Karen BoersYouth Essay Competition; EEPA shortlist; SME Week events; Eric Ries
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European SME Week

Welcome to the October edition of the SME Week newsletter!

Last month, our blog focused on female entrepreneurship, with some interesting insights into the challenges women face in business and how they overcome them. This month, we are putting the spotlight on startups.

Startups are invaluable drivers of the European economy. They are particularly important in times of economic constraint. By responding to a need identified in the market, startups have the potential to generate new wealth, produce innovative products and services and create jobs.

To highlight the important role played by startups in the European economy, throughout October our Entrepreneur in Residence and other bloggers will share their stories on the Promoting Enterprise blog. If you know of any startup entrepreneurs with inspiring stories to tell, let us know and we’ll do our best to feature them among others across our social media channels.

Meet our October Entrepreneur Karen Boers: 

Our Entrepreneur in Residence in October is Karen Boers. Karen is co-founder and CEO of both the Belgian startup network and the European Startup Network.
Karen has always been passionate about creating opportunities for other people – especially entrepreneurs – to thrive. On the Promoting Enterprise blog in October, Karen shares with us her experience and motivation and tell us about her dreams for the future.

Last month, Cécile Real contributed to our Entrepreneur in Residence section, you can read her blog posts here:

Youth Essay Competition - the wait is almost over!

We know that you are all impatient to learn the results of the Youth Essay Competition. The good news is that the wait is almost over. This is the month that the lucky winners of the competition will be announced. 


Stay tuned for more information and best of luck to all of you >

On the blog…

Check out the latest European entrepreneurship news, features, EEPA news and blog posts on a range of issues related to entrepreneurship on the Promoting Enterprise blog. 
This month’s focus is on startups, with bloggers sharing their advice on how to ensure that your new business thrives in a competitive economic environment.
Some highlights from the past month include: 


EEPA shortlist announced!

In total, 343 National EEPA entries were received from 31 participating countries in 2016, which were then narrowed down by the national EEPA coordinators to 57 projects put forward for the European level of the competition. At a meeting in Brussels on 27 September, the EEPA Jury drew up a project shortlist for each of the EEPA’s six project categories. You can find the 18 shortlisted winning projects here and also download the press release with more details.

The winners are spread pretty evenly across Europe, Serbia is even featured in the list twice, with winning projects in the Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency categories. We will present all of the shortlisted projects, category by category, on the Promoting Enterprise blog over the next six weeks.

The winner in each category will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia, when the Grand Jury prize-winner will also be announced. All of the national winners will have their costs covered to send one representative to attend the SME Assembly, while shortlisted projects will be able to send two representatives.

Congratulations to all of the shortlisted projects – they are all worthy winners, and the EEPA Jury will have a difficult task in selecting the winning projects in each category. We wish them all the best of luck at the SME Assembly in November.

To keep up with all the news ahead of the 10th annual European Enterprise Promotion Awards this November, follow the link to EEPA news.

Previous EEPA news articles include:

Is your SME Week event already in the EC calendar?

Don’t forget that, as an SME Week coordinator, you can publicise all your events by uploading details to this portal.

Eligible events include conferences, competitions, exhibitions, company open days, or any other means of attracting an audience interested in micro, small and medium-sized firms. The subjects can include anything essential to running small/medium businesses: start-ups, corporate social responsibility, tax and legal issues, female entrepreneurship, social economy, etc.

Your regional and national events qualify for inclusion in addition to cross-border, European and international events. So don’t delay. Get posting!

And if you need some more guidance, click here for a helpful FAQ.

 Event calendar

●      13-14 October: Startup Safary, Berlin, Germany
●      13-14 October: WIRED2016, London, UK
●      17-21 October: Oslo Innovation Week, Oslo, Norway
●      19 October: Crowdfest 2016, London, UK
●      19-21 October, Productized, Lisbon, Portugal


●      7 November: Web Summit, Lisbon, Portugal
●      23 - 25 November: SME Assembly, Bratislava, Slovakia
●      30 November-1 December: SLUSH, Helsinki, Finland

Literary inspiration from the world’s leading entrepreneurs

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries  

Most startups fail. But many of these failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

In his book, Eric Ries defines a startup as an organisation dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they all have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Fast fact


of startup founders are female. What’s more, 11.9 % of founders and 31.6 % of employees are from countries other than the location of the startup, according to figures from the European Startup Monitor.

 Send us your photos!

Want to be featured on our Instagram account? Got an exciting story to share? We want to hear about it! Submit your photos as part of our Enterprise@work initiative or be featured as an entrepreneur under one of our monthly themes!

You can submit your photos:

> By tweeting us at @EEPA_EU

> Through our Instagram @promotingenterprise using #SMEWeekWork

> By email to with the subject line “Enterprise @ Work”

Include a short paragraph about who you are and what you do and that’s it! Send us any questions and we look forward to receiving your submissions.

 Tell us your stories

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you’re doing in your business. Submit an article on a topic that you think would be of interest to the European enterprise community. Tell us who or what you’d like to see featured. Submit a business book or podcast review. Send us a photo of you and/or your team at work for our new “Enterprise@Work” feature, where we highlight entrepreneurs in their own domains.

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