Vinnarna i Europeiska Näringslivspriserna 2011
Jury’s Grand Prize
Spain: Transforming Barcelona’s entrepreneurial landscape
With its mission to transform entrepreneurship and business growth in Barcelona, the City Council established the Barcelona Entrepreneurship Centre in 2004 to serve as a reference point for entrepreneurs, as well as a hub that boosts entrepreneurship through its activities and resources. The project uses an innovative model that provides online and on-site services, allowing entrepreneurs to create their own itinerary from their business ideas to the creation of their companies. Training activities, conferences and workshops aid in acquiring key entrepreneurial skills and are tailored specifically to the needs and priorities of the entrepreneurs in the different economic sectors. Amongst the training offered, there are "knowledge pills" or short sessions on technical areas but also "knowledge" weeks for existing entrepreneurs, special summer training as well as activities for the self-employed. The centre provides a bridge of resource between business creation and business growth offering also one-to-one coaching, free access to pre-incubation spaces and an online express service for incorporation.
The project has coached more than 134,000 individuals and more than 222,000 people attend its events each year. Since 2004, Barcelona Activa has helped create 6,214 new businesses and 11,800 new jobs.
Barcelona Entrepreneurship Centre, www.barcelonactiva.cat
Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Turkey: Local honey bee spurs entrepreneurial buzz
Düzce University Beekeeping Research, Development and Application Centre (DAGEM)’s project combines traditional activity with entrepreneurial spirit by capitalising on the discovery of a unique species, the Yiğilca honey bee, which produces three times more honey than other bee races. To exploit this discovery, DAGEM conducted workshops, seminars and training courses on beekeeping and honey production, and urged the local population to participate in order to acquire the necessary skills. The university adapted 255 hectares of forest to make beekeeping possible and helped many locals, particularly women and unemployed persons, to start their own apiaries. The project, therefore managed to integrate forest development, beekeeping, honey production and start-up business development under a local development endeavour.
Beekeeping is now recognised in the local community as an important job opportunity as the initiative has contributed to decreasing unemployment and the amount of migration away from the area. The town is now self-sufficient in producing queen bees, and stands to make an annual income of €750,000 – over and above the annual government budget of €6,000.
Düzce University Beekeeping Research, www.duzce.edu.tr
Category 2: Investing in Skills
The Netherlands: Learning about entrepreneurship through real-life practice in Amsterdam
The Centre for Amsterdam Schools for Entrepreneurship (CASE) was established upon finding that a staggering 90 percent of university students don’t have contact with entrepreneurship, and therefore do not consider it as a career option. CASE seeks to create new types of education with a strong focus on entrepreneurial skills. The project develops multidisciplinary entrepreneurship education for all faculties and all phases of study. The programme allows students to establish new companies as a component of their training - either during the semester or during summer school - thereby gaining firsthand entrepreneurial experience. CASE makes entrepreneurship studies possible for all students in Amsterdam: entrepreneurship courses, minors, an honours programme and the Joint Entrepreneurship MSc are available for students.
Since its inception, the programme has tripled the number of students that consider entrepreneurship as a career option. Two thousand students participated in the entrepreneurship courses and 1,000 students participated in the six minors, which saw the creation of 100 new businesses. Three breeding grounds for entrepreneurial education and student start-ups were realised and established 20 start-ups.
Centre for Amsterdam Schools for Entrepreneurship (CASE), www.ace-amsterdam.org
Category 3: Improving the Business Environment
Sweden: Stimulating rural entrepreneurship through e-trade and micro-investments
The E-factory project has found creative and innovative solutions to boost entrepreneurship and create jobs in rural Uppsala County. The project’s platform for advisory services and business development targets existing companies and individuals who wish to start a company in the rural region. A business incubator provides coaching and mentoring in business development, economics and e-trade. Participants regularly attend networking activities as well as seminars and workshops. Financial tools are made available through the Heby Model, a micro-loan programme created especially for this project, which allows local residents to invest in local companies for as little as €50 per person, thereby giving the population a stake and a choice in local business development. An emphasis was placed on the internet and e-trade because technical developments in IT are particularly significant for companies in rural areas.
As a result of the E-Factory, 39 new companies and 179 new jobs were created and average revenues were raised by 30 percent in the municipality of Habo alone. New companies achieved average revenue of SEK 10.8 million; in 2010 this number grew to SEK 71.3 million. Seventy-eight new companies were assisted in their development. Women entrepreneurs made up 53 percent of those participating in the project.
The Uppsala Regional Council, www.regionuppsala.se
Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business
Italy: Internationalising Prato’s businesses through product experimentation
Rethinking the product encourages companies to work together and develop new uses for their products and to internationalise them. The project seeks to support companies from different sectors, allowing them to cooperate to create prototypes inspired by the companies’ traditional products. Assisted by designers and marketing experts, companies from various sectors, ranging from home decor and textiles to leather goods, have the opportunity to test their know-how with new types of products. This is how a textile company began upholstering bookshelves, or how a traditional leather producing company created a leather bottle holder. The prototypes are presented at international fairs and events as well as throughout the local territory.
Throughout the course of the project, 49 prototypes were created and adapted to the needs of the market and launched for sale. During the Hong Kong Innocenter fair in 2008, 18 prototypes from the 24 participating companies were presented. In Tokyo in 2009, 18 prototypes from the 34 participating companies were presented at the Design Interior Festival.
Chamber of Commerce of Prato, www.po.camcom.it
Category 5: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Hungary: How to be commercial, competitive and have an innovative employment policy
The owners of Hotel Panda seek to integrate disabled people into the business world and to provide them with job opportunities they would otherwise not have. The hotel is earning an outstanding position in tourism by using a unique employment model: a team of employees with different kinds of disabilities. Training, education conferences and the hotel’s open-door policy seek to point out and discourage societal prejudices and false assumptions about people living with a disability. The hotel is registered as a certified adult education study centre, allowing it to offer training that leads to the accreditation of the participants. It works with a variety of public and private organisations and also provides training and seminars so that others may learn about working with and employing disabled personnel.
Currently, 95 percent of the staff working at Hotel Panda is disabled. The owners also claim the disabled staff members increased their confidence and their relationship with the community has improved. The project is also financially rewarding: the hotel has doubled its profits, which proves that it combined social goals with a successful business performance.
Hotel Panda Ltd, www.hotelpanda.hu
Jury’s special mention
Austria: Mentoring for migrants helps social integration and economic development
Mentoring for Migrants was established by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in cooperation with a variety of partners to support qualified workers of ethnic background with their integration into the Austrian labour market, while also promoting the internationalisation of the Austrian economy. Since 2008, more than 450 mentoring pairs have been formed and many have led to successful jobs and enduring relationships.
Federal Economic Chamber, www.wko.at/mentoring