Brussels, 25 June 2014
European Enterprise Promotion Awards: Entrepreneurial education crucial for jobs creation
Education is an essential element of entrepreneurship. Studies show that students who receive entrepreneurship education are not only more likely to be employed, but also more likely to start their own companies. Promoting entrepreneurship as a viable and attractive career path among young people was a recurring theme in many of the entries received this year for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). This year there were applications from a record number of countries from across Europe: a total of 31 countries submitted entries, including all 28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey. The Awards showcase the most successful promoters of enterprise and entrepreneurship around Europe. They celebrate the best entrepreneurship policies and practices, create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in society and encourage and inspire budding entrepreneurs from across Europe.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “New businesses are the single biggest source of new jobs in Europe. Encouraging an entrepreneurial culture and improving the business environment is therefore critical for Europe’s recovery and growth”.
About the European Enterprise Promotion Awards
National competition winners will now go forward to compete in the pan-European Awards. Once the Jury has reviewed the entries this summer, they will announce a shortlist of the top entrants in each category who will compete in the European competition. The six category winners, including one overall Grand Jury Prize winner, will be announced at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards Ceremony in October, during the SME Assembly in Naples, Italy. The SME Assembly is the focus of European SME Week, which takes place from 29 September – 5 October 2014.
The more than 20 million SMEs in the EU represent 99% of businesses, and are a key driver for economic growth, innovation, employment and social integration. The European Commission aims to promote entrepreneurial education and improve the business environment for SMEs, to allow them to realise their full potential in today's global economy. New businesses are the single biggest source of new jobs in Europe. This is why supporting entrepreneurial education is one of the best ways to support growth and generate jobs.
For example, between 15 % and 20 % of secondary-school students who participate in a mini-company programme – in which students develop or simulate the operations of a real firm – will later start their own companies. This figure is three to six times higher than the general population, highlighting the impact that entrepreneurial education can have on young Europeans.
Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level. Over 2 800 projects have entered since the awards were launched and together they have supported the creation of well over 10 000 new companies. For more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, follow the Awards on Twitter in English, French, Spanish, Italian or German or visit the official Awards Facebook page.
The Jury is chaired by Joanna Drake from the European Commission's Directorate General from DG Enterprise and Industry. She is supported by a permanent representative from the Committee of the regions, representatives from the Greek and Italian Presidencies, academia and business.
For more information