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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first five categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we will take a closer look at the projects shortlisted in the final category, Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

The three projects shortlisted in this category come from Sweden, Turkey and the Netherlands. They take an innovative approach to scaling-up social entrepreneurship, create opportunities for Syrian refugees in Turkey and leverage recycling to create social jobs. The worthy finalists in this category have interesting stories to tell so, let’s take a closer look.

And so, in alphabetical order, we start with….

Inkludera – Sweden

Since 2011, Inkludera has been working to turn social innovations developed at the grassroots level into viable solutions that tackle the challenges that Sweden is facing. It does this by supporting social entrepreneurs who have developed unique solutions, helping them to scale up and become financially sustainable. One such solution is the Changers Hub, which creates positive meeting places for young adults and provides them with the tools they need to make constructive choices and achieve success. Inkludera selects the entrepreneurs and start-ups and supports them in building partnerships with the public sector. The combined experience of the Inkludera team is then put to use in strengthening the social organizations’ ability to work long-term and sustainably. Since 2013, entrepreneurs supported by Inkludera have entered into over 900 partnerships with 108 of Sweden’s municipalities. These partnerships have resulted in the entrepreneurs working with 27,200 people in 2020 to address various social issues.  

Opportunities for Entrepreneurs – Turkey

Migration not only involves a movement of labour, but also a movement of entrepreneurs. This project looks at the millions of Syrian refugees that have arrived in Turkey as a great opportunity, with many people ready to start a business and create jobs for others if they have access to guidance and support. The EU funded Opportunities for Entrepreneurs project provides this support and promotes refugee entrepreneurship in Turkey by mobilising the available local structures in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. To date the project has trained more than 500 budding entrepreneurs and mentored more than 100 others. The project has also provided seed funding to 70 entrepreneurs, enabling them to start or improve their businesses.

Opstuwen Kringloopbedrijven – The Netherlands

The programme Opstuwen Kringloopbedrijven (Pushing Up Recycling Companies), implemented by the cooperative Social Enterprise Lab U.A. and Branchevereniging Kringloopbedrijven Nederland (BKN), promotes social entrepreneurship at recycling shops in the BKN netowrk. The project helps to build an inclusive society by creating social jobs, while contributing to the circular economy through the collection, sale, recycling and upcycling of second hand products and materials. It adopts a large-scale approach at industry level, supported by various funds and partners, in combination with a top down and bottom up strategy. This approach has been successful and the project has created approximately 300 additional learning/work places for vulnerable people in the labour market since 2014.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and stay tunes for future updates on the EEPA 2021 finalists!

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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Supporting the Sustainable Transition

We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first four categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we will take a closer look at the projects shortlisted in Category 5: Supporting the Sustainable Transition.

The three projects shortlisted in the category come from Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. These projects provide novel ways to optimise water use in buildings, streamline urban waste management, and engage children as the climate protectors of the future. Let’s take a closer look at these innovative projects.

We will look at the shortlisted projects in alphabetical order, starting with….

AQUA+® Rating water at your household – Portugal

AQUA+ is an initiative of the Agency for Energy in Portugal (ADENE). Recognising that water is a scarce and indispensable resource, the project offers a simple, agile and voluntary way to evaluate and classify water use in buildings, identifying opportunities where people can improve their water use and save water. In addition to classifying a building’s water performance, AQUA+ provides guidance on good practices for renovations and the design of new buildings, offering a greater choice of equipment, systems and solutions that allow a more efficient use of water. A sample 50 audits conducted by the project estimated an annual potential reduction in water consumption of 30%. AQUA+ is currently available for residential properties and will soon be extended to other areas, such as hotels, businesses and services.

ELWIS – Household-level waste tracking – Slovakia

For towns and villages to make informed decisions on waste management they need hard data on actual waste production. This is where ELWIS comes in. The system monitors waste management at household level and provides municipalities or collection companies with an overview of the actual amounts of waste produced by households and other entities in the municipality. Municipalities can then use this information to decide on the distribution of waste containers and the scheduling of trucks. What’s more, through their MyELWIS waste account, citizens can see how their home performs, motivating them to adopt a more sustainable approach. The system has contributed to a significant reduction in the cost of municipal waste, enabled the introduction of fair charges and encouraged citizens to sort their waste.

Green Penguin – Slovenia

Cities are responsible for more than 70% of all GHG emissions and so it will be critical to engage cities in the fight against climate change, encouraging them to adopt innovative solutions to mitigate risks and achieve carbon neutrality. With this goal in mind, Green Penguin combines real data with smart digital technologies in a digital game for schoolchildren. Through the game, Green Penguin teaches schools and children environmental and digital literacy. It shows children how to achieve significant CO2 reductions, raises their awareness of environmental challenges and sustainable development and, importantly, creates future generations of environmental protectors, engaging them in the co-creation of solutions for the carbon-neutral cities of the future.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first three categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today it is the turn of Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business.

Two projects were shortlisted in Category 4. The finalists are an Irish aerospace project that aims to develop the aerospace business in the Republic of Ireland, and a project that supports entrepreneurs and start-ups involved in forest fire prevention in Spain. Let’s take a closer look at these two innovative projects.

We will present the two projects in alphabetical order, starting with….

Emerald Aero Group – Ireland

Emerald Aerospace group is a cluster of 11 indigenous manufacturing companies, brought together in early 2017 with the specific purpose of enhancing aerospace manufacturing export revenues and growing the aerospace business in the Republic of Ireland. The project focuses primarily on aircraft build. By supplying manufacturing solutions at all levels of the supply chain, it has generated new business, built an expanded customer base, aligned industry systems and standards, promoted innovation and developed new export opportunities for the Group’s members. With a combined industry experience of over 225 years, the Group’s dedicated and local pathfinder team meets with clients to identify their requirements. Emerald Aero members then meet to discuss and analyse these requirements to come up with the best possible solution, offering the customer access to precision engineering, plastics moulding, tooling, 3D printing, fabrication, surface treatment, thermoforming and other services, all from one point of contact.

Iberian Centre for Research and Forest Firefighting Open Innovation Lab-CILIFO – Spain

Forest fires are a hazard that we see with alarming frequency in Europe, and Spain has been particularly hard hit. To build the country’s and Europe’s firefighting capacity, the Firefighting Open Innovation Lab-CILIFO (FOIL-CILIFO) accelerator, managed by the Finnova Foundation within the framework of the Iberian Centre for Research and Fight against Forest Fires (CILIFO), has been supporting entrepreneurs, technologies, companies and start-ups in the sector of forest fire prevention and extinction and forest management. The project offers companies the opportunity to test innovative technology in a real environment, helps them find international partners to replicate their results, and provides legal advice and support in accessing European funding with the help of specialised mentors. To date, 25 companies from up to 10 countries are benefiting from the services offered by the accelerator, which is the first of its kind in the sector.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Improving the Business Environment & Supporting the Digital Transition

Recently we have been giving you a closer look at the projects shortlisted in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) by our EEPA 2021 jury. Last time you read about the shortlisted projects in Category 2. Today it is the turn of the projects competing in Category 3: Improving the Business Environment & Supporting the Digital Transition.

The three finalists this year come from Portugal, Germany and Austria. Their projects promote the digitisation of business, support start-ups at the intersection of art, culture, business, technology and science and take an innovative approach to regional development. Sounds interesting? Let’s take a closer look.

We will take a look at the shortlisted finalists in alphabetical order, beginning with…

Digital Commerce – Portugal

Having a digital presence is a key first step for companies wishing to create more business and value and to reach new markets. Digital Commerce, a programme being implemented by ACEPI – Digital Economy Association – supports the digital transformation of SMEs, in particular micro-enterprises, in the commerce and services sector. In three years, the programme has trained 67 digital consultants and provided expertise to 50 business and commercial associations. What’s more, 1,345 entrepreneurs have graduated from its Digital Academy and the programme has conducted 51 sessions and workshops as part of a National Roadshow, in which around 3,000 entrepreneurs and traders took part. It has also organised a series of 34 free webinars, with over 1,500 participants. The programme has set itself an ambitious target – by 2022 it aims to digitally train more than 50,000 companies.

Next Mannheim – Germany

NEXT MANNHEIM has developed a unique, dynamic and steadily growing start-up ecosystem, which is establishing Mannheim as a start-up hotspot. A key goal of the project is to enable entrepreneurs in the tech, creative, cultural and urban innovation sectors to network and exchange experience with each other and with other economic stakeholders in the Rhine-Neckar-Region. The start-up ecosystem currently includes eight different start-up centres. It provides an optimal mix of funding, consulting, incubators and accelerators, supporting budding entrepreneurs and start-ups with direct access to investors, international networks, small and medium-sized businesses and industry. The project’s cultural innovation and creative economy unit focuses on cross-cutting projects that develop at the intersection of art, culture, business, technology and science.

Region 4.0 – Austria

The overarching goal of the Region 4.0 project is to make the regions of Kufstein, Untere Schranne and Kaiserwinkl even more liveable. Thanks to the start-up business development competition STADT UP KUFSTEIN, the number of vacant premises in the centre of Kufstein has fallen by 20%. These premises now house innovative retail, gastronomy and services start-ups. By providing these businesses with support – varying from graphic design to legal and tax advice, communications and much more – the project is helping to keep jobs, know-how and purchasing power in the region. The project also provides digital coaching and, to date, 121 entrepreneurs have participated in ten workshops, where they improved their knowledge of social media and websites, allowing them to increase their reach and digital presence.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

You have already read about the projects shortlisted in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA)! Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to each project that has been carefully evaluated and selected by our EEPA 2021 jury. Last time you read about the shortlisted projects in Category 1. Today it is the turn of the projects competing in Category 2: Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills.

The three finalists this year come from Germany, Lithuania and Italy. Their projects support the professional development of migrant women, empower young people with entrepreneurial skills and promote the development of e-commerce. Let’s find out more.

We are listing the shortlisted finalists in alphabetical order, beginning with…

COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige – Germany

COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige, which is supported by the non-profit association Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen (ISI), supports migrant women with training and professional development, providing them with the skills they need to become self-employed. By providing free training, coaching and networking opportunities, both migrant women who are willing to start a business and those who are already self-employed, are enabled to put business ideas into practice and to sustainably build up their own business start-ups in Berlin. The project is guided by the principle that migrant women stand up for migrant women.

No Quarantine on the Internet – Lithuania

After quarantine was declared in Lithuania, the entrepreneurship and export development agency “Versli Lietuva” came up with the business assistance initiative “No quarantine on the Internet”. The initiative focuses on the digitisation of business and the development of e-commerce and helps small and medium-sized businesses to enter the virtual space. Over 1,500 Lithuanian e-shops have used the initiative so far, more than 70 partners have joined in, and over 150 e-commerce experts have offered mentorship. During the big national holidays in Lithuania, residents gave each other a special gift card produced by the initiative, enabling them to shop at more than 100 Lithuanian e-shops, helping to support small businesses during the lockdown.

Startup Super School – Italy

Startup Super School is a business simulation initiative that has involved more than 2,000 young people throughout Italy in training courses dedicated to learning business dynamics, increasing digital skills and achieving a heightened awareness of work dynamics. Through innovative approaches to teaching and a process of entrepreneurial empowerment, the project helps students to bridge the digital gap and enter the world of work and of new technologies.

Be sure to read about the projects listed in previous categories, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

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EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Following the announcement of the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), we would like to introduce you more closely to the shortlisted projects in each category. Today we will kick off with the projects competing in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit.

The Category 1 finalists this year come from Slovenia, Spain and France, and their projects strengthen the economic impact of creative sectors, create new business models for gastronomy, and promote women’s entrepreneurship. Let’s take a closer look.

We are listing the shortlisted finalists in alphabetical order, beginning with…

Centre for Creativity – Slovenia

The Centre for Creativity is a one-stop-shop offering support to the cultural and creative sectors in Slovenia. Through the platform, individuals working in these sectors are able to network, present their projects and develop their creativity. The platform cooperates with the Ministry of Culture to provide funding to develop creative ideas and enterprises and to help these ideas and enterprises become viable by creating stronger ties with business. The Centre supports activities that take shape at the intersection of different creative disciplines – art, experimentation, entrepreneurship, and business – and that have not yet received system-wide public funding.  In particular, it promotes projects that target social problems or contribute to social progress and welfare.

Culinary Action! – Spain

Culinary Action! (CA!), implemented by the Basque Culinary Centre, provides training and supports the professionalization of the gastronomy sector. Since 2011, Basque Culinary Centre has been contributing to innovation and growth in the gastronomy sector, not least through its involvement in the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences at Mondragon University and the unique Centre for Research and Innovation in Food and Gastronomy, where the project is helping to produce the chefs and food scientists of the future. What’s more, through other projects, such as Building a Green Gastronomic City, CA! is helping to find circular economy solutions to food sustainability challenges and create an environment where experts, suppliers, producers, chefs, and consumers can co-create solutions to reactivate local gastronomy and educate citizens on sustainability. The project’s overarching goal is to instil its values of passion, excellence, and social commitment into gastronomy research and innovation.

Youth Awareness Weeks – France

Since 2013, the association 100,000 Entrepreneurs has been organising “Weeks of Awareness of Young Women and Entrepreneurship” to increase awareness among young people aged 13 to 25 about women’s entrepreneurship. Too often, women make choices about their education and their careers based on persistent stereotypes. They are also unaware of business creation in their training and do not integrate it into their career choices, due to a lack of role models. With this initiative, the association is showing young people success stories, embodied by successful women entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. The ninth edition of the event, in March 2021, enabled more than 1,400 women to engage with more than 35,000 young people throughout France.

Don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2021 finalists!

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SME Week Newsletter 2021: Issue #10

Welcome back to the SME Week Newsletter!

It’s also time to welcome back the SME Assembly, which will be held live this year on 15-17 November, in Portorož, Slovenia. As the culmination of SME Week, the SME Assembly will see entrepreneurs, policymakers, and innovators gather in Slovenia to put sustainability at the centre of Europe’s recovery.

In this edition, we also talk to some previous winners of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition, who have excellent advice for anyone thinking of participating in this year’s competition. If you haven’t started your essay yet, there is still time to get creative, so read on!

We also look at European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2021 to meet the European shortlist.

Finally, don’t forget to share with us YOUR stories; how are you navigating these challenging times? Share your news and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue or on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Read the full edition of our newsletter more >>

SUBSCRIBE AND DON’T MISS ANY UPDATES

Don’t forget to check our YouTube channel for the latest videos on the SME Assembly, the European Promotion Enterprise awards and the SME Week.

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YEC 2021 – There’s more time than you thought!

Great news!! The deadline for submitting entries to this year’s edition of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition is being extended from 26 September to October 3! To those of you, who already submitted their applications – thank you and good luck during the selection process!  But in case you have not started to get your ideas down on paper, the deadline extension will give you the time needed to submit a winning entry. Don’t delay! Register here, and get writing!

So, what do you need to do? Well, the challenge this year is to write about what SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges. You should think about the competences and skills needed by entrepreneurs in the future and describe three promising and sustainable start-ups in 2030.

According to last year’s winner Sabine Kerssens, the great thing about the competition is how creative and free you can be in your approach. So what are you waiting for? Get thinking about the future skills needed by entrepreneurs; get writing; and get in with a chance to be the winner of this year’s competition.

Are you up to the challenge? To have a chance at winning a trip to the SME Assembly 2021 in Slovenia this November, all you have to do is to submit an essay of no more than 2 500 words in English before 3 October 2021.

You can find all the information you need on this year’s competition in the 2021 Competition launch post. If you have any other questions, you can contact smeweek@loweurope.eu. Good luck, get writing and don’t forget to submit.

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YEC 2021 – How to write a winning entry

You would like to take part in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition but need a little inspiration to get started? We have just what you need! To give you that much-needed push, we asked last year’s winner and finalists for some tips on approaching this year’s question.

Just to remind you, this year, the question is:

What do SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges? Think about the competences and skills needed in the future for an entrepreneur, describe three promising and sustainable start-ups in 2030.

The question we put to our alumni was “How would you approach the 2021 question?” This is what they had to say:

“This year’s question has a lot of interesting angles to it. It allows you to dream about the future, but also asks you what start-ups would need to get to that bright future. I would make that bridge clear, what global challenges do start-ups face now, and what do they need to arrive in the future successfully.” Sabine Kerssens, 2020 winner

“I love this question because I think is very practical. I have read tons of interesting articles and academic papers that talk about this topic with big numbers, saying that technology is the key or that big corporations will get rid of manual work. But I think we also need some people that are creative and put resources in place to make a circular economy possible in their communities or that advise governments about the consequences of more developed Artificial Intelligence in our daily lives. Perhaps some SMEs that are inclusive with the elderly and do not forget that they are also part of the future could be an incredible step forward too. And these are just some quick examples: the key is to reverse negative trends in our society.” Pablo Pastor, 2020 finalist

“Last year, the question was so relevant at the time to the work I was doing, so I approached it with my own personal experiences of social enterprise and essentially answered the question as if I was convincing everybody else to come and join me on the social enterprise journey! For this year’s question, I would definitely reflect on the characteristics and traits you think you possess, or that you want to develop, and how you think these are conducive to setting up a business. I’d also bring in any local start-up’s to me – the Youth Essay Competition is the time to shine a light on the work people are doing around you, so I’d be highlighting the work of start-up’s in Wales and bringing them to the European stage!” Geena Whiteman, 2020 finalist

Have our alumni inspired you to get creative? We hope so! There is still time before the September 26 deadline to submit your entries. You can read more about the 2021 competition here, and if you have any questions, contact us at smeweek@loweurope.eu.

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European SME Week 2021 – Upcoming events

The European SME Week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. It helps and supports existing entrepreneurs and encourages potential entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses.

A significant component of the SME Week campaign is the events included in the European SME Week event calendar. These events take place across Europe, at regional, national and cross-border levels, and cover various topics around the subjects of entrepreneurship, SMEs and business.

Current events this autumn include:

The calendar is updated regularly, so be sure to keep checking back on events happening near you or even online.

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    • EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship October 26, 2021
      We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first five categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we will take a closer look at the projects shortlisted in the final category, Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship The three projects shortlisted in this category come from Sweden, […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Supporting the Sustainable Transition October 19, 2021
      We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first four categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we will take a closer look at the projects shortlisted in Category 5: Supporting the Sustainable Transition. The three projects shortlisted in the category come from Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. These […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business October 14, 2021
      We have already introduced you to the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the first three categories of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today it is the turn of Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business. Two projects were shortlisted in Category 4. The finalists are an Irish aerospace project that aims to develop the […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Improving the Business Environment & Supporting the Digital Transition October 12, 2021
      Recently we have been giving you a closer look at the projects shortlisted in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) by our EEPA 2021 jury. Last time you read about the shortlisted projects in Category 2. Today it is the turn of the projects competing in Category 3: Improving the Business Environment & Supporting […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills October 8, 2021
      You have already read about the projects shortlisted in this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA)! Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to each project that has been carefully evaluated and selected by our EEPA 2021 jury. Last time you read about the shortlisted projects in Category 1. Today it is […]
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    • EEPA 2021 Shortlist – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit October 7, 2021
      Following the announcement of the 2021 shortlist of finalists in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), we would like to introduce you more closely to the shortlisted projects in each category. Today we will kick off with the projects competing in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit. The Category 1 finalists this year come from […]
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    • SME Week Newsletter 2021: Issue #10 October 5, 2021
      Welcome back to the SME Week Newsletter! It’s also time to welcome back the SME Assembly, which will be held live this year on 15-17 November, in Portorož, Slovenia. As the culmination of SME Week, the SME Assembly will see entrepreneurs, policymakers, and innovators gather in Slovenia to put sustainability at the centre of Europe’s […]
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    • YEC 2021 – There’s more time than you thought! September 26, 2021
      Great news!! The deadline for submitting entries to this year’s edition of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition is being extended from 26 September to October 3! To those of you, who already submitted their applications – thank you and good luck during the selection process!  But in case you have not started to get […]
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    • YEC 2021 – How to write a winning entry September 23, 2021
      You would like to take part in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition but need a little inspiration to get started? We have just what you need! To give you that much-needed push, we asked last year’s winner and finalists for some tips on approaching this year’s question. Just to remind you, this year, […]
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    • European SME Week 2021 – Upcoming events September 22, 2021
      The European SME Week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. It helps and supports existing entrepreneurs and encourages potential entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses. A significant component of the SME Week campaign is the events included in the European SME Week event calendar. These events take place across […]
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