In 2022 Love by UNIZO(Organisation for SMEs and Self-Employed in Flanders) from Belgium impressed the EEPA jury with their project. This category recognises at national, regional or local level to improve entrepreneurial, managerial and employee skills.
Love to be Free connects and represents freelancers in Belgium, offering events and workshops. To give online events live experience participants receive a lunch at home. One event, Freelance Friday has become a live studio show. With the introduction of an online hourly rate calculator, the uncertainty of freelancers about their hourly rate was addressed. The initiative also represents the interests of freelancers to propose an optimal framework to policymakers.
How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?
We got informed by the Belgian national SME authority (FOD Economie).
How did you prepare your application?
We discussed which project we would submit. We than prepared the application, using our own business plan of the project. We tried to make it as clear as possible with how the project exactly works, who we want to serve and what are the objectives.
We completed the application with some statistics and figures of the different activities we organised.
What do you think made your application standout?
I think it was a very honest, easy to read and understandable application.
Also, the focus group of the project: Freelance entrepreneurs made our application quite unique and innovative.
What was it like to win the award?
We were surprised to win the award. It was a great honour to receive the award on stage in a room filled with such great people.
We already met a lot of people at the congress before the award show, but it was even more inspiring to talk to people that were really interested in the project after we won the award.
How has winning the award impacted your work so far?
The award was a great recognition for our entire organisation. A proof for anyone that we really good work. It is a great motivation to continue our project and to improve our services to freelancers in Belgium.
Our organisation and our project gained a lot of visibility, not only in Belgium but also throughout Europe. We feel that other agencies and stakeholders are even more willing to cooperate with our project now and this demonstrates the value of our project has been officially recognised.
What are your plans for the future?
We have an ambitious plan for 2023. Not only do we want to successfully continue our project with the same activities.
We are expanding to 6 Freelance Friday sessions instead of 2, we are organising 6 Coworking Days for the first time.
We are launching a new version of our hourly rate calculator in Q3 and presenting the brand-new benchmark tool by the end of the year.
We also expect a new website on which freelancers can find their information even faster.
In the next years, we will start a complete ecosystem for freelancers in a separate federation.
Why should others enter EEPA 2023? What advice would you give them?
Being shortlisted for the EEPA and have the possibility to join the summit is a great experience, just give it a try!
Make a simple and clear presentation of your project, so that everyone understands it well and can learn from your project.
If your organisation is working on several projects , choose one of them that is a little out of the box.
Keep coming back to Promoting Enterprise for more EEPA 2022 winner testimonials and don’t forget to watch their winning moments on our YouTube channel:
- Datum publicatie
- 2 maart 2023
- Directoraat-generaal Interne Markt, Industrie, Ondernemerschap en Midden- en Kleinbedrijf
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