Gerhard Dust; Cécile RéalYouth Essay Competition; EEPA national winners; Andra Matrescu; Watify; E@W
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European SME Week

Welcome to the September edition of the SME Week newsletter!

After a month of interesting blog posts focused on mature entrepreneurship in August, the focus this month switches to women in business. Female entrepreneurship is often seen as an under-tapped economic reserve, capable of generating economic growth, creating jobs, promoting innovation and addressing inequalities.

In light of this, and to highlight the role of women in business and address their experience, throughout September our Entrepreneur in Residence and other contributors will share their stories on the Promoting Enterprise blog, allowing their peers to benefit from their experience, and perhaps inspiring them to consider their own business as a career option. If you know of any female 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.

On the Promoting Enterprise blog, we have already started to introduce the members of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards Jury, and will continue to to do so as well as provide other EEPA related information throughout September, so remember to check the blog each Friday for updates.

Finally, a topic of interest to young entrepreneurs. The deadline for submitting entries in the SME Youth Essay Competition has passed. If you are one of the many entrants, you can read some details about the entries we received, along with other important deadlines to watch out for below.

We hope that you enjoy the newsletter and look forward to hearing from you with any feedback.

Meet our September Entrepreneur in Residence: 

Cécile Réal

Cécile Réal is the president and founder of Endodiag, a company she set up in 2011 to develop new diagnostic tools for endometriosis, a disease which affects approximately 10% of all women in the childbearing age group.
Before founding Endodiag, Cécile created the innovative company Bioprofile, which developed a biomaterial for the orthopaedic surgery market. Cécile then joined the company Ariana Pharma as Director of Operations from September 2008 to December 2010. She has also been President of MEDICALPS (a bio-cluster of health industries in the Grenoble area) since June 2008.
In a series of blog posts throughout September, Cécile will tell us about what motivated her to set up her businesses and will share her experience and insights as a female entrepreneur.
Last month, mature entrepreneur Gerhard Dust contributed to our Entrepreneur in Residence section, you can read his series of blog posts here:

Youth Essay Competition receives top-quality entries

Over the past number of months, many of you have submitted essays outlining your ideas about what the EU can do to encourage more young entrepreneurs. Now your submissions are being reviewed by the competition jury and, if you are one of the lucky winners, you will present your essay at the SME Assembly in Bratislava!

European SME Week, under the patronage of the European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, organised a youth essay contest aimed at 16-25 year olds across Europe.
The deadline for submissions of September 2 is now past. Over the past months we have received an impressive number of high quality submissions from every corner of Europe, in which you have shared your ideas about how the EU can encourage young entrepreneurship. Now the competition jury is faced with the challenging task of selecting the winning entries. 

The first prize winner will have their accommodation and travel costs paid to attend the SME Assembly in Bratislava, Slovakia, in November, where they will get to present their essay to an audience of 600 delegates from the business world. Sounds intimidating? Don’t worry; the lucky winner will receive tailored training before presenting their work. 

The second and third prize winners will present their essay in a video, which will be broadcasted on the event at the SME Assembly. What’s more, all the winners will receive promotion of their essays across SME Week social media channels.

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

Inspire and be inspired!

Follow MatBeAngela, Lenny and Andra.

Send us a photo of you and your team @ work as well!

Whether you run your business from an office, a shop, or some other location, submit your photos with a short paragraph about who you are and what you do for our new feature, Enterprise @ Work.

Tweet us an image and caption at @EEPA_EU or submit through our Instagram account @promotingenterprise using the hashtag #SMEWeekWork. 

You can also email with the subject line “Enterprise @ Work” and send your image as an attachment.


EEPA Jury to decide shortlist on Sept 27

The EEPA Jury is to meet in Brussels on 27 September to decide on a project shortlist for each of the EEPA’s six project categories. The Jury is currently working through the details of all the entry proposals and their supporting materials, and is now faced with the difficult task of narrowing these down further by selecting three winners in each category.

The shortlisted projects will be announced soon after the Brussels meeting, and the winner in each category will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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 that have been put forward for the European level of the competition.

The EEPA Jury is typically made up of a representative from the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the countries holding the first and second semester EU presidencies (this year the Netherlands and Slovakia), a European SME organisation (this year - UEAPME: European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), the Grand Jury prize winner from the previous year (this year Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship) and a representative from academia.

Do you want to meet them?:

We will continue with these introductions throughout September. Also in September we will feature on the blog the national winners that have been put forward for the European level of the competition. So stay tuned!

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

On the blog…

Check out the latest European entrepreneurship news, features and blog posts on a range of issues related to entrepreneurship on the Promoting Enterprise blog.

Promote your SME Week events via 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.

Watify – Overcoming Barriers to Entrepreneurship

The Watify platform is an EU initiative that aims to help budding entrepreneurs overcome the barriers that prevent them from starting their own business or digitising it. It does this by removing any doubts they may have, providing answers to their questions and spurring them into action.

The Watify platform contains a video archive of interviews with leading European entrepreneurs who talk about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them to set up their own businesses. You can listen to these interviews by visiting the WatifyStart section of the platform.

You also have the opportunity to shape the future of digitisation in Europe, by taking part in a Watify survey. The goal of this survey is to help to determine the direction and priorities of the next phase of the Watify campaign. Please note that the survey is anonymous and any personal data collected through the survey will be confidential. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and contains 9 questions.

By filling in the questionnaire, you will become eligible to enter into a draw to win an Amazon voucher worth 50 Euros. If you wish to do so, please provide your email address at the end of the questionnaire.

Event calendar


●      14 – 15 September: Forum Pulire, Milan, Italy
●      15 September: DMEXCO, Cologne, Germany
●      25-27 September: Bits&Pretzels, Munich, Germany
●      27 September: Social Start-up Night, Berlin, Germany

●      6-7 October: DKE-ZVEH Conference, Lubeck, Germany
●      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
●      30 November-1 December: SLUSH, Helsinki, Finland

Literary inspiration from the world’s leading entrepreneurs

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

In ‘Lean In’, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their lives that can effect change on a more universal scale.

Fast fact


In OECD economies, two and a half times as many men as women (that means 150% more men than women) are self-employed with paid employees, according to the OECD’s Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2015 report.

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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