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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 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!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

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.

Read more >>

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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!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

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 and don’t forget to register.

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.

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

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.

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