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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News blog18 July 2023Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs2 min read

Meeting the 2023 EEPA Jury – Thomas Cooney

Thomas Cooney EEPA 2023 Jury

Each year, as part of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), we take the opportunity to introduce you to our esteemed jury members. They bear the responsibility of selecting the most innovative and exciting competition entries, ultimately determining the winner of the Grand Jury Prize. In this blog post, we proudly present a long-standing member of the EEPA community, Professor Thomas Cooney.

Thomas is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Technological University Dublin, and Academic Director of the TU Dublin Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship. He is also a director of four businesses, works in a supportive capacity with a variety of organisations and has published widely on the topic of entrepreneurship.

Thomas has been an EEPA jury member for several years now, so we asked him for his advice for participants and what the jury will be looking for in 2023. Read on for his enlightening insights!

What do you think makes this competition unique in Europe?

What is wonderful about EEPA is that it recognises unsung heroes and celebrates the amazing work being done by people to encourage greater levels of entrepreneurial activity at local and regional levels. These people also support the inclusion of marginalised communities whose needs are not being met by formal government interventions, and this competition enables their incredible work to be acclaimed.

Do you have any advice for EEPA participants on how to make their application stand out from the rest and include the information that you need to evaluate the project?

Successful applications have one common feature – they provide statistics and evidence of the success of their initiative. Hard data showing the number of people who have successfully completed the programme and the measurement of the impact of the programme is much more powerful than any testimonial.

What do you think the jury members will be specifically looking for in the EEPA 2023 competition?

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are critically important in terms of addressing the current challenges facing governments and people across Europe. Therefore, I believe that showing how an initiative tackles a specific UN SDG would be helpful, but applicants need to identify which specific target they are addressing (e.g. SDG Target 10.1) rather than being quite broad with their relationship to the UN SDGs.

Which are the top three qualities you will look for in a winning project?

The three qualities that I would like to see are: (1) level of innovation (what is the project doing that nobody else is doing?); (2) the ability for the initiative to be replicated in another country, by other people; and (3) the long-term sustainability of the initiative. Excel in these three qualities and you will be in contention for a prize!

We will introduce you to the other members of the 2023 EEPA jury soon – so make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise portal regularly and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news.

Promoting Enterprise - categories
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  • EEPA
  • European Enterprise Promotion Awards