Eurada News nº396 - January 2020

Promote Your Activities with the EER Awards

The label “European Entrepreneurial Region” recognises local and regional authorities with outstanding strategies to support SMEs. Getting it is a great achievement because it gives promotion of your territory and your public policies for regional economic growth.

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) label is already 10 years old. It was established in 2011 by the Committee of the Regions. Many regional development agencies and members of EURADA have already been granted with the EER label. For them it has been a recognition of their forward-looking entrepreneurial vision. It was a valuable award that recognised internationally the RDAs’ policies supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The EER award is a label for the promotion of the best territories with entrepreneurial spirit. Until know, 30 territories from 16 EU Member States have received it. Most of the winners consider that the EER label contributed towards improving the entrepreneurial environment in their territory, helped to mobilise local and regional stakeholders for implementation of the entrepreneurial strategy and had an impact on the implementation of new initiatives that otherwise would not have been implemented in the territory. The EER had improved the communication of their work within the region and to other European regions.

The deadline for applications is the 31st of March 2020. Each year there are 3 territories selected. In this 2021 edition, there is a special category to award entrepreneurship for a green & sustainable future. You could choose, if you prefer, to submit an application to get the label for the general support to entrepreneurs and SMEs; or to submit one for green and sustainable future. The award ceremony for the recognition of the three winners will take place on the 1st of July 2020 in Brussels. If you get the EER award, your territory will implement the actions proposed and use the label during the next year 2021.

The application process is easy. However, you should choose carefully the actions to be presented. Consider that it is a competitive process, with more applications than EER labels granted. EURADA has been part of the jury during the last years assessing the quality of the proposals. We recommend you to participate and prepare a proposal taking into account the following issues:

  • You should demonstrate the value added of getting the EER label for your territory—this will show why the EER award is useful for you.
  • Highlight the political commitment and the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders (preferably by a continuous established bottom up process), that will assure the impact of the EER and its sustainability beyond the year.
  • A credible action plan, with a good communication that targets both internal and external audiences of your region, to show how proud you are of the measures that you are implementing to support entrepreneurs and SMEs.

If you decide to present your territory, we recommend you to read some of the previous EER awarded applications that are available in the website of the EER Awards. They are not long documents (around 15 pages). We kindly suggest you to read at least the ones awarded during the last two years. You will get inspiration to prepare competitive proposals with these awarded examples.

We also recommend you to be honest with your possibilities and the context of the territory. The jury will already know many details because it is composed by a wide representation of European Associations (EURADA, EuroChambers, Social Economy Europe, SME United, etc.) and EU institutions and bodies (DG Regio, DG Grow, EP, CESCE, etc.). You should take stock about what you are. Be realistic with the SWOT analysis and show your vision to support the SMEs and entrepreneurship. Do not focus only in new SMEs, be wide-ranging.

You have still time to prepare a good proposal before the deadline. The application is a short concise document of around 16 pages. The unit of the Committee of the Regions managing the award is very supportive and will solve all your doubts. We advise you to contact Mr. Piotr Zajaczkowski from the Committee of the Regions (Tel: +32 2.282.24.01; e-mail: eer-cdr@cor.europa.eu). You could even organise a teleconference with several people from your territory to solve all the questions you may have.

We wish you good luck!

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Written by Esteban Pelayo, Director of EURADA.