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Tag ‘Think Small First’

Youth Essay Competition 2019 – Top 10

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Ready to find out who has made it into the top 10 for this year’s Youth Essay Competition? Firstly we would like to thank everyone again for their incredible entries, which were of a very high standard and made it difficult to narrow it down to only the top 10.

The top 10 applicants will now move onto Round 2 during which they must answer the following follow-up question from our jury:

The European Commission has recently published its political guidelines for the upcoming legislative term. Among those, newly elected Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has highlighted the importance of reinforcing SME Policy across the EU legislative board. What concrete measure or initiative would you propose to apply the “Think Small First Principle” to? And why?

Their answers will then be reviewed by the jury to narrow down the list again to the top three candidates that will travel to Helsinki to give their speech and defend their ideas in front of the SME Assembly 2019 delegates.

So who is moving on to Round 2? Have a look below!

  • Aleksandra Kochman (Poland)
  • Aureliano Undreaj (Albania)
  • Emilianos Panayiotou (Cyprus)
  • Lucia Ariel Hotti (Italy)
  • Frederik Kusse (Belgium)
  • Enzlo Ercole Ribagnac (France)
  • Estelle Beuve (France)
  • Giurca Paula Ioana (Romania)
  • Radu Domescu (Romania)
  • Magdalena Stoyanova (Bulgaria)

Well done to our top 10 and best of luck for Round 2! Don’t forget to keep checking the Portal to find out who the jury select to travel to Helsinki in November later this year…

The SME Week Youth Essay Competition is an opportunity to make your voice heard and to take your ideas to a key SME stakeholders and policy makers on a European platform.

For more information read the launch post, or contact smeweek@loweurope.eu and follow @EEPA_EU on Twitter and @PromotingEnterprise on Facebook for the latest information.

Portugal: IAPMEI acknowledges SMEs as drivers of the national economy

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 0094_President of IAPMEI_Miguel Cruz

The ‘PME Excelência’ (SME Excellence) is a recognition of excellence created by the IAPMEI (the Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation), in partnership with ‘Turismo de Portugal’ and a group of nine banks, aiming to reward the best entrepreneurial performances within the different sectors of activity. It distinguishes the SMEs that are drivers of the national economy, enhancing their visibility and publicly recognising them.

In line with the ‘Think Small First – a Small Business Act for Europe’ (an instrument of EU 2020), the PME Excelência initiative has honoured 1,845 SMEs (67% more than 2013).

According to Professor Miguel Cruz, the President of IAPMEI, this increase stems mainly from the performance of Portuguese SMEs, in which their growing innovative capacity and market diversification reflect higher levels of competitiveness and internationalisation.

The increase in the number of ‘PME Excelência’ also reveals a strong involvement of the banking sector, enhancing the value and importance of this prize in recognising the quality and soundness of the companies awarded.

Most (60%) ‘excellent’ SMEs are exporters and they employ 38 staff on average. Most are located in the districts of Porto, Lisbon, Aveiro and Braga.  These SMEs are mainly from the industrial sector (36%) but also from the commercial (29%) and tourism sectors (13%), among others.

According to Aquiles de Barros, President of the Board of Directors of Castelbel, a manufacturer of fine toiletry soaps and one of the companies that received a prize, the company reached ‘the best results ever’ in 2013, and the unit established at Castelo da Maia had an ‘unforeseen’ invoicing turnover in 2014. Sales increased by 40%: from €3.8 million to €5.3 million. Their expectation was to reach €4 million.

Apart from the need of enlarging its premises, Castelbel had to reinforce the number of staff by 50%, from 76 at the end of 2013 to 114, by the end of last year.  The number is impressive when compared with the 9 employees hired when the company first launched in 1999.

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