Enterprise Promotion
Awards 2012


1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

Foreword Facts and Figures Putting Small Business First The Jury Understanding the Judging Process Past Winners Jury’s Grand Prize Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit Investing in Skills Improving the Business Environment Supporting the Internationalisation of Business Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship Special Mentions The Promoters of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards About DG Enterprise and Industry

Legal notice: Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf may be held responsible for the use to which information contained in this publication may be put, nor for any errors which may appear despite careful preparation and checking. This publication does not necessarily reflect the view or the position of the European Commission. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2012 ISBN 978-92-79-26674-4 © European Union, 2012 Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged, save where otherwise stated. For use/reproduction of third-party copyright material, specified as such, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). This report is financed under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme which aims to encourage the competitiveness of European enterprises. The European Enterprise Promotion Awards are organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry. Contractors for the first SME Assembly and the EEPA: Low Associates (international policy events specialists) and Hanover (international communications consultancy), two SMEs proud to be helping other SMEs to grow.

This year’s European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) nominees help people to create and grow businesses – whether technological or traditional, local or international. We are recognising projects that have supported entrepreneurs from 10 to over 50 years-old, from all corners of Europe to set-up and improve the SMEs so critical to the European economy. It is precisely the creativity shown by these projects that demonstrates why harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit to drive European business is so important. If you give people the tools and freedom to innovate, they will find their own solutions and opportunities. Small businesses, and the organisations that support them, will ensure future European competitiveness far better and faster than any number of economists and bankers. Since 2006, almost 2,400 projects have participated in national competitions for a chance to compete in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. This means more than 30 projects have already won awards and been showcased across Europe to spread best practice. Together these projects have created more than 10,000 companies. As we share the 2012 winners and their successes with the world, I would like to thank all participating candidates and the national coordinators who managed the competitions in all 27 member states as well as Croatia, Serbia and Turkey, who all chose to participate this year. These national competitions are critical in raising awareness about how public bodies support small business. More than 400 projects competed for a chance to win an EEPA award this year; 57 were selected by their countries to compete at European level. So you can be assured that the six winners and eight runners-up presented here represent the very best. I hope their ideas and innovations will inspire organisations and individuals across Europe to do more for small business, making entrepreneurial endeavour more accessible and more influential than ever before.

Antonio Tajani Commissioner for Entrepreneurship and Industry


Facts and figures Small businesses driving European growth
SMEs are independent companies with

fewer than 250 employees. out of three private sector jobs and are responsible for 85% of new jobs created. It is estimated that SMEs account for 67% of total employment and 58% of gross value added (GVA).
The latest research shows that SMEs continue to form the backbone of the European economy, with some 20.7 They provide two

The lion’s share of enterprises are represented by micro firms with fewer than ten employees - 92%

million firms employing more than 87 million people and
accounting for more than 99.8% of all enterprises.


Going international: good business for SMEs
25% of EU SMEs have some kind of export activity
but only 13% export outside of the European Union.

Changing attitudes towards entrepreneurship: a fundamental challenge!
When asked if they would be interested in becoming an entrepreneur:

Export activity outside of the EU will become even more critical. Projections

2015, 90% of global growth will be outside of Europe. And by 2030, 60% of global
growth will be generated by emerging economies (BRICS).

show that by

37% of Europeans say yes compared to 51% in the US and 56% in China. SMEs driving innovation
25% of European SMEs are focused on the green economy.

Companies exposed to international business are more competitive and innovate more. 26% of internationally active SMEs introduced products or services that were new for their sector. For other SMEs, this number was lower at 8%.


Putting Small Business first: the Small Business Act for Europe
Adopted in June 2008, the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) reflects the Commission’s recognition of the central role that SMEs play in the EU economy. It puts into place, for the first time, a comprehensive SME policy framework for the EU and its Member States. Aiming to improve the overall approach to entrepreneurship and permanently anchor the ‘Think Small First’ principle in policy-making – from regulation to public service – the Act works to promote SMEs’ growth by helping them tackle the remaining problems which hamper their development. The Act is particularly focused on initiatives that help small businesses by: • Cutting red tape • Providing access to finance • Increasing access to markets More widely, it also seeks to drive a longer-term shi in attitudes – creating a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in society and encouraging and inspiring potential entrepreneurs.

A spin-off: the European Enterprise Promotion Awards
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards support the aims of the Small Business Act by recognising innovation and rewarding the success of public bodies and public-private partnerships in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship at a national, regional and local level.


The Jury
An independent, high-level European Jury has selected the best entries and given awards in each category. This year’s Jury included representatives from government, business and academia as well as members from both Denmark and Cyprus who have held the EU Presidency during 2012.

Members of the 2012 Jury were:
Joanna Drake
Director of SME and Entrepreneurship for DG Enterprise

Andrea Benassi
Secretary General of UEAPME (European Association of Cra , Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)

Agnieszka Kudlinska
Director of the Directorate for Consultative Works at the Committee of the Regions

Jaume Baró
Enterprise Manager, Barcelona Activa, 2011 Grand Jury prize-winner

Morten Riis
Project Manager for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Regional Manager of Young Enterprise South Jutland, Danfoss University, Denmark

Anders Lundström
Professor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business at midSweden University

Yiannis Kontos
SME Envoy for Cyprus and Director of Industrial Development Service at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism


Understanding the judging process
Individual countries were invited to conduct national competitions to determine the best projects in their nation. Over 400 projects competed in these national competitions in 2012 for a chance to enter the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Exceeding 2011 levels, the Awards also received entries from a record-breaking 30 European countries – all 27 EU Member States as well as Croatia, Serbia and Turkey. Countries were allowed to nominate a maximum of two entries (in different categories) to the European competition. The Jury is selected to provide a cross-section of knowledge and experience, with representatives from government, business and academia as well as relevant presidencies. This year both Denmark and Cyprus were represented. The Jury read and assessed each entry against defined criteria: originality & feasibility, impact on the economy, improvement of stakeholder relations and transferability to select their top entries. The Jury reviewed 57 national winner entries and established a shortlist of 14 nominees in five categories.

1. Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Recognises actions and initiatives at national, regional or local level that promote an entrepreneurial mindset especially among young people and women.

2. Investing in Skills
Recognises initiatives at regional or local level to improve entrepreneurial, vocational, technical and managerial skills.

3. Improving the Business Environment
Recognises innovative policies at regional or local level that promote enterprise start-up and growth, simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses and implement the “Think Small First” principle in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises.

4. Supporting the Internationalisation of Business
Recognises policies to encourage enterprises and particularly small and medium-sized businesses to benefit more from the opportunities offered by markets both inside and outside of the European Union.

The five categories are in line with the priorities of the strategy Europe 2020: for economic growth and prosperity in the European Union.

5. Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Recognises regional or local actions that promote corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices in the social and/ or environmental domain. This category also recognises efforts to promote entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups, such as unemployed, disabled or people from ethnic minorities.

The Jury’s Grand Prize was awarded to the entrepreneurial initiative considered the most creative and inspiring in Europe.

Past Winners
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards have run since 2006. In that time there have been 31 winning entries including one Grand Jury Prize Winner in each competition.

Barcelona Activa Barcelona Activa SAU SPM Barcelona City Council, Spain With its mission to transform entrepreneurship and business growth in Barcelona, the centre acts as a reference point and hub for entrepreneurs and uses an innovative model of online and on-site services to train individuals, thereby fostering the establishment of more than 6,000 new companies.

Entrepreneurs’ Residencies, Auvergne Agence Regionale de Developpement des Terrirtoires d’Auvergne (ARDTA), France Entrepreneurs’ Residencies provides short and long-term support measures for business creators or buyers from outside the area willing to settle in the region. They are designed to support, facilitate and accelerate the setting up of new businesses by guiding potential entrepreneurs and refunding their living expenses.

The Scarborough Renaissance Partnership Scarborough Renaissance Partnership, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom The development project transformed the north-east England seaside town of Scarborough by pioneering renaissance and boosting entrepreneurship, thus turning a seasonal economy with winter unemployment 50% higher than summer into a year-round economy with only a 10% difference between summer and winter employment.

Development of premises for business use, Bilbao Lan Ekintza-Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain Innovative urban redevelopment initiative that aims to prevent city decay by attracting startups and established businesses to relocate to the old heart of the city by providing financial support as well as combating marginalisation and social exclusion.

Y4 Committee, Finland A complete methodology that introduces the business perspective in regional decision-making, encourages innovation and entrepreneurship espousing ethically sustainable values. The project triggered a cultural change in Central Finland, raising the proportion of entrepreneurs in a region that previously had a wellestablished culture of paid employment.



Jury’s Grand Prize
A special prize awarded to the entrepreneurial initiative considered the most creative and inspiring in Europe

Making enterprise a realistic option for the hard-to-reach Outset YKTO Ltd, United Kingdom Outset is designed to show the unemployed that self-employment and enterprise is a realistic alternative to unemployment. Specifically created to help the most vulnerable groups, including the long-term unemployed, recently redundant, under25s, women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds, people with mental and physical disabilities and those who are over 50 years of age, the programme takes a unique approach to supporting start-ups. A national project that works in urban and rural settings, it seeks to change beliefs about the ability to start a small business. The project ethos involves using support teams that o en have similar challenging backgrounds, come from the same local areas and have had first-hand experience of being self-employed or running a business. Outset actively reaches, through all types of community spaces, from sports centres to Diwali and Chinese New Year festivals to find the people that will benefit most. This in-person outreach is reinforced by highly effective, targeted promotions including radio ads with direct response SMS facilities, quirky and enticing posters, postcards and flyers plus online and email marketing and lots of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. We use normal, jargon-free language. Since the start of the programme, Outset has engaged with over 6,000 people. Of those, 673 have started a business, together creating 890 jobs. Outset Finance has helped its clients raise £790,258 from a variety of funding sources to either start or expand their business. Most importantly, the businesses that Outset support do last: survival rates, particularly for women entrepreneurs, far outstrip national averages. Within disadvantaged client groups, conversion rates from engagement to start are approximately 1:5 and Outset’s new business survival rate a er four years is over 80%.

Further information: Contact: Bev Hurley, Chief Executive St John’s Innovation Centre Cowley Road Cambridge, CB4 0WS Email:


Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Recognising actions that promote an entrepreneurial culture and mindset and raise awareness about entrepreneurship in society

Συνεργατικός Οργανισμός

''Πρωτοβουλία Γυναικών'' Κύπρου Λτδ

Boosting women’s entrepreneurship by providing easy access to financing Women’s Co-operative Bank Ltd Women’s Co-operative Bank ‘initiative’ Ltd, Cyprus The Women’s Co-operative Bank seeks to boost women’s entrepreneurship by providing easy access to financing. The organisation identifies gaps in the economy, promotes support programmes for female entrepreneurs and provides free advice and guidance, as well as loans, that are tailor-made to the needs of small business owners. Since the project started 11 years ago, women’s entrepreneurship has increased in Cyprus overall from 12% in 2001, to 28% today.

Further information: Contact: Artemis Toumazi, Chairman/Director Sinergatikos Organismos Protovoulias Ginekon Kiprou Ltd 30 Pavlou Valdaseridi Street, Branches 1-4 6018 Larnaca, Postal Code 42251 6530 Larnaca, Cyprus Email:

Supporting pre-start-ups in Belgium BRYO Voka, Belgium The Bryo initiative supports pre-start-ups in Flanders and is dedicated to creating optimum conditions for successful entrepreneurship. The project has led to the creation of over 200 new businesses.

Further information: Contact: Eric Kenis Voka Rue Royale 154-158, 1000 Brussels Belgium Email:


Investing in Skills
Recognises regional or local initiatives to improve entrepreneurial, vocational, technical and managerial skills

Fostering knowledge transfer and digital visualisation Visualisation Park Visualisation Park, Sweden Visualisation Park in Sweden focuses on the commercial application of digital visualisation technology. Using a business park model, the location in Eksjö offers a home to a cluster of businesses with expertise in this emerging field. They are gathered around Campus i12, which offers a range of vocational courses. 50 partner companies support the educational programmes and the Park provides a meeting place for educational environment and industry to identify and develop projects. Since it was founded in July 2009 the number of partner companies has more than doubled, to over 100. Most importantly, students’ attitudes shi ed. More of them are now inclined to be entrepreneurs themselves, either by launching their own start-up or freelancing.

Further information: Contact: Joakim Falkäng Manager Visualisation Park Kaserngatan 26 SE-575 35 Eksjö Sweden Email:

‘PROGRESS’ for social and solidarity economy Progress Région Champagne Ardenne Public policy initiative PROGRESS was created to support the social and solidarity economy. Over 1,000 people have participated in training since 2008 and since 2006, 74 projects have received funding, representing 880 jobs.
Further information: Contact: Isabelle Roux Manager of the Social and Solidarity Economy Cluster 5, rue de Jéricho 51037 Châlons-en-Champagne Email:


Improving the Business Environment
Recognising measures to simplify administrative procedures for businesses, particularly for start-ups

Tackling difficulties faced by SMEs in urban areas FaciliTO Municipality of Turin, Italy FaciliTO is a model that the Municipality of Turin adopted to tackle the difficulties that small enterprises encounter in struggling urban areas. Micro and small businesses in Turin have faced particular difficulty in accessing credit, which is o en due to the absence of project expertise. FaciliTO attempts to meet these needs by providing free consultations to support the development of business plans as well as direct financial support. Over 200 businesses have accessed FaciliTO and 93 of them have received financial support.

Further information: Contact: Elisa Rosso, Servizio Fondi europei Innovazione, Sviluppo Economico Via Braccini 2 Cap 10144 Turin Italy Email:

Assisting businesses in crisis Early Warning Early Warning, Denmark A professional B2B service, Early Warning assists businesses in crisis by supporting entrepreneurs with their business needs. Assistance is offered via a network of 120 volunteer advisers with extensive professional experience.

Further information: Contact: Svend Røge Project Manager Væksthus Midtjylland/Vaeksthus Central Denmark, Business Development Centre Åbogade 15, building 2, 4th floor DK 8200 Aarhus N. Email:


Supporting the Internationalisation of Business
Recognises policies to encourage enterprises and particularly small and medium-sized businesses to benefit more from the opportunities offered by markets both inside and outside the European Union

Co-operating to bring Douro wines to the world Douro Boys Aicep Portugal Global, Portugal A group of five small wine producers from the Douro region worked together to create the Douro Boys brand. Designed to exchange information and support each other to steadily improve the quality of the wines they produce, the group also aims to co-ordinate a marketing strategy centred on promoting the Douro region and its wines to the world. Between 2002 and 2011, the exports of wine from the five producers increased from €4.7 million to €11 million, an increase of 134%.

Further information: Contact: Jorge Holtreman Roquette Administrator for Quinta do Crasto SA aicep Portugal Global, Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal, EPE O’Porto Bessa Leite Complex Rua António Bessa Leite, 1430 - 2o Andar 4150-074 Porto Email:

Supporting women entrepreneurs to cross borders RegionFemme Bratislava Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Slovakia The REGIONFEMME project supports women entrepreneurs to work cross-border by offering resources and best practice exchange. The project also offers resources including seminars, language courses and access to a database of female entrepreneurs.
Further information: Contact: Bratislava Regional Chamber of Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Jašíkova 6, 826 73 Bratislava Slovakia Email:


Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Recognises regional or local actions promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices

Supporting disabled people into the workplace Disabled at Work Denizli Municipality, Turkey Disability is a major cause of social exclusion and poverty, primarily due to the lack of employment opportunities. Disabled at Work, a joint Turkish-Dutch project, seeks to change attitudes and support the integration of physically disabled people into the labour market. The group comprises 16 organizations from Turkey and the Netherlands. The projects provide training as well as a matching programme which offers disabled people mentors as they prepare to enter the workforce. At the end of the programme, 194 people had been trained and 65 were employed.

Further information: Contact: Ms Pınar GÜLMEZ AĞIRBAŞ Director of Survey and Project Department Altıntop Mahallesi Lise Caddesi No:1 20100 Denizli Turkey Email:

Recognising commitment to socially responsible business Implementation and Promotion of ESR Label INDR, Luxemboug The INDR created a nationally recognised label ‘Socially Responsible Company’ available to companies, particularly SMEs, who demonstrate a commitment to socially responsible business. Since 2010, the INDR has promoted over 600 companies and awarded the label to 51.

Further information: Contact: Norman Fisch 7, rue Alcide de Gasperi INDR Luxembourg B.P. 3024 L-1030 Email: norman.fï


Special Mentions
‘Growing’ the spirit of enterprise in children The Turtle Dove Gardens Ltd De Terteltuinen B, Netherlands Children aged four - 12 years old in a neighbourhood in Groningen were the inspiration for the Turtle Dove Gardens. They wanted to set-up a garden near to their school to grow their own produce. De Torteltuinen took up the project, giving children the opportunity to build their enterprise skills. Now a registered business, 500 pupils have worked in the Torteltuin and the children feel they are taken seriously as entrepreneurs.
Further information: Contact: Mr. Bram van der Linden, Headteacher Openbare Jenaplan School De Petteflet Jacob van Ruysdaelstraat 73 9718 SC GRONINGEN The Netherlands Email:

Promoting e-administration at a national level e-Annual reporting Centre of Registers and Information Systems, Estonia This initiative represents a significant reduction in bureaucratic process and, from more than 140,000 companies registered in Estonia, 99% of them now use the system. It offers a significant saving for taxpayers and the Estonian Ministry of Finance found the time saved amounts to an estimated €4.6 million.

Further information: Contact: Margus Mägi International Marketing Specialist Centre of Registers and Information Systems Lõkke 4, 19081 Tallinn Estonia Email:

Establishing a unified approach to Corporate Social Responsibility at national level GATES - social and environmental business innovations UN Development Programme, Lithuania The lack of co-operation and co-ordination between institutions was the basis for the creation of GATES, a social and environmental business innovation project. The project created a single network and offered training and practical support to companies. The network includes experts from more than 500 companies involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Over 2,500 people from more then 500 SMEs in Lithuania have been involved in project activities.

Further information: Contact: Ieva Labanauskiene Communications Officer Labdariu str. 5, 2nd floor, Vilnius Lithuania Email:


The Promoters of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards

The Assembly of European Regions ( is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 inter-regional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for inter-regional co-operation.

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels was established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1994 as a consultative body to provide representatives of local and regional government with a voice at the heart of the European Union.

The European Association of Economic Development Agencies (EURADA) is a Europe-wide network of people working on economic development. EURADA has given a lead on a policy agenda including, amongst others, regional policy, small business finance (EURADA set up the European Business Angels Network), entrepreneurship and innovation.

EUROCITIES represents over 135 major cities in 34 European countries. EUROCITIES works on behalf of the cities with the European institutions on a wide range of issues affecting local authorities, and enables the exchange of best practices in local governance among its members.

EUROCHAMBRES is the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. It represents over 19 million enterprises in Europe and a European network of 2000 regional and local Chambers in 45 countries. More than 99 % of these enterprises are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Union Europeenne de l’Artisanat et des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (UEAPME) is the employers’ organisation representing the interests of European cra s, trades and SMEs at EU level. UEAPME is a recognised European Social Partner. UEAPME incorporates 84 member organisations from 36 countries. It represents more than 12 million enterprises, which employ around 55 million people across Europe.

National contacts for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards can be found using the following link

The European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry

Within the European Commission, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry works to provide a more favourable environment for European business. It ensures that European Union policies contribute to the competitiveness of EU enterprises by encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation. At the core of these policies are small and medium sized enterprises as they are the principal providers of jobs and growth in Europe. DG Enterprise works with the business community to help develop innovative, competitive and responsible enterprise and with Member States to implement the Small Business Act for Europe. To summarise, the key message to entrepreneurs is “Europe helps you fulfil your ideas”.

European Small Business Portal
Want to find out what the EU does to boost small businesses in Europe and on the global market, and what it can do for your business? This multilingual portal gathers together all the information provided by the European Commission on and for SMEs, ranging from practical advice to policy issues, from local contact points to networking links.

Enterprise & Industry Magazine
The Enterprise & Industry online magazine (http://ec.europa. eu/enterprise/e_i/index_en.htm) covers issues related to SMEs, innovation, entrepreneurship, the single market for goods, competitiveness and environmental protection, industrial policies across a wide range of sectors, and more. The printed edition of the magazine is published three times a year. You can subscribe online ( to receive it – in English, French, German or Italian – free of charge by post.

European Enterprise Promotion Awards
For further information: European Enterprise Awards Secretariat E-mail: Tel: +44 20 74 00 89 95 - Fax: +44 20 74 00 44 81 Join the European Enterprise Promotion Awards on Social Media:


We site: Website: htt // policies/sme/bes uropean-

ISBN: 978-92-79-26674-4 doi.10.2769/63770 version: EN


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