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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article14 November 2023Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs4 min read

SME Assembly Day 2: Celebrating Success in Bilbao


The first day of the SME Assembly drew to a successful close yesterday, following an eventful day packed with engaging sessions and networking opportunities. Day 2 of the Assembly was a true celebration of entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable business practices. The agenda was filled with insightful discussions, workshops, and policy sessions, making it a memorable day for all participants. The announcement of the winners of the European Enterprise Promotion (EEPA) Awards was one of the highlights of the day. 

The morning began with a buzzing networking session, setting the tone for the exciting day ahead. Participants had the opportunity to connect, exchange ideas, and build valuable relationships. Then came the main event – the official opening of the 2023 SME Assembly on behalf of the Spanish Presidency and the European Commission, with keynote addressed delivered by Maria Muñoz, the Director General of Industry and SMEs, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton. 

There was also a word of welcome from the Government of the Basque Country, with Arantxa Tapia, Minister of the Basque Government. In addition, during the opening session Cooperatives Europe President Susanne Westhausen presented interesting views on innovation in entrepreneurship from the world of business. 

Lively discussions 

The agenda for this second day of SME Assembly continued with informative workshops and policy discussions, tackling crucial topics such as sustainable enterprises, upskilling SMEs for a data-driven future, and the digital transition. These sessions allowed participants to gain valuable insights into the latest trends and best practices, equipping them to excel in the ever-evolving business landscape. 

The afternoon proceeded with a special session, opened by Enrico Letta, his key question: "How can we boost opportunities for SMEs in the Single Market?". Infact with the ongoing green & digital transitions, it's crucial to support SMEs, not burden them with over-regulation. 

The SME Assembly 2023 had the honour to welcome former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta who delved into the evolution of the European Single Market. Appointed as the independent Rapporteur on the Single Market Report by the Belgian Presidency of the Council, Mr. Letta Mr. spoke in the session 'The Single Market at 30: Nobody falls in love with a Common Market,' he opened with a key question: "How can we boost opportunities for SMEs in the Single Market?". He shared his insights on critical issues like global competition, technological independence, and energy security. He focused on the market's past achievements, its current state, and future challenges.






EEPA Awards 

One of the highlights of Day 2 of the SME Assembly came in the evening, with the announcement of the winners in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA).


eepa jury


EEPA recognises outstanding achievements in six categories and below we reveal the winners in each of these: 

  • Category 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Winner - Future Makers by Social Innovation Solutions, Romania 

  • Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills: Winner - ResC-EWE by Erhvervshus Midtjylland S/I, Denmark 

  • Category 3 – Supporting the Digital Transition: Winner - Go Cloud, by Piteå Science Park, Sweden 

  • Category 4 – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Internationalisation of Business: Winner - The Break Fellowship, by Fundación EOI F.S.P, Spain 

  • Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition: Winner - Greentech Procurement Accelerator, by ECOLAB, France 

  • Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Winner - Business Program by Startup Refugees, Finland 

These individuals, teams, and organisations have displayed remarkable dedication to fostering entrepreneurship, upskilling our workforce, supporting the digital transition, improving the business environment, promoting sustainability, and championing responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship. We applaud their achievements and commitment to driving Europe's economic growth and innovation. 

Grand Jury Prize 

In addition to the category winners, there was one prestigious award that took centre stage – the Grand Jury Prize Winner. This award recognises an outstanding initiative that stands out as the epitome of European entrepreneurship. The Grand Jury Prize Winner for 2023 is the Category 4 project MAP | Early Warning Mechanism from IAPMEI – the Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. Their remarkable work supports early-stage companies while also building the capacity of entrepreneurs. 


eepa winners day 2



As the sun set over Bilbao, attendees gathered for a Networking Dinner, an opportunity to relax, share experiences, and forge new connections. 

Day 2 of the SME Assembly was a resounding success, celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. The European Enterprise Promotion Awards recognised those who lead the way in creating a brighter future for Europe's businesses. Congratulations to the winners, and we look forward to another day of inspiration and learning on Day 3. Stay tuned for more updates from this exciting event! 

We invite you to stay updated on the event on the Promoting enterprise news portal and also via TwitterFacebookInstagram.  LinkedIn so stay tuned. It is possible to check the photos from the event also on Promoting Enterprise | Flickr



Promoting Enterprise - categories
  • European Enterprise Promotion Awards
  • EEPA Categories
  • Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Supporting the Digital Transition
  • Improving the Business Environment and Supporting Internationalisation of Business
  • Supporting the Sustainable Transition
  • Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
  • European Enterprise Promotion Awards – Jury
  • European Enterprise Promotion Awards – winners
  • European Enterprise Promotion Awards – The Grand Jury Prize
Promoting Enterprise - tags
  • EEPA
  • European Enterprise Promotion Awards
  • SME Assembly