Saturday, 30 November 2013

Irish Winner and Runner Up announced at SME Assembly

Following the 2013 SME Assembly on 24-26 November in Vilnius, Lithuania, Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with The European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry are pleased to announce an Irish winner and runner up at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2013. The Awards aim to recognise successful promoters of enterprise and entrepreneurship in Europe, raise awareness of the value of entrepreneurship and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.
Enterprise Ireland are pleased to announce the European Enterprise Promotion Award winner and runner up as follows;
  • Senior Enterprise submitted by The Mid East Regional Authority and Fitzsimons Consultancy are the winners of the Investing in Entrepreneurial skills Category
  • and the runner up Student Enterprise Awards Programme as submitted by the City and County Enterprise Boards for the Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit Category.
19 public bodies and public-private partnerships who successfully promoted enterprise and entrepreneurship in 2013 were awarded prizes during the 7th round of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Organisations from 26 EU countries - including new EU Member State Croatia - as well as Ireland, 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, and 53 national winners were subsequently entered in the European level of the 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.
Commenting on the Irish success at the event the Minster for Small Business, Mr John Perry TD said "The outcome was the result of innovation and hard work by both public and private sectors and reflects the importance the government places on the entrepreneurial potential of all sectors of the community. Senior entrepreneurs will become ever more important in the coming years and the award reflects an advantage we have developed in this space".
Tom Hayes, head of Micro Enterprise and Small Business Division at Enterprise Ireland, who is a judge for the overall competition on behalf of Ireland stated: 'We are delighted to be working on this event with the European Commission. I warmly congratulate our two national award winners for projects which are shining examples of excellence in promoting SME's and entrepreneurship in a tough economic climate in Ireland. There are a lot of innovative projects in Ireland and it's important that we recognise the organisations which actively encourage entrepreneurial spirit.'
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 66% 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 20.3 million firms employing almost 87 million people and accounting for more than 99.8% of all enterprises.