The Business Espoo business service network has made it to the final of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. The network is competing for the win in the ‘Improving the business environment’ category. The winner will be announced at the prize ceremony in November 2020.
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) recognises the most successful promoters of business and entrepreneurship across Europe, showcases the best entrepreneurial policies and practices, raises awareness of the added value of entrepreneurship and encourages people to become entrepreneurs.
A unique network of business services offers services from a ‘one-stop shop’
The Business Espoo business service network supports the prosperity of enterprises and entrepreneurs in Espoo and surrounding municipalities. A service network of a similar scale, with public service providers and third-sector operators working together to serve companies in the region, has not been established elsewhere in Finland or, based on preliminary studies, the world.
The model is based on the City as a Service concept, whereby the intended benefits, cost-effectiveness, customer orientation and sustainable development are achieved through networked cooperation, sharing of resources and shaping the provision of services to meet customer needs. The boundaries between organisations are blurred, and the customer gets the service they need in a high-quality and timely manner – on a one-stop shop principle.
- We joined the competition because our network, at the age of two, is still young and we want to raise our profile. Many entrepreneurs and companies do not know what type of completely free services are available to them, says Harri Paananen, Head of Economic Development of the City of Espoo.
Business Espoo’s reputation has also been built during the coronavirus pandemic, as the exceptional situation has required not only rapid communications but also the development of new services. The close cooperation of the network has also contributed to the smooth management of tasks by remote connections, and the operators within the network have created new services and service channels, such as sole entrepreneurs’ operating-support application, processing and payment process; ChatBot Bertta, which serves 24/7 in Finnish and English; and the BE-Studio webinar series for the different service needs of companies.
- If the Business Espoo network had not existed before the epidemic, we would not have been able to react to the crisis with the same speed and quality and to provide our customers with related services and the necessary information, Paananen says.
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are handed out annually at the SME Assembly event to the most successful promoters of business and entrepreneurship. SME Assembly is an event promoting small- and medium-sized businesses organised in cooperation between the European Commission and the EU presidency. Recognition can be applied for in six different competition categories: Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit, Investing in entrepreneurial skills, Improving the business environment, Supporting the internationalisation of business, Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency, and Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship. The Grand Jury’s Prize can be from any category and will go to the entry considered to be the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe. Under the European Commission’s Green Deal, sustainable development aspects are taken into account in each competition category.
Maarit Viik-Kajander, Development Manager, Business Espoo
email@example.com, +358 43826 5210
For more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Award, visit
the website of European commission or the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.