The Draft Program – an entrepreneurship programme by the Karelia University of Applied Sciences – was given a special mention in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2021. The Joensuu-based project was recognised for its innovation and creativity in disseminating local good practices to other entrepreneurs starting in the area.
The Draft Program is a small but innovative joint entrepreneurship programme of five educational institutions in eastern Finland. The programme provides microfinance and coaching to students, staff and alumni teams. The programme has developed an operating model for experimental entrepreneurship, where each client team is considered a research expedition that produces locally relevant information on the sector.
The entrepreneurial coaches, i.e. the developers of experimental entrepreneurship, will transform the lessons learned from team work into so-called useful publications. These publications are practical blogs, videos, podcasts and guides that disseminate local sector-specific practices to other new businesses in the region. About a dozen companies have been born out of the programme in recent years.
This year, a total of 47 projects from 28 countries took part in the EEPA competition in six series. The purpose of the competition is to present the best practices and approaches to promoting entrepreneurship. Another aim is to raise awareness of entrepreneurship and to encourage more people to become entrepreneurs. This is the 15th time that the European Commission will award the annual EEPA prize.
The competition finalists and projects receiving a special mention were displayed at the SME Assembly, which was held in Slovenia on 15–17 November.