(26 November 2013) – A unique Latvian initiative which aims to help micro-enterprises was announced yesterday as the main winner of the 7th European Enterprise Promotion Awards. The Think Small First project promoted the creation of a special tax rate and simplified tax accounting system for microenterprises. “Best in category” prizes were also won by projects from Finland, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Turkey and Slovakia.
Listed according to category, the winners are:
- Grand Jury Prize: Think Small First (Latvia) – The overall winning initiative, developed by the Latvian Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), helped micro-enterprises by promoting the creation of a special tax rate and simplified tax accounting system, introducing a micro-credit programme and by making information about launching a business available in one place.
- Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit: MyCity (Finland) – The MyCity learning entity, sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, is a miniature city, built from mobile wall elements, and includes 15 different local and regional enterprises and public services in which students can work.
- Investment in Skills: Senior Enterprise (Ireland) – Senior Enterprise is specifically designed to encourage a greater involvement with enterprise by those aged 50 and over and to raise awareness of their potential to start, acquire or invest in a business, or to become a volunteer mentor.
- Improving the Business Environment: Starter’s Agreement (Belgium) – Entrepreneurs enter into an agreement with the City of Ghent to draft a business plan, appeal for professional advice and specialist guidance, and follow training and development courses.
- Supporting the Internationalisation of Business: Portuguese Shoes (Portugal) – The APICCAPS, a national business association, with the support of the Compete Programme, has taken various measures to promote Portuguese footwear.
- Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency: The Town of Gürsu – Developing Unlimited Green Energy (Turkey) – To increase the use of green energy in Gürsu, four innovative applications have been configured, tested and applied, including a photovoltaic solar energy plant and use of solar energy in all service areas.
- Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Integration of disadvantaged people (Slovakia) – AV mobilita s.r.o., a sheltered workshop, specialises in integrating disabled people into all areas of life. It provides registered disabled citizens with employment and access to lifelong learning.