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E-Estonia: The European digital success story

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As the SME Assembly 2017 approaches, along with the beginning of the Estonian presidency, Promoting Enterprise has decided to briefly explore how this Member State rose to be the digital pioneer of Europe.

After gaining independence in 1994, the Republic of Estonia was a small state with a small population and few resources. It was at this moment that the country’s leaders decided to build on the global launch of the internet and integrate it into the construction of the post-Soviet Estonian infrastructure. Preparations for the modern e-Estonia began with the passing of the Information Policy in 1994, followed by the Personal Data Protection Act and the launching of the Tiger Leap project in 1996.

The Tiger Leap project marked the beginning of the prioritisation of the creation of Information Technology structure, by allowing educational institutes to access computers and the internet. This ensured the training of tech-savvy Estonians from a young age, which continues to allow the healthy growth of the national IT industry and development of innovative e-services such as the ID Card project and the X-Road. The project continues to run today and fosters the development of entrepreneurs and their innovations.

Fast forward to the present day and Estonia continues to pioneer digital solutions and is the training ground for other countries wanting to implement online voting and e-Health systems, to name a few. Not only a European but a global pioneer, Estonia is the seat of the NATO Cyber Defence Centre after demonstrating the ability to defend itself against a cyber-attack on national level in 2007.  

E-Estonia is by no means finished and new systems and innovations are constantly being developed and added. What will Estonia develop next? We will have to wait and see…

For more information about E-Estonia: https://e-estonia.com/

European SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2017

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Are you between the ages of 16-25? Want to make your voice heard?

This is your chance!

The Youth Essay competition, organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, is launching again and is looking for creative and well thought out answers to this question:

Do you have an opinion on how European policy can help shape the future; or on what government, academic institutions and businesses can do to ensure that young people can acquire the skills they need for tomorrow’s world of work? Would you like to share it with policymakers and entrepreneurs on a European stage? All you need to do to have a chance of winning an all expenses paid trip to the 2017 SME Assembly in Tallinn, is submit an essay of no more than 2 500 words in English before 8 September 2017.

Need some inspiration? Have a look at Andri Pandoura’s winning entry from 2016 and the entries from finalists Katie Williams, Francesco Foglia and Frici Barabas.

To get started, read through the rules below, get writing and >> SUBMIT <<! If you have any questions please contact smeweek@loweurope.eu.

Rules

  • The competition is open to all 16 to 25 years old from European Member States or COSME partners countries (see the list)
  • Essays should not exceed 2 500 words in length
  • All essays must be in English
  • Only one entry per applicant
  • The deadline for submissions is 8 September 2017
  • The three finalists will be announced in October ahead of SME Week and will compete at a grand finale in Tallinn where they will present their essays
  • The final winner will be chosen via a public vote

Prize

  • An all expenses paid trip to the SME Assembly in Tallinn, Estonia for the three finalists, to present their essays to 500+ Assembly delegates
  • Presentation training before delivering essay live on stage at the SME Assembly 2017
  • Promotion of essays across SME Week social media channels

Follow us for competition updates: #SMEWeekYouth

Twitter: @EEPA_EU and @EuropeanSMEWeek

Instagram: @promotingenterprise

Facebook: @PromotingEnterprise

>> FLYER DOWNLOAD<<

See Youth Essay Competition 2017 Terms and conditions.

Digital innovation – The online safety tools of the future

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Digital innovation has led to several technological advances, born in the minds of innovative entrepreneurs who go on to bring their ideas to life. With an increasing number of us online, both socially and professionally, cybersecurity is an issue that affects us all, consumers and entrepreneurs alike. How can you protect yourself? What information do you need to safely reap the benefits of our digitally innovative world? Today, Promoting Enterprise looks into the development of fraud detection systems, accessible cybersecurity and remote incident response platforms.

The tendency for people to be creatures of habit is being put to good use in the cybersecurity industry, thanks to new identification software that uses typical login times and locations, keystroke dynamics and in-app behaviour to verify if someone is who they say they are. It’s one of a series of innovations being developed by European businesses keen to claim their share of a growing cybersecurity market. Analysts predict that global spending in cybersecurity will be well over EUR 100 billion a year by 2021, yet according to a 2016 report despite being the most trusted area globally when it comes to data security and privacy, the European industry is only growing 6% annually, compared to growth of 8 % for the market as a whole.

One of the aims of the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) – the association implementing a cybersecurity public-private partnership set up by the EU in 2016 – is to create connections between industry players, national public authorities and users of cybersecurity solutions to identify priorities and increase collaboration in research and innovation. That connection – particularly between providers and end-users – is crucial if Europe is to grow the industry and take its place in the market. European businesses such as Czech-based cybersecurity firm ThreatMark (advanced fraud-detection systems developer) and German cybersecurity company Applied Security (apsec), could benefit from this connection which could manifest as business-to-business platforms and direct interactions between SMEs and potential clients.

With the development of the cybersecurity industry, there are still three areas to be addressed:

  1. Cybersecurity tools need to be considered as integral parts of computer systems. EU funded projects like CyberWiz, where users set up a model IT network and carry out various kinds of simulated attacks, allow for system development whilst exposing weak points and giving an overview of the network security.
  2. Skilled technical experts are important for the overall success of the industry, but especially in the small- and medium-sized sector. According to chief executive of Secon Cyber Security UK Robert Gupta, ‘In general, there is a lack of the right skills and when you are recruiting, technical experts in cybersecurity are very hard to come by’.
  3. The costs of implementing cybersecurity. Between the costly search for experts, their employment and the implementation and upkeep of a security system, many smaller businesses simply cannot afford this integral part of their online presence. However, EU funded project ConnectProtect could be the answer; a remote incident-response platform helping small- and medium-sized businesses to combat attacks and security threats – at a more reasonable cost. Through such a system and economies of scale for cybersecurity software licences, the total cost of security could come down dramatically for small businesses – perhaps by as much as 75 % per member of staff.

For more information: https://horizon-magazine.eu

Digital innovation is a key theme for this year’s SME Assembly 2017 taking place in Estonia, so stay tuned for more digital innovation content right here on Promoting Enterprise.

If you liked this have a read of: 2017 and beyond: How digital innovation will impact the world

‘Start. Scale. Spread your wings’ – SME Assembly 2017

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The SME Assembly is the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, and gathers the best and most inspiring ideas with the potential to change the world for the better, from across the 28 Member States. The conference takes place once a year during the European SME Week. Together with the network of SME Envoys, the assembly creates the governance structure of the Small Business Act.

The 2017 edition of the SME Assembly will take place from 22 – 24 November 2017 in Tallinn, during and in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be the main event of European SME Week 2017. The opening ceremony will take place at the Seaplane Harbour Museum and the assembly itself at Kultuurikatel.

The Assembly focuses on how to make SME policy work in the everyday European context, in order for Europe’s SMEs to really thrive. In this, the sixth year of the SME Assembly, the programme will again include:

  • the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture, which will be held at the House of Blackheads;
  • the 11th European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony;
  • keynote speeches from high-level politicians and dignitaries;
  • interactive sessions where participants get an opportunity to drive the policy agenda;
  • practical masterclasses and boot camps;
  • and an interactive expo to promote start-ups and scale-ups and those that support them.

There will also be the Ideas from Europe semi-finale, which will showcase the conclusion of a member state wide competition to find the ‘Top 10’ ideas from visionary entrepreneurs across Europe.

Entry to the SME Assembly and European Enterprise Promotion Awards is by personal invitation from the European Commission only. If you would like to register your interest, please contact: smeassembly@lowassociates.eu.

So prepare yourselves to ‘Start. Scale. Spread your wings’, like the iconic barn swallows of Estonia, and follow us on the journey to Tallinn!

In order to keep up with updates, deadlines and news about the SME Assembly 2017, and the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, make sure to follow all the different social media and information channels:

Twitter: @EuropeanSMEWeek, @EEPA_EU

Facebook: @PromotingEnterprise

YouTube: Promoting Enterprise

Instagram: @promotingenterprise

European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2017 – Apply now!

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The 2017 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards is now under way! The prestigious awards ceremony will take place this November in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, as part of the SME Assembly. Many of the national deadlines have now been announced and national campaigns have been launched across all the participating countries.

Thinking about getting involved in the 2017 edition? Be sure to check your national deadline, as each country has a different deadline. Some of them are quite soon…so start applying!

For more information be sure to contact your national coordinator, they can help with the submission progress and any other questions. Perhaps you are looking for some inspiration? Wondering what it means to be an EEPA winner? Have a look at the testimonials from the 2016 winners, for exciting anecdotes, where they are now and advice for future applicants.

Have a look below for some important EEPA dates and start applying today!

Watch the 2016 Awards ceremony:

SME Week Newsletter 2017: Issue #1

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Welcome and join us to celebrate the EEPA launch!

Nominations for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards open today (Thursday 23rd February 2017). The prestigious awards ceremony will take place this November in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, as part of the SME Assembly. Public bodies and public-private partnerships from across the EU Member States and COSME participating countries, will be competing for the coveted awards which go to the most imaginative and successful initiatives that support entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This year there will be one minor modification to the award categories: the ‘Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency’ category will be suspended for one year, as the number of entries was consistently very low; we are using the time of the suspension to review the categories.

Therefore the five active categories for 2017 will be as follows:

newsletter-hearder

Find about more about the EEPA launch and other exciting things to come in the first issue of 2017! Read more >>

<< Previous Issue #8

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Ideas from Malta – Will we see you there?

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Calling all innovators! Do you know what is going to be happening in Malta on the 7th of March 2017?

The Ideas from Malta event is a collection of Ideas From Europe and Malta’s entries for business solutions to global challenges. If you are working on an idea that solves a global challenge, this is your opportunity to get recognised and gain the support you need to maximise impact. You can also nominate others.

From power, water & housing to education, healthcare & finance, if you are a Maltese / Dual citizen or resident of Malta building a solution to societal and environmental issues, we want you! Whilst the official deadline has passed you can still submit your ideas for consideration, feedback and guidance here.

Shortlisted innovators will be invited to present their idea at an event to be held in Malta on 7th March 2017. The winner will be Malta’s representative for Ideas from Europe. All innovators who submit an idea will be reviewed and provided with opportunities to further their development, including access to mentors, internships, partners and investors.

This is a unique opportunity to gain access to the partners and funding you need to reach your goals. Let’s help you get there and maybe even further: to the Ideas from Europe finals taking place at the SME Assembly 2017 in Tallinn.

For more information: www.ideasfrommalta.com

SME Assembly 2016 – Refresh your memory with presentations

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2017-02-07

As we prepare for SME Assembly 2017 in Tallinn, let us not forget about the success of the SME Assembly 2016 in Bratislava! The presentation from the SME Assembly 2016 is now available for you to look at here.

Want to have a look at some of the presentations from the SME Assembly 2016? Browse the list below to refresh your memory:

Day 2 – Thursday November 24

Day 3 – Friday November 25

10 Years On

Ladislav Ambrovics (MINIT Slovakia)

Kenneth Ryan

Scale Up Lab

Pieter Waasdorp (NLGroeit)

Policy Session Skills for SMEs

Rosanna Kurrer (Digital Leadership Institute)

Alberto Onetti (Mind the Bridge, SEP)

Masterclass – Crowdfunding: Yannig Roth (Marketing Director, WiSEED)

Policy Session – Single Market Lab

Stefan Vratny (EEN)

Policy Session – Creating a Collaborative Economy

Marco Torregrossa: Rethinking Work in the Collaborative Economy (Secretary General, European Forum of Independent Professionals Managing Director, European Sharing Economy Coalition)

Julia Rzepecka (VVA – Europe)

Policy Session – Accessing Alternative Finance

Pim de Bokx (Founder PIONEERZ Chairman DIA – Dutch Incubators & Accelerators)

Kristof de Buysere (Eucaps)

Philippe Gluntz (Business Angels Europe)

Policy Session – The Growth of Social Enterprise

Roger Spear (OU&RUC)

Nils Dreyer (Hilfswerft GmbH)

Joseba Sagastigordia (Mondragon corp.)

Ariane Rodert (EESC)

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

This year the SME Assembly 2017 will take place in Tallinn, Estonia! Keep up with all the latest information, preparations and exciting announcements right here on Promoting Enterprise and we hope to see you in Tallinn…

SME Week Newsletter: Issue #8

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The SME Assembly is over, but the conversation continues

This month the focus is on the SME Assembly 2016, which took place from 23-25 November in Bratislava, Slovakia. With over 600 delegates and speakers from all over Europe and beyond, this year’s assembly was a great success and brought together a diverse audience committed to building an SME friendly Europe and sharing views on entrepreneurship, scale ups and startups.

The assembly played host to policy sessions, interactive open spaces, high-level roundtables, lectures, masterclasses and much more. The event also saw the crowning of this year’s prize-winning projects at the EEPA ceremony and gala dinner which took place on 24 November. Read the EEPA news section for more.

During the assembly we brought you live coverage from the event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! Daily roundup posts from the three days (1, 2 and 3) are also available for you to read on Promoting Enterprise.

assembly-round-up-days

Now that SME Assembly 2016 in Bratislava has come to an end, we can begin to look forward to the SME Assembly 2017 which will take us to Tallinn in Estonia. The preparations are already under way, we hope to see you there! Read more >>

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  Estonia to host Startup Nations Summit in 2017

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>>press-release-startup-nations-summit-2017<<

The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Startup Estonia have been selected to host the Startup Nations Summit in 2017. The event, organized annually by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), will continue to explore rapidly-growing European startup hubs. The event in Tallinn will be held right after the Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 20-22, 2017 as a suitable pre-cursor to European SME Week.

The key aim of the Summit in 2017 is to explore how digital disruption is changing the world. It is both startups as well as policymakers that must take advantage of digital technologies and make a difference. “Estonia is among the most forward-thinking governments in the world and we are happy to share our experiences in digital governance,“ said Ms Liisa Oviir, Minister for Entrepreneurship. “We are ready to immerse all policymakers in how digital technologies have made a huge difference for entrepreneurs in Estonia. We call startups to expect more from their governments, so they can start and scale faster,“ Oviir added.

Startup Estonia is a governmental initiative for developing the Estonian startup ecosystem. As a proud member of Startup Nations, Startup Estonia invites all parties to use the opportunity given by the Summit: “The Estonian startup community is delighted to be hosting the startup ecosystem for key players from around the world in Estonia. We hope to show how truly global a small country such as Estonia can be in its mindset and how exciting and impressive startups are grown here.”

The Summit is an entrepreneurial highlight during the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council, bringing together policymakers and entrepreneurs into a single, eventful conference. Policy-wise, the Summit in 2017 is organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and GEN, along with the European Commission and Dell as partners. Startup Estonia and EIT Digital will be co-organisers to offer great value to startups. All attendees can expect to be exposed to the best elements of policy making and entrepreneurship.

Startup Nations is an initiative run by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. It is focused on exploring different regulatory changes and policy ideas to help accelerate new and young firm formation. The Startup Nations Summit connects policymakers, advisers and startup community leaders to help enable high impact entrepreneurship and stimulate entrepreneurial growth around the world. The 2016 Summit, held in Cork, Ireland, brought together delegates from more than 70 countries.

Awarding the 2017 Startup Nations Summit to Estonia is part of an effort by GEN to examine effective policy efforts underway in strong entrepreneurial economies – and to share best practices with startup-savvy policymakers around the world. “Over the past several years, policymakers on every continent have begun to truly understand the power of entrepreneurship to grow their economies and improve the lives of their citizens,“ said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Estonia is a thriving digital hub and there is much to learn from its tech-savvy government and economic growth over the past ten years.”

The Summit will serve as the official conclusion of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017, a week long celebration of entrepreneurship with more than 30,000 events and roughly 10 million participants in 160 countries. It will also serve as a bridge to European SME Week, a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. Coordinated by the European Commission, this campaign consists of events throughout the whole year. For EIT Digital, the Summit of 2017 is a significant step forward in partnering with Estonia and an important opportunity to jointly opens doors for startups to European and international venture capital funds and markets. Previously, the Startup Nations Summit has been held in Toronto (Canada), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Seoul (Korea), Monterrey (Mexico) and Cork (Ireland).

For further information, please contact:

Richard Fullerton

Press & PR Manager

Email: richard.fullerton@loweurope.eu
Tel: +44 7976 728 051

LOW
14 rue de la Science
B-1040 Brussels, Belgium

www.LOWeurope.eu

 

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