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EEPA 2020 – Meet the European shortlist

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.

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YEC 2020 – How to write a winning entry

There is still time to submit your essay to this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition. Still a bit stuck? Need some advice? Look no further! Here on the News Portal we have brought together valuable advice from past winners to help you write the best entry you can.

So have a read, think about their advice and don’t forget to submit!

There’s a trick I use whenever I have to write something. I leave my phone and laptop behind and go to the park with a pen and a small notebook. Ideas come when I don’t allow myself to be distracted by other things, and putting pen to paper is an essential first step. Even if you scribble over twenty ideas, or an idea doesn’t work at first, write it all down. Underline each idea, develop it, put it into clearer words. Soon enough, you’ll have a winning essay.

  • Radu Dumitrescu, 2019 winner

My advice is pretty simple: plan ahead! Do not wait till the last days of submission to draft your entry. Remember that the earlier you start planning for and writing your essay, the more time you have to research the topic, structure your thoughts and review the final product. Also, I highly recommend that you give your essay a personal touch – it is ultimately the key to ensuring that your entry stands out above the rest.

  • Marija Elena Borg, 2018 winner

I am convinced that our thoughts influence our actions in a material manner. That is why my advice would be to think practically. Let me demonstrate this. There is a young Ukrainian performing artist that uses the motto “Brave, Love, Freedom”, which I would use in a practical way to prepare my entry.

Let’s take firstly the point “Love” I would interpret it in the following way: look around you, define the persons you care about, think about their needs and what innovative steps are required to improve the lives of your loved ones. Now let us look at “Freedom”: get rid of prejudice; let your critical mind absorb and analyse information around you; be open to any topic no matter if you agree with it or not, because firstly you have to listen to opposing opinions, then gather data and facts about the argument and finally build your own opinion. Finally, “Brave”: do not be afraid to talk with experts about topics like: Innovation, Political and Social strategies, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, do not be intimidated by their experience and look for seminars and conferences at which these topics are discussed. Finally, do not doubt yourself, sit down and write down all of your own ideas, because these ideas will one way or another influence the behaviour and way of thinking of those who will read or listen to them!

  • Oksana Vedminska, 2017 winner

Read more about the 2020 competition here and send any questions about the competition to smeweek@loweurope.eu

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Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Sabine Hepperle, Ben Butters & Bastian Coes

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury is made up of members representing the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies and the last Grand Jury Prize winner.

The EEPA jury has the difficult task of selecting which national winners will make it onto the European shortlist, as well as the projects that will go on to win each respective category and the prestigious Grand Jury Prize.

Each year the jury sees experienced returning members, like EEPA jury chair Kristin Schreiber, Thomas Wobben, Professor Thomas Cooney and Anke Wiegand, as well as new faces. Today on the News Portal we are meeting this year’s new members.

The first new jury member for the 2020 edition is Ms Sabine Hepperle, who is Head of the Directorate-General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy in Germany. She also previously served as head of Berlin’s promotional trade programme and headed the Representation of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Brussels. Ms. Hepperle will be representing the German presidency on this year’s jury.

“A winning EEPA project is one that is unique and innovative. It should also have a significant impact on the local business environment. In times of COVID-19 we particularly need innovative and successful projects, which are transferrable to other regions and countries. While evaluating the EEPA projects, I have especially looked at the local impact of the projects as well as on the benefit the projects have on SMEs.”

Our next new member is new to the EEPA jury but not to the SME Assembly, Mr Ben Butters, Deputy CEO of EUROCHAMBRES, will also be joining this year’s EEPA jury. Ben has covered a wide range of issues that are of relevance to chambers of commerce and the European business community, including the single market, SME policy, regulatory reform and skills. Before joining EUROCHAMBRES, he created and for several years ran his own business providing EU advocacy support to small business associations.

Finally our last new face on the EEPA 2020 jury is Mr Bastian Coes, Manager & Business Developer for GreenPAC iLab, the project that won the Grand Jury Prize at the EEPA finals in 2019. Mr Coes and his team impressed the jury with their project which supports new entrepreneurs in the plastics industry to help them start their businesses and achieve sustainable and circular business models.

“A great part of the success of our economy depends on a new generation of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who know how to adapt and can switch between different competences where creativity can make the difference. This creativity can be recognized in the great entries of  the various EEPA projects. They show the need for continuous investment in the entrepreneurs of the future. ”

Welcome to our new jury members! Don’t forget to read about our returning experienced jurors: Kristin Schreiber, Thomas Wobben, Professor Thomas Cooney and Anke Wiegand. The EEPA jury will be meeting soon to discuss and decide which projects will be on this year’s European shortlist so keep coming back to the News Portal and don’t miss the announcement.

Find out more about EEPA 2020 and read about specific updates to the 2020 edition from EEPA jury chair Kristin Schreiber here on the News Portal.

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COVID Stories – E-health solutions and mask manufacturing

Here on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we want to bring you stories from the pandemic, in particular the information that you, our Promoting Enterprise community, can benefit most from.

Previously we have brought you stories and examples like that of Catherine Lorent, a Belgian seamstress who started with acts of solidarity and then innovated and received national aid to keep her business going. We have also looked at tips on how to support small businesses as a consumer, measures for SMEs when the effects of the pandemic started to be felt, the ongoing support granted under the Commission Temporary Framework, and other Commission funded coronavirus projects.

Today on Promoting Enterprise we are looking at some initiatives that were launched in response to the pandemic in order to mobilise the brightest minds, bring innovators together with those in need of solutions and, most importantly, find solutions to ongoing issues caused by COVID-19. Read through the featured initiatives below and be sure to visit their websites to learn more about their work.

E-health at home COVID-19, The Netherlands

The COVID-19 outbreak has meant that healthcare providers have had to make an extra effort to care for people with vulnerable health conditions living at home. In the new situation of social distancing, it was necessary for the health providers to adjust or extend their care for this vulnerable group.

In order to support health care providers during the COVID-19 crisis, a temporary emergency fund was made available by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. This fund, executed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), supports health care providers in purchasing or leasing and implementing e-health applications to ensure continuity of care, in this case remote care or telecare. The 23 million-euro fund was opened twice between 26 March and 8 May and attracted more than 1700 applicants of which 460 were funded.

Find out more about the scheme here.

Corradino Correction Facility, Malta

Prisoners at the Corradino Correction Facility in Malta are helping to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 by producing masks and other personal protective equipment. These masks are being used by officers and residents of the facility and by other government entities. The Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement in Malta expressed his gratitude for the initiative, and highlighted the importance of showing unity and solidarity. The administration of the facility said that despite the fact that prisoners have made mistakes in the past, they are now supporting society during such a difficult moment for the country.

Be sure to come back to the News Portal, and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest measures and new support granted under the Commission Temporary Framework or to learn about other initiatives in response to COVID-19.

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Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Anke Wiegand & Professor Thomas Cooney

Being on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury is an exciting yet difficult task. For 2020 we have already met two of our jurors, Kristin Schreiber and Thomas Wobben, but who else will be joining them this year to select the best project for the European shortlist?

Time to meet two more returning members of the EEPA 2020 jury!

Our first returning member of the EEPA jury today is Ms Anke Wiegand, who first lent her expertise to EEPA judging in 2019. Ms Wiegand is Head of Unit Innovation I Funding Financing for the Enterprise Europe Network Berlin Partner for Business and Technology. She joined last year’s jury and presented the Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency award at the EEPA awards ceremony at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki.

“Under the impression of this year’s pandemic, SMEs all over Europe came up with excellent ideas, digital skills and visions for sustainable, health and climate friendly solutions for the future. Support schemes need to adapt in order to encourage this spirit of resilience. My preferred EEPA projects will help and support these innovations to find their way into our societies.”

Another returning member of the EEPA 2020 jury brings significant experience to the role and has been a part of the EEPA jury for several years. Professor Thomas Cooney is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology, and Academic Director of the TU Dublin Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship. He is also a Director of four businesses, works in a supportive capacity with a variety of organisations and has published widely on the topic of entrepreneurship. As a member of the 2019 EEPA jury he presented the Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit award at the EEPA awards ceremony at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki.

Welcome back to Anke Wiegand and Professor Thomas Cooney! Don’t forget to read about the first two jurors we introduced: Kristin Schreiber and Thomas Wobben, and make sure to come back to the News Portal to meet the remaining members of the 2020 jury: Mr Bastian Coes, Ms Sabine Hepperle and Mr Ben Butters.

Find out more about EEPA 2020 and read about specific updates to the 2020 edition from EEPA jury chair Kristin Schreiber here on the News Portal.

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EEPA 2020 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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, Supporting the Internationalisation of Business and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories*; “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”. This category “recognises initiatives that promote corporate social responsibility among small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, legal migrants, disabled, or people from ethnic minorities.”

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 “Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship”!

Don’t forget to have a look at all of the different national winners and stay tuned for the announcement of the European shortlist, chosen by our prestigious EEPA 2020 jury.

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YEC 2020 – Top tips with 2019 winner Radu Dumitrescu

We are back with the winner of the 2019 Youth Essay Competition, Radu Dumitrescu. Here on the News Portal we recently asked Radu how he was doing and what he had been up to since winning. Today we are asking him to tell us what any potential applicant needs to know…what makes a good essay and how to begin to answer the 2020 question.

Who better to ask than someone who has gone through the competition…and won! Radu shared with us how he would approach this year’s tough question and provided some helpful advice for anyone thinking about applying.

How would you approach the 2020 question?

This year, contestants have to answer two questions with which governments all over the world are struggling – how can SMEs succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how can the EU help entrepreneurs? The answers to these questions will be of interest to presidents, prime-ministers and business leaders alike. People in these positions already think in a certain way, and this is precisely why it is good to get the fresh perspective of a young European on these issues. We are in an entirely new situation globally, and now is the time for thinking outside the box. I would approach the 2020 question daringly, by trying to look at new ways in which businesses could operate using technology, for example.

Do you have any advice for the 2020 competitors?

There’s a trick I use whenever I have to write something. I leave my phone and laptop behind and go to the park with a pen and a small notebook. Ideas come when I don’t allow myself to be distracted by other things, and putting pen to paper is an essential first step. Even if you scribble over twenty ideas, or an idea doesn’t work at first, write it all down. Underline each idea, develop it, put it into clearer words. Soon enough, you’ll have a winning essay.

So what are you waiting for? Follow Radu’s advice, put pen to paper and don’t forget to submit. You can find all of the details of the 2020 competition here and send any additional questions you might have to smeweek@loweurope.eu or leave us a comment on any of the Youth Essay Competition posts.

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

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.

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YEC 2020 – Catching up with 2019 winner Radu Dumitrescu

Today on Promoting Enterprise we are catching up with last year’s Youth Essay Competition winner, Radu Dumitrescu. Since winning last year’s competition with his speech on the paradox of the European Union, as both a daring project but constricted by regulation and jurisdiction, he has been working on his doctorate degree, working for his university’s academic journal and working on some other very exciting projects.

What have you been doing since winning the Youth Essay Competition?

Since I won the Youth Essay Competition in Helsinki in November, I’ve continued to work in two domains close to my heart – civil society and academia. I’ve taken up a role as Editorial Assistant for my university’s academic journal, Studia Politica, and I’ve kept up my job of monitoring the statements of Romanian politicians, and fact-checking them together with my colleagues at Funky Citizens. Right now Romania is struggling to cope with the COVID-19 crisis while also heading into local elections, followed by parliamentary elections, so it’s an active time for NGOs that work in the field of politics.

What was the best part about entering the Youth Essay Competition?

I’m not usually the heart of any social event and I can’t say that travelling is my passion – I know, sounds like blasphemy from the part of a European in his 20s. However, the best part about entering the competition was that I got to meet so many wonderful people and to travel to a country like Finland, taking in another magical part of Europe. The weather might have been cold, but the warmth that I received from the team of organisers, from my fellow contestants, and from everyone that I met during the SME Week. It was truly a heart-warming experience. 

What did you learn from the Youth Essay competition experience?

Probably the main takeaway from my experience as a participant in the competition was that I have the ability to make my voice heard. It’s really no small thing to step outside one’s comfort zone and say something, write something, stand for something or to express an opinion, especially when the subject is one that affects so many people, such as markets and entrepreneurship in Europe. My essay did not have a grand, revolutionary idea and it didn’t propose major changes. Instead, I wrote about the gratitude that we all owe to Europe’s small business owners and how we should help them not only survive, but thrive. I had many doubts after I submitted my essay and you can feel really small before you take that first step, but after that it gets easier. You learn a lot about yourself when you step on a stage in front of a crowd.

Last time we spoke you told us about your doctoral degree at the University of Bucharest, how is it going?

Writing my doctoral dissertation has been like trying to find my way from point A to point B in a giant metropolis by relying on maps written by others and by asking around a lot, and then towards the end it seems that no one knows what the right path is. I should say that I’m studying the discourse of populist politicians in the United States and Europe and how they interact. No doctoral student will say that pursuing their degree is easy, but I still get excited like a child when I discover something. I can’t wait to have something new to say, to break theoretical ground in one direction and be able to explain a fraction of contemporary European politics.

Do you have any other exciting projects that you would like to share?

Stuck in the house, I’ve been reading and writing a lot. I had amassed quite a lot of books that I intended to read prior to this period, so I’ve taken my time with them in quarantine, reviewing many of them on my IG page. When it comes to writing, it is my doctoral dissertation that takes up most of my time, of course. Right now I’m looking at how the discursive practices of British politicians led to them influencing one another, particularly focusing on the figure of Nigel Farage.

My other project is where I am having more fun, however. Simply put, I’m trying to write a book about one of my Erasmus+ experiences, what I learned, what I felt and how it changed my world. A book for young Europeans, encouraging them to participate in Erasmus projects. Writing a book is a dream of mine and hopefully one day I’ll see my name in a library somewhere.

Congratulations Radu on everything you have achieved so far and good luck with your dissertation and book!

Could you be like Radu? Could you win the next Youth Essay Competition? Don’t forget to apply for this year’s competition and stay tuned to the News Portal for some tips and tricks from Radu on how to write a winning entry…

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EEPA 2020 National Winners – Supporting the internationalisation of business

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 and Improving the Business Environment.

Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we will be introducing the top national projects competing in one of the six categories*; “Supporting the Internationalisation of Business”. This category “recognises initiatives that encourage enterprises and particularly small and medium-sized businesses to benefit more from the opportunities offered by markets, both inside and outside the EU”.

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

Congratulations to the national winners of “Supporting the internationalisation of Business”!

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.

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    • EEPA 2020 – Meet the European shortlist September 17, 2020
      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 […]
      promotingenterprise
    • YEC 2020 – How to write a winning entry September 15, 2020
      There is still time to submit your essay to this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition. Still a bit stuck? Need some advice? Look no further! Here on the News Portal we have brought together valuable advice from past winners to help you write the best entry you can. So have a read, think about […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Sabine Hepperle, Ben Butters & Bastian Coes September 8, 2020
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury is made up of members representing the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies and the last Grand Jury Prize winner. The EEPA jury has the difficult task of selecting which national winners will make it onto the European shortlist, as well as the projects that […]
      promotingenterprise
    • COVID Stories – E-health solutions and mask manufacturing September 3, 2020
      Here on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we want to bring you stories from the pandemic, in particular the information that you, our Promoting Enterprise community, can benefit most from. Previously we have brought you stories and examples like that of Catherine Lorent, a Belgian seamstress who started with acts of solidarity and then innovated […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meet the EEPA 2020 Jury – Anke Wiegand & Professor Thomas Cooney September 1, 2020
      Being on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury is an exciting yet difficult task. For 2020 we have already met two of our jurors, Kristin Schreiber and Thomas Wobben, but who else will be joining them this year to select the best project for the European shortlist? Time to meet two more returning members […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2020 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship August 27, 2020
      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 […]
      promotingenterprise
    • YEC 2020 – Top tips with 2019 winner Radu Dumitrescu August 25, 2020
      We are back with the winner of the 2019 Youth Essay Competition, Radu Dumitrescu. Here on the News Portal we recently asked Radu how he was doing and what he had been up to since winning. Today we are asking him to tell us what any potential applicant needs to know…what makes a good essay […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2020 National Winners – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency August 20, 2020
      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 […]
      promotingenterprise
    • YEC 2020 – Catching up with 2019 winner Radu Dumitrescu August 18, 2020
      Today on Promoting Enterprise we are catching up with last year’s Youth Essay Competition winner, Radu Dumitrescu. Since winning last year’s competition with his speech on the paradox of the European Union, as both a daring project but constricted by regulation and jurisdiction, he has been working on his doctorate degree, working for his university’s […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2020 National Winners – Supporting the internationalisation of business August 13, 2020
      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 […]
      promotingenterprise