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, Estonia, and 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
YouTube: Promoting Enterprise
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!
|Austria||April 11||Finland||Jun 2||Latvia||June 1||Romania||June 24|
|Belgium||May 8||France||June 2||Lithuania||May 31||Serbia||June 10|
|Bulgaria||May 15||Germany||May 5||Luxembourg||June 26||Slovakia||June 23|
|Croatia||TBC||Greece||June 6||Malta||April 14||Slovenia||June 13|
|Cyprus||June 5||Hungary||May 31||Montenegro||June 1||Spain||May 15|
|Czech Rep.||June 15||Iceland||May 31||Netherlands||April 24||Sweden||April 28|
|Denmark||TBC||Ireland||May 31||Poland||May 25||Turkey||April 28|
|Estonia||April 7||Italy||June 14||Portugal||April 19||UK||June 3|
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:
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:
Find about more about the EEPA launch and other exciting things to come in the first issue of 2017! Read more >>
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
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:
10 Years On
Ladislav Ambrovics (MINIT Slovakia)
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)
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…
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.
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 >>
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).
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As promised in our last EEPA update, over the next few weeks we will present the EEPA projects shortlisted in all six project categories. The winners in Category 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit – come from different ends of Europe, with one project from Estonia, one from France and one from Serbia. One of the projects has a focus on women entrepreneurs, another aims to engage young people in business, and the third has a focus that straddles both these objectives.
The Estonian project, Garage48 Motivating Women to Start-up Community, aims to transform the male-dominated tech sector into a more female-friendly industry. Since its formation in 2010, the project has increased female participation in its development weekends from 20% to 47%. The main goal of these events is to give participants a chance to complete the process of creating a start-up during one weekend and to match aspiring entrepreneurs with various skillsets. Several successful and well-functioning start-ups have been created as a result. Watch their video.
Also with a focus on women, in addition to students and start-ups, the second Category 1 shortlisted project – Lyon City of Entrepreneurship (Lyon Ville d’Entrepreneuriat) – is a network of 46 organisations and 200 experts from across the region, working to promote the entrepreneurial spirit more widely, increase the number of businesses created and improve the robustness of new businesses. Each year, the network provides support to between 10,000 and 12,000 businesses and entrepreneurs, with 17 “access points” providing assistance, information and guidance. Experts provide support on the creation, takeover and handover of businesses and on aspects including how to grow or fund a business, start up and training. Watch their video.
The third and final Category 1 winner, “We know we can”, is a national motivational movement in Serbia that aims to inspire young people to become entrepreneurs and proactively build their careers with the right tools and knowledge. It started with a campaign that showcased more than 200 local entrepreneurs who are globally successful, which reached over 20% of the Serbian population. Following this, a crowdfunding campaign raised US$ 108,000, making it the biggest non-profit campaign in the region. This has enabled the creation of tech and entrepreneurship community centres in five Serbian cities for exchanging knowledge, networking and motivation. Watch their video.
All three of these projects are making a significant contribution to the promotion of entrepreneurship among their target audiences in their respective regions and any one of the three would be a worthy winner in this category, so the EEPA Jury is faced with a difficult task. The winner in each category will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia, when the Grand Jury prize-winner will also be announced.
In total, 343 National EEPA entries were received from 31 participating countries in 2016, which were then narrowed down by the national EEPA coordinators to 57 projects put forward for the European level of the competition.
At a meeting in Brussels on 27 September, the EEPA Jury drew up a project shortlist for each of the EEPA’s six project categories. Let´s meet 18 shortlisted winners for EEPA 2016!
The winners are spread pretty evenly across Europe, with only Serbia featuring on the list more than once, with winning projects in the Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit and Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency categories. We will present all of the shortlisted projects, category by category, on the Promoting Enterprise blog over the next six weeks.
The winner in each category will be revealed at the EEPA Awards Ceremony during the SME Assembly on 24 November in Bratislava, Slovakia, when the Grand Jury prize-winner will also be announced. All of the national winners will have their costs covered to send one representative to attend the SME Assembly, while shortlisted projects will be able to send two representatives.
Congratulations to all of the shortlisted projects – they are all worthy winners, and the EEPA Jury will have a difficult task in selecting the winning projects in each category. We wish them all the best of luck at the SME Assembly in November.
Garage48, a tech hub and coworking space, and innovation centre, Innokas are the winners of this year’s Estonian national EEPA competition, beating seven other projects that were in the running for this year’s contest.
After winning the competition, Head of Innokas, Angela Leppik said, “This kind of competition is necessary as it helps entrants to see their organisation’s performance through the eyes of an outsider. It allows you to see more clearly what your business needs are so that you can focus on those activities in the future. It also helps you to understand even more how important it is to work at the county level, nationally, and to find partners outside Estonia.” Leppik also acknowledged the need to involve county development centres in the competition process since they are familiar with various activities at the local level.
Garage48 board member, Maarika Susi said that she was pleased that the national EEPA process recognised entrepreneurial thinking and good ideas. “We are happy to win this competition, and for the acknowledgment. Our organisation supports entrepreneurship promotion and this recognition motivates us even more to contribute to the development of the start-up community and entrepreneurial awareness. We’re also happy to see that both female entrepreneurship and increasing opportunities in the IT sector were important to the jury, who supported our efforts and urged us to continue our activities,” said Susi.
The jury had a difficult decision to make from a strong field, according to Deputy Secretary General of Economic Development, Viljar Lubi, who acted as Chair. “It was a pleasure to have so many strong candidates from organisations dealing with business promotion activities on different levels and in different areas. In the end, the jury decided to select an organisation with a strong international dimension and the originality of the Garage48 idea that expedites the move from idea to first prototype stood out. Innokas has achieved a remarkable qualitative leap at the local level, and their close cooperation with other private enterprise networks is exemplary.”