EUROPEN-PEN International first began as a European Project in November 1993. At that time, it was financed by the European Social Fund and the German federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia. EUROPEN starts in October 1993 as a department of the vocational training center BFZ Essen e.V. in Essen, Germany.
The first Members Meeting of the EU project EUROPEN took place on October 24-25, 1994 in Haarlem, Netherlands. The countries present at this first meeting are Spain, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Austria, Great Britain and Germany.
EUROPEN officially becomes an international association with the acceptance of its first overseas member from Canada. The first Clearing Center Client database software links member countries and creates an international trading database allowing trainees to transact online with Practice Enterprises from around Europe and across the Atlantic.
The non-profit association EUROPEN e.V. is created with its home office in Essen, Germany. Founding members include Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland.
The network has expanded around the world over the past years, growing from 12 members to 29 member countries spanning the globe. In 2005 an additional name “PEN International” is added to “EUROPEN” to cover the expansion outside of Europe and create an international structure.
The network continues to expand into expanding regions, including new country networks in Latin America and Asia. The team at the International Practice Enterprise Coordination Centre in Germany starts its growth, which continues over the next years.
The 1st Practice Enterprises on the African continent open in Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia. The name EUROPEN-PEN International is created to represent the international nature of the network, including a new logo and branding.
In 2014, Germany celebrates the 50th anniversary of its network’s International Practice Enterprise Trade Fair in Essen, Germany. More than 225 Practice Enterprises from over 20 countries participate at this Golden Jubilee event.
The 1st Global Enterprise Challenge for Practice Enterprises is held in Germany. The event has been held again 8 times since 2015, including Global Challenge Contests in China, South Korea, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria and Austria in 2018.
The Practice Enterprise concept is designated as an internationally recognized Excellent Practice in training for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Skills by the European Training Foundation, adding to its previous designation as a Best Practice by the European Commission.
The 1st Asian Region Networking Event is held in Seoul, South Korea. Over 15 countries took part in the event, which included a regional conference, Trade Fair, Members Meeting and Global Enterprise Challenge Event. The Practice Enterprise concept is rapidly growing in the Asian region.
2018 marked the 50th Edition of our Members Meeting. Members Meetings are held bi-annually in different member countries around the world each year, twice yearly since 1993. These meetings gather representatives from all member countries for 3 days of workshops, networking and sharing of best practices.
EUROPEN-PEN International launches a social media blitz, with new Instagram, Facebook and Twitter formats and an all-new public website and marketing tools. The network expands its global reach through project partnerships funded in large part by the European Commission.