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European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012: Winners

European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012

The winners of the 6th European Enterprise Promotion Awards were announced at the SME Assembly on 15 November in Cyprus. The Outset project, from the UK, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize and was selected for its unique approach to supporting start-ups by helping society’s most vulnerable groups to find work through self-employment and enterprise. Cyprus, Sweden, Italy, Portugal and Turkey also received prizes for driving enterprise with new and innovative local solutions .

The six winners of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012 are:

Grand Jury’s Prize: Economic development and business support organisation YTKO (Outset)

UK: Promoting and raising desire for enterprise among hard-to-reach groups

Outset is designed to show the unemployed that self-employment and enterprise is a realistic alternative to unemployment. Specifically created to help the most vulnerable groups, including the long-term unemployed, recently redundant, and people with disabilities, the programme takes a unique approach to supporting start-ups.  It seeks to change beliefs about their ability to start a small business. Since the start of the programme, Outset has engaged with over 6,000 people.  Of those, 673 have started a business, together creating 890 jobs.

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit Category

Cyprus: Boosting women’s entrepreneurship by providing easy access to financing

The Women’s Cooperative Bankaims to boost women’s entrepreneurship by providing easy access to finance through a cooperative bank set up by female entrepreneurs. Since the project started, women’s entrepreneurship has increased in Cyprus overall from 12% in 2001, to 28% today.

Investment in Skills Category

Sweden: Fostering knowledge transfer and digital visualisation

Campus i12 Visualisation Park was created to foster a digital visualisation cluster and entrepreneurship in the small rural military town of Eksjö. Since its foundation in July 2009, the number of partner companies has more than doubled, to over 100 and most importantly, students’ are now more inclined to be entrepreneurs themselves.

Improving the Business Environment Category

Italy: Tackling difficulties faced by SMEs in urban areas

FaciliTO is a model adopted by the Municipality of Turin to tackle the difficulties that small enterprises encounter in struggling urban areas by providing access to advice or funding.  Over 200 businesses have accessed FaciliTO and 93 of them received financial support.

Supporting the Internationalisation of Business Category

Portugal: Cooperating to bring Douro wines to the world

Designed to exchange information and support each other to steadily improve the quality of the wines they produce, the Douro Boys - five small wine producers from the Douro region - cooperated to develop a brand and bring Douro wines to the world, resulting in an increase of 134% of exports of wine from the producers.

Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Turkey: Supporting disabled people into the workplace

The Denizli Municipality's Disabled at Work is a joint Turkish-Dutch project designed to support disabled people in the workplace by providing job training and a mentor programme, resulting in 194 people being trained and 65 employed.

The Jury also gave special mentions to three innovative projects from the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia.

De Torteltuinen B.V. (Netherlands): ‘Growing’ the spirit of enterprise in children

Over 500 children aged 10-12 in a Groningen neighbourhood have participated in this project to set-up a garden to grow their own produce and build enterprise skills.

Centre of Registers and Information Systems (Estonia): e-Annual reporting

e-Annual reporting enables Estonian entrepreneurs to file annual reports via an e-Reporting mechanism from the Central Commercial Registry, which has led to a savings of over €4.5 million.

UN Development program (Lithuania): Establishing a unified approach to Corporate Social Responsibility

Lithuania: GATES was created by the UN Development Program in Lithuania to establish a unified approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), by offering training and support to over 500 SMEs. So far, over 2,500 people from over 500 SMEs in Lithuania have been involved.

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