Today the European Commission launched the 2018 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, a competition to reward outstanding European initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships that promote entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe.
As of today nominations are open and national competitions will soon be launching across EU Member States as well as Iceland, Serbia, Turkey and Montenegro. Each participating state will then select two national winners before the European deadline of 3 July, to compete at European level. The participants’ ultimate aim is to win the Grand Jury Prize at the SME Assembly in Graz, in November 2018.
When speaking about the benefits of an EEPA prize, previous Grand Jury Prize winner, Entrepreneurial West Hisingen, spoke of the increased political impact and what that meant for the project overall.
“Upon our return, we began receiving several visits from different parties and politicians, including the minister of finance and her team, who came for some insight and points from our project after we were first nominated. This increased political interest has led to us being more respected and being invited to various city council groups which in turn has increased our local impact and overall our role in national political development.”
Daniela Ölmunger, Entrepreneurial West Hisingen, EEPA Grand Jury Prize Winner
This year there will be six active categories, due to the reinstatement of the ‘Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency’ category. This recognises initiatives that support SME’s in improving their resource efficiency and ‘green’ credentials. It looks for examples where the adoption of circular economy principles or the development of green skills has both a social and economic impact.
The six active entry categories are:
- Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
- Investing in entrepreneurial skills
- Improving the business environment
- Supporting the internationalisation of businesses
- Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency
- Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship.
How to participate:
The competition has two stages; applicants must first compete nationally before becoming eligible to compete at the European level. Each state will select two national winners as their nominations for the European competition by 3 July.
A shortlist of nominees will then be selected by the European jury in September 2018 and published the following day. All shortlisted nominees from both the national and European competitions will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony at the 2018 SME Assembly on 20 November in Graz, at which the winners can present their projects in a pan-European environment.
Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level. Over 3 700 projects have entered since the awards were launched and together they have supported the creation of well over 10 000 new companies. The Awards’ objectives are to recognise successful activities and initiatives to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, showcase and share examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices, create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society, and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.