Fri 3 October 2014
European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2014
Double success for UK entries announced at the 2014 SME Assembly in Naples, Italy on Thursday 2nd October.
'The Sharp Project' was Runner Up in the category - Improving the Business Environment.
Gower College Swansea's 'From Primary to Professional' project received a Special Mention in the category - Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills.
The seven winners, 12 runners up and three special mentions for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards were announced. Organisations from all 28 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey, competed for the chance to win either a specific category or the prestigious Grand Jury Prize. Initially, hundreds of projects competed in national competitions, then 58 national winners entered the European level of competition.
The awards, which formally recognise innovation and reward the success of public bodies and public-private partnerships in promoting enterprise across the EU were open to all local, regional and national initiatives looking to encourage small businesses and promote entrepreneurship.
Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise said:
"My congratulations to the Sharp Project and to Gower College Swansea on their success at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. It is great that the Sharp Project is the Runner Up for improving the business environment and that Gower College Swansea's 'From Primary to Professional' project has a Special Mention for investing in entrepreneurial skills. Entrepreneurial new businesses are vital to the continued economic revival of our country so it is extremely gratifying to see the work of these two British projects gaining international recognition."
Susan Woodward OBE, FRSA, Founder of The Sharp Project said:
"It is fantastic for The Sharp Project to be recognised internationally. The team here have worked very hard to turn a vision into reality. They curated a critical mass of digital and creative start-up companies enabling us to prototype a new way of supporting businesses. At the heart of that was our belief that our tenants success comes from collaborating as well as competing. This unique, defining feature of the Project allowed us to create a business environment that stimulates growth in a sector identified by Manchester as key to the growth of the economy."
Kevin Smith, CEO Young Chamber UK said:
"I would like to congratulate the two UK winners at this years European Awards. Having been shortlisted from 58 national winners, it is a fantastic achievement that the Sharp Project has been named Runner Up in its category and that Gower College Swansea have received a Judges Special Mention. Both projects provide excellent support to the growth of entrepreneurial businesses in the UK and deserve the international recognition that they have now received."
In Europe, SMEs provide two out of three private sector jobs and are responsible for 85% of new jobs created. It is estimated that SMEs account for 67% of total employment and 58% of gross value added (GVA). The latest research shows that SMEs continue to form the backbone of the European economy, with some 20.6 million ?rms employing almost 87 million people and accounting for more than 99.8% of all enterprises.
Other projects that were recognised in 2014 in the UK were
- Inspiring Enterprise from The e-factor, Grimsby, North East Lancashire - a social enterprise ranging from promoting enterprise in schools and the local community, through to self-funded business incubators and managed work space. The e-factor is dedicated to improving the quality and success rate of small businesses, and is helping to create a more vibrant local economy.
- South Devon Export Network - an export-focussed network run by the Torbay Development Agency, providing one-to-one drop-in sessions, a quarterly forum, events and advice from UK Trade and Investment. The Torbay Development Agency works with UKTI to provide workshops, seminars and a network that shares information and experiences.
Detail of past projects can be found here:
For more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, visit the website, follow the Awards on Twitter in English, French, Spanish, Italian or German or visit the official Awards Facebook page. You can also follow the Promoting Enterprise blog.
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 Awards' objectives are to create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs. This is achieved by identifying and recognising successful activities and initiatives to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, and then showcasing and sharing examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices.