Two small and medium sized enterprises from Greece and Cyprus are shortlisted for two separate European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) this year.
The female-founded energy cooperative WEnCoop, from Greece, and the nonprofit organisation Cyprus Seeds, which promotes technological innovation, will each compete with another two European finalists in the Supporting the Sustainable Transition and Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills categories respectively.
The winners in each category will be announced during a special European Enterprise Promotion and Small and Mid-Caps Awards Ceremony in Prague, Czech Republic, on November 28.
Greece had won the EEPA for Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency with the nomination of the energy-sufficient island of Tilos in 2019. Cyprus had won the Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills award that same year with startup incubator IDEA.
Celebration of innovation and creativity
The EEPA reward those who promote entrepreneurship and small business at national, regional and local level. Since 2006, over 4,000 projects have entered the awards and together they have supported the creation of over 10,000 new companies.
The competition has two phases; applicants first compete at national level. Each country selects up to two entries to be nominated for the European competition.
A shortlist of nominees is then chosen by the EEPA 2022 European jury to compete at the final awards ceremony.
Initiatives from all EU countries, as well as from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Iceland and the United Kingdom can take part in the competition.
This year, almost 200 national entries were submitted for consideration from 26 participating countries, of which 47 were selected by the awards’ National Coordinators for the EEPA 2022 Jury to evaluate.
Greece and Cyprus enterprises claiming Award
The finalists demonstrated innovation, creativity and passion for supporting entrepreneurship, EEPA’s announcement notes. The awards ceremony will give them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.
The finalist from Greece, WEnCoop, will compete with enterprises from Germany and the Netherlands in the Supporting the Sustainable Transition category.
According to its website, WEnCoop is a “broad-based” energy Cooperative created by women from diverse backgrounds and cultures, from crafts to services, commerce and hotels.
“The members of WEnCoop join forces to innovate and develop the first Energy Cooperative in Europe, putting into practice the energy revolution in the world of net zero,” it explains.
The finalist from Cyprus, one the other hand, is a non-profit organisation with the mission to help commercialize innovative academic research in Cypriot universities and research institutions.
In addition to grants, Cyprus Seeds offers mentoring, business skills training and networking with the business community and possible investors outside Cyprus, its website reads.
The organisation will compete with fellow finalists from Italy and Belgium for the Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills award.
In recent years, Greece was again shortlisted for EEPA with the island of Tilos for Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency (2019), which eventually won the award, and with the Innovation Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship of Demokritos National Research Center (2020).
The IDEA Innovation Centre & Incubator from Cyprus was also shortlisted and won the Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills award in the 2019 competition.