This year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) nominees help people create and grow businesses – whether technological or traditional, local or international. This year projects have supported entrepreneurs from 10 to over 50 years-old across Europe to set-up and improve the SMEs so critical to the European economy.
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards aim to recognise innovation and reward the success of public bodies and public-private partnerships in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship at a national, regional and local level. The winners for each of the five categories will be announced at the first ever SME Assembly on 15 November 2012 in Cyprus, to which all nominees will be invited. 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 to drive European business is so important. They are the best of the projects seeking to put the 10 principles of the Small Business Act for Europe into action and ensure that small business is not only driving future economic success but that it is increasingly accessible and inclusive.”
Over 402 projects competed in this year’s national competitions for a chance to enter the Awards. Slightly more than in 2011, the Awards also 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.
GATES, UN Development program in Lithuania, was one of just five entries shortlisted in the Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship category:
Lithuania: Establishing a unified approach to CSR
Analysis of CSR in Lithuania indicated that CSR approaches had developed and been implemented in quite distinct ways. As a result, there was a lack of cooperation and coordination between institutions. This need 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, over 500 companies, and CSR organisations. So far, over 2,500 people from over 500 SMEs in Lithuania have been involved.
UN Development program in Lithuania, www.undp.lt
Joanna Drake, Chair of the Jury commented: “The quality of the entries to the 2012 competition made the shortlisting process extremely difficult. The projects we reviewed were amazingly diverse and demonstrated an extraordinary range of creativity in finding new ways to support and drive the creation of SMEs. We were particularly impressed by how many of the projects incorporated a socially conscious aim – seeking to help disadvantaged people while simultaneously promoting small business.”
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.