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Brussels, 15 March 2010

European Enterprise Awards 2010 – 12 nominees shortlisted

Halving the number of business failures by offering individual support, doubling the number of young people who want to start their own business or raising by 500% the number of enterprising new cooperatives are just some of the projects nominated for the European Enterprise Awards 2010. The awards aim to reward the best initiatives contributing to a entrepreneurial and business-friendly Europe, for example by boosting small and medium sized companies and creating new jobs. The winners will be announced on 31 May 2010 in a special ceremony during the Small Business Act conference in Madrid.

Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "Every year the European Enterprise Awards bring to the fore successful initiatives from all over Europe that have created win-win situations for business and communities. This can often be achieved by putting bright ideas into practice and cementing public-private partnerships. As some of this year's projects show, it doesn't require a big budget to achieve this."

Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions said: "The role of the regions in catalysing and carrying out these projects shows how a coordinated, strong regional approach can create jobs and revive the entrepreneurial potential of each region."

More than 330 projects competed in national competitions in 28 European countries for the European Enterprise Awards 2010. Participating countries – EU Member States and Norway – could select up to two candidates for the European competition. The 53 selected entries1 were reviewed by a high-level jury representing business, government and academia. The jury drew up a shortlist of 12 nominees in 5 categories:

Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Austria: unlocking the entrepreneurial potential of young artists at the Johannes Keppler University, Linz

  • France: attracting business start-ups with "entrepreneurs' residencies" in Auvergne

  • Ireland: nurturing young entrepreneurs through the Genesis Enterprise Programme

Category 2: Investing in Skills

  • Sweden: Halland, a region that doubled the number of entrepreneurially-minded young people through education

  • United Kingdom: entrepreneurial and economic regeneration creates 3000 jobs and 400 new businesses in Hull

Category 3: Improving the Business Environment

  • Greece: reviving traditional cheese types with modern technology on island of Ios

  • Slovenia: rate of closure of new businesses is cut in half by providing free support to new entrepreneurs

Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

  • Germany: cross-border training leads to new business along the Dutch border

  • Norway: matching innovative SMEs with international customers

Category 5: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

  • Finland: increasing by 500% the number of co-operatives in Tampere

  • Germany: Nuremberg business keeps competitive through ethics

  • Poland: solving labour and housing issues at one go in Nysa.

The winners will be announced on 31st May 2010 at a special event in Madrid to which all national candidates will be invited. Co-organised with the Spanish Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers, the event will focus on the exchange of best business promotion practices across Europe. It will also mark the closure of the second European SME Week, a pan-European campaign giving prominence to the role of entrepreneurs and highlighting available support for small businesses.

More information on the shortlisted projects is available in the accompanying Memo (MEMO/10/77).

Full information about the awards, the jury and its collaborators can be found at:

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