The winners of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are shining examples of the promotion of entrepreneurship.
This month, we spoke to the 2014 winner in the Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills winner, Ivaylo Grancharov, from Brandiko – Training in Building a Brand and Protecting it with a Community Trade Mark, which educates students on how to build a brand and register the brand as a Community Trade Mark.
Students establish training companies and are mentored on how to build and manage their own brand, market the brand and use it to increase sales. Pupils also learn about the importance of intellectual property protection. More than 1,700 students have completed the Brandiko programme.
1. What did you learn from your experience with the European Enterprise Promotion Awards?
First of all, EEPA is a great initiative and I hope it will continue to grow. The European Commission deserves to receive our gratitude for standing behind it and maintaining it. I would like to also thank everyone who is involved in making the Awards happen. It was a fantastic night!
The EEPA ceremony is a culmination of many months of preparation and anticipation. But it’s also the climax of many years of work. I call think of the EEPAs as the Oscars for SME policy in Europe. It is the most prestigious recognition a policy maker, or another public organisation can get in the EU. It’s amazing!
In my opinion, our advantage was that we connected Brandiko with the Community Trade Mark – a very important element in doing business in the Single Market that not many people take advantage of.
Overall, the lessons we learned included finding a universal problem to solve, finding a solution to it, working on it effectively and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.
2. What did winning a European Enterprise Promotion Award at the 2014 SME Assembly in Naples mean to you?
After facing some challenges in 2013 and 2014, we decided to apply for the EEPAs. We were very excited to find out that Brandiko got a nomination and then when we received the category award for Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, we were suddenly media stars.
Euronews’ Business Planet also did a fantastic piece on Brandiko and we are very grateful for the support of the presenter, Serge Rombi. After all of this hard work, we saw the pay off in the form of great media coverage.
We now feel an even bigger responsibility to make Brandiko a continued success. Now, we have to deliver even more and should be followed by many other successful projects.
Accepting the award was a moment of a lifetime. And as I said at the ceremony – “Napoli, sempre nei nostri cuori!”
3. How has your organisation grown since winning the Grand Jury Prize?
Brandiko is now working with a new partner who are helping us reach a new system of entrepreneurial education at schools in Bulgaria.
We are now in our fifth season of Brandiko and this year we expect to see more than 60 training companies join Brandiko – a new record for us.
4. What advice can you give to other organisations wanting to take part in the Awards?
I would recommend that applicants remember that you can be successful with the EEPAs. Do not let challenges get in the way! It is also important to be creative and never set a limit on success. It is also important to be clear in your application and demonstrate the value of the project through statistics.