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Asturias (Spain), Gelderland (Netherlands) and Thessaly (Greece) win European Entrepreneurial Region Award 2019  

Only the regions with the most credible and promising entrepreneurial vision are awarded the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) each year, an initiative organised by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). This year the jury selected the principality of Asturias, province of Gelderland, and region of Thessaly as worthy winners for their outstanding strategies and commitment to boosting entrepreneurship within their territories.

"The 2019 winners are testament that Europe's regions are the main engine for growth and making a difference in creating jobs. Regions are setting out a clear entrepreneurial vision for the future that is innovative, collaborative and invests in education. By creating the right environment for businesses to flourish, they are reinforcing the social and economic fabric of our territories", said Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions announcing the Award winners.

Principality of Asturias, Spain

The Principality of Asturias in north-west Spain has been undergoing profound economic restructuring, shifting from an economy based on traditional industries to one based on skills. Past intense industrial development is a challenge for the region, whose EER strategy is firmly based on innovation, diversification and human capital. The region was selected based on its impressive set of specific actions that address business creation and growth, increasing SME access to finance and promoting entrepreneurship education, underpinned by measures to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are two concepts that are linked for the Government of the Principality of Asturias. In this regard, we promote programmes on different educational stages that stimulate our young people's talent to generate a system of knowledge-intensive SME´s and start-ups that boost innovation in corporates", said Isaac Pola Alonso, Minister of Employment, Industry and Tourism in Regional Government of Principality of Asturias.

Province of Gelderland, The Netherlands

Gelderland is one of the top 20 economically most competitive European regions, whose objective is to develop an internationally competitive and sustainable economy, capable of developing technologically advanced products and processes that address key societal challenges. Gelderland's EER strategy offers a strong sectoral focus and is based on four main lines of action: increased investment in research and development; higher employment levels; sustainable economic growth and better entrepreneurial education.

"We are honoured to be voted European Entrepreneurial Region 2019. It's an acknowledgement of the way science, business and education join forces for sustainable growth in Gelderland. Together we make innovation work", said Michiel Scheffer, Gelderland's Vice Governor of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Europe & Foreign Affairs.

Region of Thessaly, Greece

The Region of Thessaly strives to address the consequences of a prolonged decline in its economic output with the objective of rebuilding its entrepreneurial potential and reducing the high level of unemployment. The region's strategy, entitled "Reignite Entrepreneurship", is a result of a collective and bottom-up process including all major regional stakeholders, aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of the population and providing concrete measures to support smart, innovation-driven entrepreneurship.

"Our utmost political objective is the reversal of the negative trends in all socioeconomic indicators in the region and the re-orientation of the regional economy towards knowledge and innovation, resource-efficiency and environmental sustainability, more and better employment. We consider our EER award as a highly valuable opportunity to align the regional stakeholders' efforts towards developing synergies and sharing knowledge and resources to promote and support entrepreneurship, providing linkages to extra-regional best practices and rewarding and promoting entrepreneurial role models", said Konstantinos Agorastos, Governor of the region of Thessaly.

European Entrepreneurial Region award 2019

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) is a project that each year identifies and rewards three EU regions, cities or territories, which show an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy, irrespective of their size, wealth and competences. The territories with the most credible, forward-thinking and promising plan are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region" (EER) for the following year.

The EER jury, composed of CoR members, representatives of EU institutions, and social partners and territorial associations, will monitor the implementation of the prize winning strategies throughout 2019. After the completion of the award year, the jury visits the territories to verify the progress made and provide them with an objective outside view on their policies. The main results and achievements of the EER 2019 winners will also be shared and discussed among regional and local authorities throughout the EER network.


Pictures from the event are available on flickr



Carmen Schmidle

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