The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme was recognised with a Special Mention Award for Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016, held during the EU SME Assembly in Bratislava in November. IGNITE also received the National European Enterprise Award in the same category.
On presenting the Special Mention Award Ms Kristin Schreiber, Director for COSME Programme at the European Commission and Chair of the EEPA Jury, recognised IGNITE as a ‘comprehensive programme that demonstrates excellent results and involves a really broad range of stakeholders’.
Anita Maguire, Vice President for Research and Innovation at University College Cork said: ‘International affirmation of the positive impact of the IGNITE programme in nurturing early stage entrepreneurs and growing their companies is extremely welcome.’
The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme helps graduates to turn innovative ideas into successful and scalable businesses. Based at University College Cork, the programme is open to recent graduates from any third level institution and in any discipline. The Programme has supported almost 80 aspiring entrepreneurs to start almost 60 businesses to date and many have gone on to trade internationally, raise investment and create jobs.
IGNITE Programme Director, Eamon Curtin acknowledged the invaluable financial support of Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City and County, Bank of Ireland and Musgrave Group.
Over 343 National EEPA entries were received from 31 participating countries in 2016. IGNITE was one of 57 National Awards Winners to be put forward to the European stage of the competition. 18 projects were shortlisted for the awards ceremony held during the SME Assembly 2016 in Bratislava between 23rd and 25th November.
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards is an initiative by the EU Commission to promote entrepreneurship and small business at national, regional and local level. The competition rewards the most imaginative and successful initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships which support entrepreneurship and SMEs across six 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.