Northampton County Council won the accolade for helping to generate economic prosperity across the county, but they also received recognition for their work encouraging exports. They are one of the few Local Enterprise Partnerships to have established a European office helping them to building trade links with Europe, as well as working closely with the UK Trade and Investment.
Councillor Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve received recognition by the government for all the good work we’ve been doing to bring economic prosperity to Northamptonshire. We are committed to creating the conditions to bring economic growth to our county and will do whatever we can to boost business and enterprise.”
“We also see the importance of establishing strong trade links with Europe and beyond and are pleased that our innovative approach to this has been endorsed by the government.”
YTKO's Outset programme was recognised for its work in providing support to under-represented enterprise groups in partnerships with local authorities. Many of their "Outset" clients live in the UK’s most deprived wards, from inner cities to isolated rural and coastal areas. Since 2009, Outset has supported more than 7,000 clients, with more than 1,000 starting businesses to create over 1,200 jobs. Half of these new entrepreneurs are women, a third are aged under 25 or over 50, and the majority were previously unemployed.
A special judge’s award was presented to Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, just one of a few schools in the UK to have a main specialism of entrepreneurship. The school links students with the local community to develop business ideas among young people and since launching the project in 2010, the school has engaged with over 3,000 pupils and businesses in the local area to promote enterprise.
All the EU national competition winners will now go forward to the pan-European awards, whose jury will begin reviewing the entries before releasing a shortlist of the top 12 entrants to go forward to the final competition.
The overall winners will be announced at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony on 15 November in Cyprus, which this year takes place during the first ever SME Assembly, as well as Global Entrepreneurship Week.