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Bruxelles, 24 May 2011

5th European Enterprise Awards: Barcelona wins for Job Creation Initiative

Today Vice-President Antonio Tajani announced the winner of the 5th edition of the European Enterprise Awards ceremony in Budapest. The entrepreneurship centre of the Barcelona Council, Activa was awarded the Grand Jury Prize selected for its innovative entrepreneurial support and training actions leading to the creation of 6,214 new businesses and 11,800 jobs. Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Turkey also received prizes for driving enterprise with new and creative local solutions. These prices are a recognition for a successful and innovative way of promoting entrepreneurship. Jointly organised by the European Commission, the Hungarian EU Presidency and the Committee of the Regions, the European Enterprise Awards ceremony took place during the Small Business Act conference “Mobilising SMEs for the Future of Europe” in Budapest.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: "Business is the key for job creation. Today’s winners underline that public authorities can do a lot to improve the business conditions for SMEs. We need to multiply these concrete success stories and make Europe more business-oriented and business-friendly, as set out in the Small Business Act. "

Committee of the Regions President Mercedes Bresso said: "In these difficult economic times, we need to support entrepreneurship more than ever. The European Enterprise Awards show what we can achieve when regional and local authorities, universities and businesses all pull in the same direction."

The six winners of the European Enterprise Awards 2011 edition are:

Grand Jury’s Prize: Barcelona Activa, Barcelona City Council, Spain

Barcelona Activa's Entrepreneurship Centre has become a reference point for the city's entrepreneurs and acts as a hub for entrepreneurship. Using an innovative model of both online and on-site services, the centre has coached more than 134,000 individuals. Every year, it organises a large array of events ranging from short "knowledge pills" to "knowledge weeks" and summer camps for entrepreneurs attracting more than 222.000 participants. It has enabled the creation of 6,214 new companies and almost 12.000 jobs since its establishment in 2004.

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit Category

The project Together we can do more! Beekeeping, Honey Production, Forests and Sustainable development, Düzce University, Turkey has turned the discovery of a unique bee species into an opportunity to help the local economy by training disadvantaged groups in beekeeping.

Investment in Skills Category

The Centre for Amsterdam Schools for Entrepreneurship (CASE, the Netherlands), is a unique example of multidisciplinary entrepreneurship education through real-life practice in all faculties and all levels of study for local university students.

Improving Business Environment Category

The E-factory (Uppsala, Sweden), a rural entrepreneurship project based on a public-private partnership, has found creative solutions to create jobs and companies in rural Uppsala County by offering advice and micro-credit provided by the local population.

Internationalisation of Business Category

Rethinking the Product is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Prato (Italy) to encourage product experimentation and help companies find new uses and markets for their products. Companies from different sectors are matched together to create new designs for products that are then presented at fairs domestically and internationally.

Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Hotel Panda, in Budapest, Hungary uses a unique training and employment model to integrate disabled people into the business world. With 95% of its staff disabled, the hotel has doubled its profits, proving that it is possible to combine successfully social goals with a profitable business performance.

The Jury’s special mention has been awarded to:

“Mentoring for Migrants”, Vienna, Austria – which supports qualified workers of ethnic background with their integration into the Austrian labour market.


Created in 2006, the European Enterprise Awards award excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level.

In 2011, 399 projects from 29 countries – 24 EU Member States and Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Turkey and Serbia – competed in national competitions to demonstrate how their initiatives have furthered the facilitation of business and boosted their region’s economy.

54 initiatives from across Europe were selected for the jury meeting, which established a shortlist of 12 initiatives in six categories. The winners were announced on 24 May at a ceremony in the Hungarian National Gallery in which all national nominees were invited.

For more information:

For more information on the European Enterprise Awards

The Small Business Act

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