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The voice of experience: some advice from 2021 YEC winner Kristina Dimova

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The deadline for participating in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition is almost upon us. But don’t worry – you can still enter, so get writing and make sure to submit your entry by September 26. To inspire you, the YEC winners from 2018, 2019 and 2020 have already shared their top tips and today it is the turn of 2021 winner Kristina Dimova, who offers some advice below.

Kristina, who is from Bulgaria, won the 2021 YEC with an essay that highlighted that humanity is the key to sustainability, both when developing a business plan for a small and medium enterprise (SMEs) and when it comes to company management. Kristina has described her participation in the competition as “a moment of pure bliss!” Read on to see what advice she has to give to this year’s participants.

How would you approach this year’s theme?

Energy has proven to be a crucial topic not only for policies in the coming years but also for our everyday lives. I would definitely try to think outside the box as I did in my essay last year and, honestly, as every single winner did in the previous years. For sure, showing examples connected to the problem will help the overall density of the essay – no matter if they are about real start-ups, or if they are focused on an imaginary entrepreneurial solution to the energy problem. However, focusing on a particular storytelling arch will bring out the originality of the idea that the participant is trying to showcase. Therefore, for me, as a representative of Bulgaria – a country that is highly dependent on fossil fuels, I’d probably think how this topic is related to my personal story. I’d ask myself what is important for me as a young person and what are the crucial steps that we have to take for a more sustainable future. However, for sure, all these ideas should be presented with an authentic story. The more authentic, the better.

Why should young people participate in this competition?

The people, the ideas, the future. These are the main pillars of the competition for me. During the Assembly, I had the chance to meet phenomenal people from all over Europe. As I have stated before, a great story can be a real game changer. Each one of these people had a great story to tell and therefore they inspired me to change my personal story arch.

When in Portoroz, I saw once again that ideas are everything, but they can be nothing without execution. All of the people there had their own cause. When you see how all these ideas have developed, that truly motivates you, especially when you are young and you have yet to test your ideas.

When talking about testing, SME Assembly 2021 was all about the future and what we could do to make it better. Lean thinking was key for most of the entrepreneurs that took part in it, and testing and validating during the process was crucial for them. However, when we talk about the future, I must say that there is a special place for youth during the event.

A lot of policymakers and entrepreneurs not only listened to my presentation but also came and talked to me afterward about the ideas I spoke about. I gained more knowledge about entrepreneurship from the event, but not only that – because of my win I was also a speaker during the EU Industry Days 2022 conference. The best is yet to come because I’m about to take the lead position in 9Academy – a platform and business academy for professionals and entrepreneurs in Bulgaria. YEC 2021 was the push for me to see that entrepreneurship is the way for me, and I’m more than grateful for the whole experience.

Do you have any advice for the 2022 competitors?

Be brave. This is the only advice I can give to the competitors. Yes, the topic is important and it can be difficult to write a compelling essay for it. Yes, you might ask yourself – why am I writing something so complex? Because the only competition you have is yourself.

This competition was a way to figure out if I’m capable of showcasing complex ideas in a simple yet compelling way. However, it turned out to be a milestone in my career. Before it, I thought I’m only good at certain skills. Now, after the Assembly, I know that I have a skill set that has been growing after participating in the competition. So, be brave. You have nothing to lose. In addition to the competition, you will for sure win a broader perspective on a topic that is so important that it means everything to our lives.

This year the competition asks young people to think about the theme: Our European economies are highly dependent on fossil fuel energies. How can future young entrepreneurs contribute to a more sustainable economy?

Are you full of ideas on how to reduce our fossil fuel dependence and eager to share them with a Europe-wide audience? Then the SME Week Youth Essay Competition is an opportunity not to be missed! All you have to do is write a 2,500-word essay in English on the theme above and submit it here before the deadline of 26 September 2022.

The YEC jury will select three finalists to attend the SME Assembly in November, where they will present their essays to the 500+ delegates gathered at the assembly. The winning essay will then be selected in a public vote. The essays of all the finalists will be promoted across EU channels.

You can find more information on the previous editions of the YEC here. We will also follow with more advice and tips to help you with your entries, so make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal regularly, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and subscribe to our newsletter.

EEPA 2022 National Winners – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition

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We have already had a look at the shortlisted projects in Category 1 and Category 2 of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Today we introduce you to the EEPA national winners in Category 3 – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition. From the total 176 projects that entered the national competitions, 48 have been selected to advance to European stage of the competition, including 10 projects in Category 3.

Category 3 looks to reward innovative projects and solutions that help create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. It also aims to recognize initiatives that support the digitalisation of the European economy. Previous initiatives in this category included projects that support enterprise start-up and growth, or that simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses, for example. Let’s see what this year’s shortlist looks like!

  • Austria: Sharpen! Performance, from the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG), aims to activate the regional ecosystem to make Styrian companies fit for international competition in digitisation and internationalisation.
  • Denmark: SME:Digital, from the Danish Business Authority, helps SMEs take advantage of business opportunities in digitalisation, automation and e-commerce, offering online guidance, individual advice, investment support, and skills and leadership development.
  • Germany: Support for the City Centre, from WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH (WFB), is implementing a specially developed, strategic concept to attract new users and property owners to shape the transformation process of the inner city.
  • Ireland: Enfuse, from Dublin City Council, inspires and fuses local enterprises and MSc. students who directly collaborate, innovate, learn from each other, generating mutual benefits.
  • Lithuania: Sutelktinės paskolos “Avietė”, from UAB Investicijų ir verslo garantijos, Investicijų ir verslo garantijos, Ltd (INVEGA), is enabling SMEs to borrow faster for riskier business projects through crowdfunding platforms.
  • Montenegro: Cooperation for Development of Cross Border Business Environment Enhanced, from Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre Tehnopolis, aims to strengthen the infrastructure and capacity of organisations, to improve services and to support the development of the business environment in the cross-border area.
  • Netherlands: LifeSciences@Work Venture Challenge, from Health-Holland; Topsector LSH, helps life sciences researchers to make an impact by translating their research results into a solid business case that can form the basis for a biotech or medtech start-up.
  • Portugal: Espaço Empresa, from IAPMEI – Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation brings proximity service in multichannel and network format with personalized and specialized responses to the needs of companies and investors.
  • Serbia: StarTech: Innovation aiming for Stars, from the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), aims to accelerate the growth of Serbian businesses and foster the transformation from a traditional to a digital economy.
  • Ukraine: Ukrainian national project Diia.Business, from the state institution “Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office” (EEPO) is a large-scale national project for the development of entrepreneurship and exports, implemented together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation.

All the EEPA national winners will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly in November, where the winners in each category will be announced. This year the event will be co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. At the SME Assembly, the jury will also announce the winner of the Jury’s Grand Prize. The winner can be from any category and the prize goes to the entry considered the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

If you would like to find out more about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website. For the latest updates, visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal – we  will let you know soon who the winners in the other five categories are so make sure to check in regularly, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

EEPA 2022 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

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We have already introduced you to the national winners in Category 1 of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) that have made it to the next stage of the competition. Today it is the turn of Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills. In total, 48 projects from this year’s 176 participating projects have been selected to advance to the European stage of the competition, including seven projects in Category 2.

EEPA Category 2: Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills recognises initiatives that improve entrepreneurial and managerial skills. This year, the national winners come from seven different countries and they will be competing for a place on the final European shortlist, to be determined by the EEPA 2022 jury.

So, let’s take a look at the shortlisted projects in Category 2. As we already mentioned in our post on the Category 1 winners – the projects selected by the Portuguese national coordinators will be announced only in September.

  • Belgium: Love to be Free, from Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers (UNIZO), connects and represents freelancers in Belgium, offering various online and offline events.
  • Cyprus: Cyprus Seeds from CS Cyprus Seeds, provides financial, mentoring, and networking support to Cypriot academics in an effort to commercialise their research.
  • Hungary: Vallalkozzokosan.eu – online education platform, from Junior Achievement Hungary, provides online tutorials on economic, entrepreneurial and financial topics free of charge, especially for 12-25 year olds.
  • Italy: Bravo Innovation Hub, from Invitalia S.p.A., is a business accelerator for innovative companies that helps start-ups and new businesses to speed up market entry.
  • Slovakia: Inovácia Learn & Lead, from Learn & Lead Innovation, s. r. o., connects the world of education and entrepreneurship, generating interest in entrepreneurship and leadership among educators.
  • Slovenia: Mosaic of Entrepreneurship, from Katapult d.o.o., is a step-by-step entrepreneurial course on turning a business idea to a successful business, with seminars, workshops and an open knowledge base.
  • Turkey: Atolye Uskudar Programme, from Uskudar Municipality, is an Entrepreneurship/Innovation and Industry 4.0 ecosystem programme that serves as a FabLab to more than 250 entrepreneurs and scholars.

All the EEPA national winners will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the annual SME Assembly in November, where the winners in each category will be announced. This year the event will be co-hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. At the SME Assembly, the jury will also announce the winner of the Jury’s Grand Prize. The winner can be from any category and the prize goes to the entry considered the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

If you would like to find out more about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the European Commission website. For the latest updates, visit the Promoting Enterprise News Portal – we  will let you know soon who the winners in the other five categories are so make sure to check in regularly, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

Celebrate International Photography Day with a look back to SME Assembly 2021

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It is International Photography Day! As we are counting the days for SME Assembly 2022, we wanted to commemorate the memories from 2021.

What a year! Relive more precious moments here.

Eurochambres survey highlights green transition challenges for SMEs

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Eurochambres – the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry – has carried out a survey to investigate the hurdles that companies face in speeding up the green transition and dealing with related skills shortages. The survey also highlights the importance of investing in green skills. Eurochambres represents more than 20 million European businesses – 98% of them SMEs – through its 45 members and a Europe-wide network of 1 700 regional and local chambers of commerce.

Notwithstanding certain hurdles, businesses feel good about the green transition: 69% of respondents say that it has a positive impact on the labour market in their country; just 4% view its impact negatively.

Funding and advice

Eurochambers have promoted various initiatives to prepare companies for the green transition. Foremost amongst these are exchanges of best practices, collaboration with local and regional economic stakeholders, and training and advisory programmes.

For SMEs, advisory programmes are seen as particularly important. The infographic on the survey shows that, together with increased funding opportunities, such programmes are widely viewed as the most effective way of accelerating the green transition in SMEs. For businesses in general, bringing school curricula into line with labour market priorities is considered an important element in the process.

Good practices and recommendations

Details were given of good practices from around Europe, including activities implemented by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has become a member of the Circular Economy Alliance, in order to train SMEs and their employees in circular economy matters.

Finally, the survey made a series of recommendations. Along with provision of advisory programmes on energy efficiency and circularity and increased public funding, proposals of specific relevance to SMEs are wider dissemination of information on the availability of support in overcoming challenges, and a new approach to offering assistance that involves employment services, educational institutions and public authorities. Other recommendations concern adaptions to curricula at school and adult education levels.

To read the survey and take a look at the infographic, click here.

This article is published in the name and with approval of Eurochambres. For more information on SMEs, visit the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal. And be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

Acts of solidarity – How a Belgian seamstress started making masks

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Today on Promoting Enterprise we are bringing you the first of our ‘COVID Stories’ which will look at how companies and people have been affected by the current pandemic and how they are adapting to their new business environments.

Our first story focuses on Catherine Lorent, a Belgian micro SME owner who has used her sewing business to aid the medical sector and general public by learning how to make masks and fabricating them, as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gowns and shirts for nurses at children’s hospitals who found themselves facing shortages as the urgent demand for PPE continued to rise.

In this interview she tells about what motivated her to start her business and how she brought her plans to fruition, as well as the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on her business.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your business?

My name is Catherine Lorent and I own a sewing business called ‘L’Or en 4’. I started my current business in 2017 after I had become unemployed. Up until that point I had been working for a company for many years, until it closed around 2016. I was 54 at the time and I realised that my re-employment opportunities were limited due to my age and that it would be potentially difficult to reintegrate into the workforce.

It was at this point that I decided to re-pursue my passion for sewing, and try and make a business out of it to be able to keep working. I’ve always enjoyed sewing and I did have a small business at one point so I decided to start it up again as I wanted to become independent and work for myself.

My sewing business covers just about everything, I’m a seamstress so I can fix clothes, furnishings (like curtains and upholstery), and I also do restoration work. In addition, I’m a creative seamstress so I help people bring their designs to life and co-create bespoke pieces for them from scratch.  

What were the initial effects of COVID-19 on you and your business?

At the beginning of the pandemic it was really stressful because my clients stopped coming to my premises to have their garments tailored due to the lockdown measures which really affected my source of income. What’s more, some of my contracts started to be put on hold or dry up, like my work with the scouts to produce their scarves, seeing as all activities were suspended. The cancellation of several events also had quite a big knock on effect. My business is also tied to a lot of shops, as I work with several of them as their main seamstress for alterations, and when they had to close due to the health measures that also halted another line of work for me.

Overall it was an incredibly stressful period, and at one point I called one of my sons who helps me with the business and told him that I thought that I was going to have to close my business and stop working. I just couldn’t see how to replace my normal work and keep my business afloat. It was a difficult moment for both of us but it made me realise just how passionate I am about what I do and that I wanted to keep going however I could.

When and how did you start making masks for the hospitals?

I started making the masks as an act of solidarity as I realised that supplies were low and there was a genuine need. There was also this general expectation that people with skills like mine should pitch in and help out the hospitals and travelling nurses where they could, so I started experimenting with patterns and construction and making my first fabric masks. There was a lot of trial and error at the beginning as there were no official guidelines, requirements or certifications in Belgium for non-medical grade masks at the time.

Even sourcing the correct fabric was difficult during lockdown and I began by using my own stocks of hard polyester. When I ran out I turned to my own network to source more in order to keep up with demand. The fabric shop owner that I work with really helped out and at one point was throwing my fabric order down to me from a window! This was the only way that we could keep our supply chain going and helping the hospitals whilst keeping ourselves safe and socially distancing. It really emphasised that sense of community and just highlighted how everyone wanted to play their part and work together.

At this stage I was being paid by the national government via a dedicated scheme (Droit passerelle pour indépendants / Overbruggingsrecht voor zelfstandigen) for the self-employed that needed temporary financial support due to COVID-19. Through the scheme I was paid for my time and contribution so I was able to keep the business afloat, but I was still quite worried about how to keep my business going in the future.

What about the hospital gowns and shirts, when did you start making those?

Once I had already started making masks I saw an appeal on Facebook that was launched to find seamstresses willing to help children’s hospitals. The nurses that were working in these hospitals were running out of protective clothing as the main hospitals treating COVID-19 patients used up most of the supplies. The appeal asked for help in producing this protective clothing but also for the seamstresses to try and source ‘fun’ fabrics, as these nurses were treating young patients. I responded to the appeal and managed to make shirts for the nurses out of recycled fabric that I already had.

That is something else that I really stand for, the idea of recycling fabric or using what you have. Where possible I want to respond to the need for new products but not contribute to waste or harm the environment. If I can, I re-use or recycle fabrics or upcycle existing products into something completely new.

What was it like diversifying your activities to include masks and protective clothing? Was it difficult to keep up with demand?

At first it was a slower uptake but then it got to a point where I was not able to do it all on my own. I was very lucky to have neighbours giving me their time and helping out, as well as my sons. I taught them to sew when they were young so they helped me on the weekends to keep up with the orders and make sure we got everything out on time.

How did Catherine continue to diversify her business? How is she doing now and where does she see the future of her industry? Find out all of this and more in our next interview right here on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal. You can follow L’Or en 4 on Instagram and Facebook.

Have you got a COVID Story like Catherine’s to tell? Do you know an SME owner that has adapted to COVID-19 and wants to share their story? We would love to hear about it and feature it right here on the News Portal. Contact us at: promotingenterprise@gopacom.eu

Hungarian agri-food SMEs to receive support under the Commission’s State aid Temporary Framework

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The European Commission has approved a Hungarian scheme to support the agri-food value chain in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, which is expected to mobilise at least approximately €314 million (approx. HUF 111 billion). The scheme will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in all sectors, but is aimed at the wider agri-food value chain. The objective of the measure is to provide those companies with financial means to cover their immediate working capital and investment needs, and help them maintain their activities during these difficult times.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This Hungarian guarantee scheme, expected to mobilise at least €314 million, will support the Hungarian agriculture and food industry, as well as the wider agriculture and bio-economy value chain. This measure will improve the liquidity of businesses and help them continue their activities in these difficult times. We continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place quickly and effectively, in line with EU rules.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020. The Temporary Framework enables Member States to combine support measures, with the exception of loans and guarantees for the same loan and exceeding the thresholds foreseen by the Temporary Framework.

The Framework allows Member States to provide the following types of aid:

  • Direct grants, equity injections, selective tax advantages and advance payments
  • State guarantees for loans taken by companies
  • Subsidised public loans to companies 
  • Safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy 
  • Public short-term export credit insurance 
  • Support for coronavirus related research and development (R&D) 
  • Support for the construction and upscaling of testing facilities 
  • Support for the production of products relevant to tackle the coronavirus outbreak 
  • Targeted support in the form of deferral of tax payments and/or suspensions of social security contributions 
  • Targeted support in the form of wage subsidies for employees 

More detailed information on the Temporary Framework can be found here.

The full original press release can be found here in the Commission Press Corner.

Event spotlight: Useful advice and information for SMEs

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During these unpredictable and uncertain times we have seen an explosion in the number of events and the amount of content and advice available online. Whilst this wealth of knowledge can be valuable for businesses, the volume can sometimes be quite overwhelming and it can be difficult to find what you are looking for. At Promoting Enterprise we have collected information on a few different events covering various topics of interests for SMEs to help in your search.

Let us know your thoughts on the events and get in touch (promotingenterprise@gopacom.eu) if you want us to feature your event in an upcoming post!

Blockchain for SMEs–Hype or Opportunity?

This discussion focused on blockchain from the perspective of SMEs and featured entrepreneurs Petko Karamotchev , Jeroen Perquin and Enrico Talin, who presented their visions for the development of blockchain technologies and demonstrated their own use cases and applications. In addition, Mikuláš Peksa, Member of the European Parliament, addressed the issue of regulation surrounding blockchain. The discussion was moderated by Sebastiano Toffaletti, Secretary-General at European Digital SME Alliance.

Watch the webinar here.

Project meetings online

On 12 May at 10:00 (CET) Interreg Europe project partners will share their experience in using online meetings in their project work as well as their tips and tricks for navigating different tools. Find out more and register here. You can also access their previous webinar and summary on online meetings here.

Digitalising the commercial lending process in times of crisis

On 19 May at 15:00 (BST) expert speakers will discuss the digitalisation of commercial lending and how it could help small businesses during the current pandemic. This webinar will cover useful topics such as: ‘How e-signatures can help meet the urgent need for small business loans’ and ‘How ID document verification can help prevent fraud in the digital channel’, as well as security and authentication tips.

Register and find out more here.

Mind the Bridge Influence Virtual Summit

Looking for information on how to optimise your accounting? Perhaps you want to find out more about responsibly incorporating AI into your accounting? At the Mind the Bridge Influence Virtual Summit accounting professionals will have opportunities to exchange, learn best practices and listen to knowledgeable speakers on how to adapt and move forward with finance.

Visit the event website for more information.

Reviewing and re-setting your marketing strategy during the COVID-19 outbreak

The AD:VENTURE programme, supported by the 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund, has invited guest speaker Jonny Ross (founder and digital marketing specialist at Fleek Marketing) to provide insight and share advice and techniques on all forms of marketing, including planning and strategy for these difficult times.

Find out more and register here.

Running an online event you think we should feature? Or perhaps you have seen another event you think should be on this list? Then please leave a comment or get in touch with us: promotingenterprise@gopacom.eu

PARSEC Accelerator launches Open Call 2 for SMEs innovating in food, energy or environment

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The PARSEC Accelerator invites SMEs and start-ups to meet the 100 winners of Open Call 1 to jointly develop Earth Observation-based business solutions for the food, energy or environment sectors and apply to the Open Call 2.

The PARSEC Open Call 2 will distribute €1.5 million equity-free funding to 15 winning consortia and provide access to business support services (investment readiness program, export promotion and coaching) and the PARSEC Business Catalysts in order to help their solutions enter the global market.

The PARSEC Accelerator is uniquely positioned to help SMEs and start-ups benefit from the rapid evolution of the Earth Observation sector, enabled by new, maturing and converging technologies such as cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence. The PARSEC Business Catalysts, three tools supporting big data processing, in situ data access and access to an Earth Observation marketplace, represent an exceptional opportunity for start-ups and innovative SMEs looking for efficient ways to launch their innovations.

In order to apply for the second Open Call, external SMEs or start-ups have to team up with one of the winners from Open Call 1 and form a cross-sectoral and/or cross-border consortium of 2-4 organisations. The PARSEC Accelerator will facilitate networking for interested SMEs and startups via the online PARSEC matchmaking platform. To join the matchmaking register for free here. You will receive an invitation to join within 48 hours of registering.

The deadline to apply is 20 June 2020 at 17:00 CET. Eligible consortia will be invited to pitch their business ideas in front of a jury of experts at the PARSEC Demo Days on 2-3 July 2020.

For more information visit the PARSEC website, watch the Info Webinar and for any questions get in touch with the Accelerator here.

INNOSUP-1: providing innovation support for SMEs

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‘INNOSUP-1’ is the Horizon 2020 funding programme of cluster-facilitated projects for new industrial value chains. The programme supports SMEs to develop new value chains that cross business sectors. It boosts innovation by combining expertise from different domains.

13 INNOSUP-1 projects have been supporting SMEs to date and five more were launched in May 2019.

What does innovation support do for SMEs?

SMEs have great potential to create new products and services. However, they often face challenges that could be solved thanks to cross-sector cooperation.

INNOSUP-1 gives SMEs the support they need to join the dots and create disruptive innovations. It connects SMEs with other SMEs or larger organisations across many sectors to create new value chains. By doing so, the programme enables SMEs to transfer technologies, strategies and approaches.

There are many positive impacts. SMEs from all sectors develop their business via these innovative value chains. European citizens benefit from improved products, reduced environmental impact, growth and new job opportunities.

53 clusters delivering the projects

The INNOSUP-1 projects are delivered by consortia of experts coming from SMEs, consultancies and research organisations.

Many of these project partners are cluster organisations. Clusters are groups of enterprises that collaborate closely with each other. The 13 projects that have been active so far were delivered by 139 partners. Two out of 5 of these partners were cluster organisations and between them they counted 6,500 SMEs among their members.

More than 3,200 SMEs reached

The INNOSUP-1 projects have established contact with at least 3,200 SMEs to date. This number will increase as the new projects launch their calls for support. The new projects aim to reach almost 1,500 SMEs in total and to give innovation support to over 600 of them.

Over 1,600 SMEs supported

To date, INNOSUP-1 projects have provided innovation support services for over 1,600 SMEs. These SMEs are located across Europe and beyond. They were present in 27 of the EU Member States and nine of the 16 Horizon 2020 associated countries.

€26 million spent on innovation support for SMEs so far, which will rise to a total of €63 million  

All INNOSUP-1 projects are required to spend at least 75% of their budgets on innovation support services for SMEs. Innovation support services can take the form of funding, vouchers for specialised services, workshops, mentoring, and online platforms.

SMEs have to date received over €26 million in innovation support services from INNOSUP-1. As the new and ongoing projects continue, this figure will rise to over €63 million.

For more details on the projects and the support they receive read the programme impact report and read the full article on the EASME website.

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      Want to know some good news? The deadline for submitting entries to the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2022 is being extended to October 7! To the early birds who already submitted their applications – thank you and good luck during the selection process! The new deadline extension will give you the time you need to submit […]
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    • The voice of experience: some top tips from 2018 YEC winner Marija Borg August 26, 2022
      As the 26 September deadline for this year’s European SME Week Youth Essay Competition approaches, we asked 2018 winner Marija Elena Borg to share her advice with this year’s cohort and to give them the opportunity to benefit from her experience. You can also read about Marija’s own experience of the YEC here. Marija impressed […]
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    • EEPA 2022 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills August 24, 2022
      We have already introduced you to the national winners in Category 1 of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) that have made it to the next stage of the competition. Today it is the turn of Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills. In total, 48 projects from this year’s 176 participating projects have […]
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