the national, regional and local level through a variety of initiatives spanning six individual categories. Winning projects are chosen via a series of rounds including a national competition, a European competition to determine the shortlist and finally an awards ceremony where the prestigious EEPA jury reveal their top choices per category and their selection for the Grand Jury Prize. Find out more about the updates for EEPA 2020 here.

We have once again asked our EEPA Class of 2019 for their advice and experiences of being winners in the EEPA 2019 competition. Today we wanted to bring you their insights on what winning an EEPA has done for their projects and their work.

Winning the award impacted our work directly because there is outside endorsement for what we do. Awards like this help develop the GreenPAC iLab further and to sustain the work we do. We have also had a lot of questions about our programme from the international community, and the EEPA has facilitated this by giving us an international podium to share how we support sustainable startups.

Receiving an EEPA also highlights and recognises the support provided by the regional government. GreenPAC iLab has strong connections with (regional) governments, and the province of Overijssel and the municipality of Zwolle are crucial for stimulating sustainable entrepreneurship in the region. Both provide support for our program and can function as a launching customer for startups. Winning the EEPA Grand Jury Prize has given us additional proof to demonstrate that the regional funding of GreenPAC iLab should be sustained.

It is really motivating to have your work recognised at European level. The award is very important for both national and international visibility for the project and represents an opportunity to disseminate the project and increase its replication potential.

Winning this award served as motivation for the local Municipality, employees and the broader Tilos community to continue their hard work and remain dedicated to the vision of energy autonomy for the island of Tilos. As with the two prestigious EUSEW 2017 Awards, the EEPA 2019 award will also contribute to our efforts to communicate the success stories of our island to a wider audience, making Tilos an attractive destination for all Europeans.

  • TILOS, EEPA 2019 Winner, Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

I posted about the win on LinkedIn and Facebook and have never before gotten so many comments and congratulations! The project’s lead partner organization Innovation Skåne also published several very engaging posts in social media as well as sent out a widely read press release. We also watched as HealthTech Nordic got increased social media attention after the awards, so that growth has been quite exciting to watch. It has also helped on a practical level with our new funding application to Interreg ÖKS, who also congratulated us on our win.

Winning the award has put a spotlight on our work and the change that we are trying to bring about for SME involvement in public procurement. The prize not only represents recognition of the teamwork and effort that went into the project, but also that this work has a positive effect on sustainable business development and thus on employment generation.

We have received congratulations and encouragement from fellow colleagues, family and friends, and have also been mentioned in the local media which is quite exciting. It is also nice to see the City Council being recognised as an organisation and being praised for some of the valuable work it does. It is a shame that the national media has hardly mentioned the award, which has limited its effect in bringing the issue of SME involvement in public procurement to the authorities that need to be made aware.

Winning an EEPA has given us a lot of publicity in national press, across both printed and digital channels. We have also received congratulations from the government, business associations and from so many people. Most importantly, we made our partners and supporters proud, and we would like to especially mention the visionaries at the Bank of Cyprus, that believed and supported IDEA since its inception. For us, the IDEA team, who invest a significant amount of personal time and voluntary work into the IDEA project, being the winners of a prestigious EEPA is a powerful motivation to continue our work and keep aiming higher.

Winning the award gave us an identity on European level. As a young organisation this is really important as we need to find new European level partners to work with, but has also proved valuable at local level as EEPA has created more visibility and recognition for the hard work we are doing. The biggest opportunity as a result of EEPA for us now is to work together with new partners and expand our methodology.

  • Haven, EEPA 2019 Winner, Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

If you haven’t completed your EEPA application yet, don’t forget that you can ask your national coordinator for support!

Make sure to submit before your national deadline. Note that some of the 2020 national deadlines have been extended, so keep checking your national pages and the News Portal for updates.

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