Business News

Cork innovates to represent Ireland at European Enterprise Awards 2014

By Business & Finance
07 July 2014
Siobhan Finn

Cork innovates, an initiative driving entrepreneurship in the Cork region, has been announced as the only Irish finalist for the prestigious European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2014.

The EEPA awards recognise and reward the most imaginative and successful initiatives from EU public bodies and public-private partnerships which support entrepreneurship and SMEs.

“I am thrilled that Cork innovates will represent Ireland, as a finalist in the award category ‘promoting the entrepreneurial spirit’ and that it is getting such prominent European recognition,” said Siobhan Finn, chief executive, Cork innovates.

“Clearly, the model has made a significant impact in promoting an entrepreneurial spirit in the community. We, as a group, are firmly committed to building on the entrepreneurial environment through mutual engagement and alignments with external stakeholder groups, supporting entrepreneurs and the extended business community,” she added.

Cork innovates was established in 2012 when Cork City Council and Cork County Council, along with Cork Chamber, UCC, CIT, the Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, CorkBIC and South West Regional Authority formed the Cork Entrepreneurship Steering Group.

Tom Hayes, the head of the Micro Enterprise and Small Business Division, Enterprise Ireland commented on the nomination: “Congratulations to Cork Innovates for being nominated to the European Enterprise Promotion Awards on behalf of Ireland. This project is a shining example of excellence in promoting SMEs and entrepreneurship in a tough economic climate here in Ireland. We are delighted that this project has been submitted to the European competition to represent Ireland.”

The EEPA reward excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level and look to identify and recognise successful activities and initiatives undertaken to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, showcase and share examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices, create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.

The number of start-ups in Cork has almost doubled from 800 in 2012 to 1542 in 2013. The Cork innovates InBusiness InCork showcase is specifically targeted to SMEs and start-ups and entrepreneurs and has attracted and supported more than 2,800 business people and potential start-ups since the initial showcase in 2012. The Cork innovates bursaries are also actively helping two Cork businesses grow and expand their companies, with a view to creating more jobs.

Category winner will be announced at the 2014 SME Assembly in Naples, Italy, in October.