European Enterprise Promotion Awards

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 thousands of new companies.

The winners of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards are announced at an Awards ceremony at the SME Assembly, which is part of European SME Week.

The objectives of the Awards are to:

  • identify and recognise 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 society;
  • encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.

Award categories

The six award categories are:

  1. Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit - Recognises initiatives at national, regional or local level that promote an entrepreneurial mindset especially among young people and women
  2. Investing in entrepreneurial skills - Recognises initiatives at national, regional or local level to improve entrepreneurial and managerial skills
  3. Improving the business environment - Recognises innovative policies at national, regional or local level which promote enterprise start-up and growth, simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses and implement the "Think Small First" principle in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises
  4. Supporting the internationalisation of business - Recognises policies and initiatives that encourage at national, regional or local level enterprise and particularly small and medium-sized businesses to benefit more from the opportunities offered by markets both inside and outside the European Union
  5. Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency - Recognises policies and initiatives at national, regional or local level that support SME access to green markets and help to improve their resource efficiency through, for example, green skills development and matchmaking as well as funding.
  6. Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship - Recognises national, regional or local initiatives by authorities or public/private partnerships that promote corporate social responsibility among small and medium sized enterprises. This category will also recognise efforts to promote entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, especially long term unemployed, legal migrants, disabled or people from ethnic minorities.

The Grand Jury Prize can be from any category and will go to the entry considered the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.

How to participate

National, regional or local authorities or public-private partnerships from all EU Member States.

Eligible entities can be national organisations, towns, cities, regions and communities as well as public-private partnerships between public authorities and entrepreneurs, educational programmes and business organisations.

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.

A shortlist of nominees will be chosen by the European jury. 

Nominees will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Originality and feasibility
  • The impact they have on the local economy
  • The improvement of local stakeholder relations

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