Brussels, 15 February 2013
Which initiative will drive the most entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the most powerful driver of economic growth and job creation. But which initiative in Europe is most creative and most successful in supporting business set-up and the creation of new jobs? To discover the answer to this question, the European Commission launched today the 2013 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). The awards recognise the best public initiatives and public-private partnerships in promoting business development and entrepreneurship. This year, a new category rewarding successful projects contributing to the green economy has been added.
SMEs have a job creation potential as high as 85% of all new jobs. 37% of all Europeans would like to be their own boss if they could. Young people are even more inspired by entrepreneurship: 45% among the 15-24 years old see it as a realistic career option. If this potential could be tapped, millions of new businesses could be added to the current 20.8 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU. The EEPA aims to help unleash this potential by honouring successful initiatives in this field.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "We can all learn from these success stories about how to create more jobs and support the recovery of the European economy. The economic miracle in Europe after the war was based on entrepreneurship and bold decisions taken by entrepreneurial personalities. If we want to stimulate growth in Europe, in addition to supporting the development of existing businesses we must also focus on new ones. The Enterprise awards will help ensure that Europe's enormous entrepreneurial potential can be fully exploited."
For more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the website, follow the Awards on Twitter in English, French, Spanish, Italian or German or visit the official Awards Facebook page.
The six award categories are:
The new category to support sustainable growth will be open to projects supporting resource efficiency and SME access to green markets.
How to participate
The competition has two stages; applicants must first compete at the national level and will then be eligible to compete at the European level. For the national competition, each country will select two entries to be nominated for the European competition by June 2013.
A shortlist of nominees will be chosen by the European jury. All nominees from the national and European competitions will be invited to attend the awards ceremony, which recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment. Winners will receive their prizes during a ceremony at the 2013 SME Assembly in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 25-27 November.
Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level. Over 2 000 projects have entered since the awards were launched and together they have supported the creation of well over 10 000 new companies. Its objectives are to identify and recognize 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 European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.