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European Commission : Enterprise Promotion Awards: Shortlist of best entrepreneurship policies

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10/04/2012 | 09:03am EDT

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 4 October 2012

Enterprise Promotion Awards: Shortlist of best entrepreneurship policies

European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) nominees help people create and grow businesses: technological or traditional, local or international. The EEP Awards recognise innovation and reward the success of public bodies and public-private partnerships in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship at national, regional and local levels. This year's projects supported entrepreneurs - aged from 10 to over 50 years - as across Europe they set-up and improve the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) which are crucial to our economy. The winners for each of the five categories will be announced at the first ever SME Assembly on 15 November 2012 in Cyprus. One project will also receive the prestigious Grand Jury Prize.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, commented, "The creativity shown by these projects demonstrates exactly why harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit is so important to drive European business. These best practice projects underline that small businesses not only drive future economic success but that their sector is increasingly accessible and inclusive. We need to multiply these concrete success stories and make Europe more business-oriented and business-friendly, in particular in the current economic situation."

For more information on the shortlisted projects, please see MEMO/12/739

Full information about the awards, the jury and its collaborators

Watch a video of last year's grand prize winner, Barcelona Activa

The Small Business Act

Over 402 projects competed in this year's national competitions, for a chance to enter the European Awards. The Awards received entries from a record-breaking 30 European countries: all 27 EU Member States as well as Croatia, Serbia and Turkey. A high-level jury representing business, government and academia reviewed the 57 national winner entries and established a shortlist of 14 nominees in five categories.

Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Belgium: Supporting pre-start-ups in Flanders to create over 200 new businesses.

  • Cyprus: Boosting women's entrepreneurship from 10% to near 30% in 10 years by providing easy access to financing through a cooperative bank set up by female entrepreneurs.

  • Netherlands: 'Growing' the spirit of enterprise in children aged 10-12.

  • UK: Raising aspiration for enterprise among hard-to-reach groups; creating 890 jobs through grassroots engagement.

Category 2: Investing in Skills

  • France: 'PROGRESS' for the social and solidarity economy, resulting in the creation of 880 jobs.

  • Sweden: Fostering a digital visualisation cluster and entrepreneurship in a small rural military town.

Category 3: Improving the Business Environment

  • Denmark: Assisting businesses in crisis by supporting entrepreneurs with their business needs.

  • Estonia: e-Annual reporting, leading to savings of over €4.5 million.

  • Italy: Tackling difficulties faced by SMEs in urban areas by providing access to advice or funding to over 200 businesses.

Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

  • Portugal: Cooperating to develop a brand and bring Douro wines to the world.

  • Slovakia: Supporting women entrepreneurs to work cross border by offering resources and best practice exchange.

Category 5: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship:

  • Turkey: Supporting disabled people in the workplace by providing job training and a mentor programme.

  • Luxembourg: Recognising commitment to socially responsible business.

  • Lithuania: Establishing a unified approach to CSR by offering training and support to over 500 SMEs


Since 2006, the European Enterprise Awards has rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level. Its objectives are to identify and recognise successful activities and initiatives undertaken 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 society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.

Contacts :

Carlo Corazza(+32 2 295 17 52)

Sara Tironi(+32 2 299 04 03)

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