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Archive for ‘European SME Week’

SME Support Instruments by the EU

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As 99,7% of the companies in Europe are SMEs, the EU has launched various instruments to help SMEs access finance, notably financial instruments (loans, guarantees and venture capital) and grants (collaborative actions and the SME instrument) in order to recover and build up the resilience after the Covid-19 crisis.

During the SME Assembly 2021, these instruments were largely discussed and a dedicated workshop took place focusing solely on this topic.

With the participation of Maarit Nyman (DG Grow Deputy Head of the SME Unit), Igor Kalinic (EISMEA) and Salvatore Amico Roxas (DG Grow Access to Finance Unit), the workshop looked at the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and opportunities for SMEs with a special focus on the Single Market Programme (SMP), The European Innovation Council and Invest EU Programme.

We invite you to watch the session and find out which instruments are most suitable for your enterprise.

Here is what we noted down during the workshop:

The Single Market Programme focuses on strengthening the governance of the internal market, supporting the competitiveness of industry and in particular of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promoting human, animal and plant health and animal welfare and establishing the framework for financing European statistics. With €4.2 billion over the period of 2021-2027, out of which 1 billion is destined to SMEs, it provides an integrated package to support and strengthen the governance of the single market.

To be more specific, the SME pillar of the Single Market Programme will first ensure the continuity of the implementation of the most impactful actions of the COSME programme, in particular supporting a better access to markets, a more favourable business environment and promoting entrepreneurship. It aims to foster the competitiveness, capacity building and sustainability of enterprises, especially SMEs, including the tourism sector, highly affected by the pandemic.

On the other hand, the European Innovation Council (EIC), established under the EU Horizon Europe programme, has a budget of €10.1 billion to support game changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.

Last, but not least, Invest EU Fund, part of Invest EU Programme, is a single fund bringing together the many different EU-level financial instrument and it aims, among other things, facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), small mid-cap companies. This includes capital support for SMEs that were negatively affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

For more information on these topics, please follow the European Commission website, for the latest updates, follow Promoting Enterprise News Portal as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

EEPA 2021 Testimonial – Inkludera by Inkludera

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We continue our conversations with the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2021 winners. Last time we brought you the story of Grand Jury Prize winner COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V., who was also awarded first prize in Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards at the SME Assembly 2021.

Today we meet the Responsible and Incusive Entrepreneurship category winner, Inkludera by Inkludera.

Inkludera is supporting social entrepreneurs with unique solutions in order to scale them and make them financially sustainable. To accomplish this, Inkludera supports the entrepreneurs in building partnerships with the public sector. Since 2013 the entrepreneurs Inkludera supports have entered into over 900 partnerships with 108 of Sweden’s municipalities. These partnerships enabled the entrepreneurs to continuously work with 27 200 people in 2020 – addressing several different social issues.

Here is what they shared with us about their experience at the European Promoting Enterprise Awards 2021.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

We are grateful that the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth nominated us, and we chose to enter to honor their trust and belief in us.

How did you prepare your application?

Two persons were involved in drawing up the application, which took 3-4 days in total. We prepared a tailor-made For us, the entrepreneurs that we support are always front and center. We wanted our application to be about them, and to share their stories.

What was it like to win the award?

We were honored and happy and we thank you for the recognition!

How did winning the award impact your work?

The award is a great testament to the work we have been dedicated to during the past decade and of course a motivation going forward.

What are your plans for the future?

Apart from continuous support of our entrepreneurs, we plan to spread our accumulated knowledge and experience of scaling social entrepreneurship to further strengthen the field in Sweden.

Why should others enter EEPA 2022? What advice would you give them?

We believe it’s a great forum for being inspired by other organisations. It’s important to be true to your cause and focused on impact – in your everyday work and in your application.

Do you want to watch other key moments from SME Assembly 2021? Relive the experience below!

Discovering Kristina Dimova, the winner of SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021

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Bulgarian Kristina Dimova won the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021 with an essay that highlighted that humanity is the key to sustainability not only for the business plan of the company, but in the context of management. We invite you discover what was the motivation behind Kristina’s participation in the Competition, but also what was her main takeaway from last year’s SME Assembly.

What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?

Ever since I started my higher education, I have been working and looking for ways to develop myself. From editorials, to academies, agencies – for the last four years I had the chance to see how the work process is constantly changing. Not only mine, but one of the biggest problems of other young proactive people I’ve been talking to, is the management system and the fact that, no matter how much it has changed regarding flexibility, home office, etc, it’s still strictly hierarchical and because of that it’s draining the creative force of youth and its talents. This is why, when I saw the theme of the SME Youth Essay Competition, I wanted to show that, no matter how genius and innovative a business idea can be, it is nothing without the people working for its happening.

Moreover, as I said in my gratitude speech, Sabine Kressens – 2020’s winner essay and how intriguing and complex her text was, inspired me even more to participate. I wanted to see if I can do what she did so gracefully – present such an innovative idea in a way everyone can understand it.

What was it like to be announced as a winner of the 2021 competition?

A moment of pure bliss. I have read the essays of the other finalists and until the announcement, I still was not quite sure if anyone will recognize my idea as a crucial one for the survival of the development of future SMEs’. This is mainly because management has always been looked over when people are talking about successful entrepreneurial projects. However, after my name was announced, I reassured myself that everyone who has voted for me has been feeling there is a crucial need for change in that field. Afterwards many representatives of various institutions and companies who were in the audience during the competition congratulated me on this thesis. The fact that they have appreciated the youth perspective is what truly made me happy and is the biggest success.

What did you think about the SME Assembly 2021?

In person contact is irreplaceable. Because of the fact that the SME Assembly 2021 gave me the chance to meet people not only through a zoom square, the feeling of excitement was with me throughout the whole event. I’m still talking not only to friends of mine, but to colleagues about how eye-opening and inspiring the Schumpeter Innovation in Enterprise Lecture which Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj held. Of course, all of the fantastic and bright people I have met at the SME Assembly 2021 are making my memories of it even more unforgettable.

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What was your main takeaway from the SME Assembly 2021?

Time is limited. Therefore, we must not only make the most of it, but make it worthy for us and the world we live in. Every single business idea must be sustainable both for the environment and for society’s needs. In a world where people are more divided than ever on so many topics, we need to find the way to the right solutions for each of us. The SME Assembly 2021 showed me that with the right steps, the path towards re-establishing unity is possible to be walked.

What is next for you? Any exciting plans to share?

Currently, I am writing my Bachelor’s thesis and, fingers crossed I will be graduating in 2022. Afterward, as they say, hopefully, the future will become clearer and even brighter. 🙂 Besides that, the business academy I am part of – 9Academy is currently running its 9th season. The 9 circles of business we are looking through in the educational process (which is very practical on its own) are making the academy a unique piece of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria. In addition, who knows, maybe one day in Europe as well?).

You can find out more about Kristina from one of our previous materials and you can read Kristina’s essay here.

The other finalists of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay competition were Victoria Krah, half Spanish, half German, and Rui Teixeira from Portugal.

Check out the latest news on the SME Assembly and the Youth Essay Competition by regularly visiting the Promoting Enterprise blog. Subscribe to the SME Week Newsletter to stay up to date!

European SME Week 2021 – Upcoming events

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The European SME Week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. It helps and supports existing entrepreneurs and encourages potential entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses.

A significant component of the SME Week campaign is the events included in the European SME Week event calendar. These events take place across Europe, at regional, national and cross-border levels, and cover various topics around the subjects of entrepreneurship, SMEs and business.

Current events this autumn include:

The calendar is updated regularly, so be sure to keep checking back on events happening near you or even online.

The SME Assembly is back. Live – and better than ever

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This year’s SME Assembly focused on Togetherness + Resilience = Recovery, will bring together actors from across the European and international enterprise ecosystems, including citizens, businesses and policymakers, to build a more sustainable and resilient future together.

From 15-17 November 2021, the beautiful city of Portorož in Slovenia, and the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will play host to the flagship event of the 2021 European SME Week, the SME Assembly.

What is on the programme?

The SME Assembly presents a unique opportunity to bring together the brightest minds and actors from across the enterprise ecosystem to share, discuss and work towards solutions for problems European SMEs and their networks face. After the challenges brought around by the pandemic, and the need for SMEs to be resilient and resourceful, the SME Assembly will be focusing on how community and collaborative resilience are two important elements on the road to recovery.

Through a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, and informative masterclasses, this year’s Assembly will explore how resilient SMEs can recover by working together towards a more digital and sustainable European economy.

The full programme will be released closer to the SME Assembly but in the meantime, we can confirm that the SME Assembly 2021 will feature:

For full programme details, and high-level speaker announcements, including the prestigious Schumpeter lecturer, keep coming back to the News Portal, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to sign up for the SME Week Newsletter.

What will this year’s Assembly look like?

This year, the Assembly will follow a hybrid format, with the majority of the event taking place in-person, and key sessions also being available online, for global attendees to contribute. Due to the ever-changing health situation, in-person places will be limited, and all attendees will be required to present a valid EU Digital COVID certificate demonstrating full vaccination or a negative test. Further details about the upcoming SME Assembly, including the format and highly anticipated programme, will follow soon.

For any questions on this year’s SME Assembly, please contact the SME Assembly Secretariat.

Stay up to date

Don’t miss out on any of the latest news from Promoting Enterprise and keep following us here on the News Portal, or over on Twitter via @EEPA_EU, @EU_Growth and the dedicated Facebook page. For all the latest on the SME Assembly, don’t forget to follow – #SMEAssembly2021.

SME Week 2021 – Upcoming events

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The European SME week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe by helping and supporting entrepreneurs, as well as encouraging potential entrepreneurs to start their own business.

You can find out more about SME Week here on the News Portal, and watch the highlights of the annual flagship event, the SME Assembly, on our YouTube channel:

A large component of the SME Week campaign is the events included in the European SME Week event calendar. These events take place across Europe, at regional, national and cross-border level, and cover a variety of topics around the subjects of entrepreneurship, SMEs and business.

Current upcoming events include:

The calendar is updated regularly so be sure to keep checking back on events happening near you, or even online.

European SME Week – Get involved in 2021

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It is 2021 and time to start thinking about how to get involved in this year’s edition of the European SME Week. Read on to find out more about how you can get involved and where to find more information.

What is the European SME Week?

The European SME week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. The main objectives of the campaign are to:

  • Help and support existing entrepreneurs
  • Encourage potential entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses

The campaign is coordinated by the European Commission and has events running throughout the year across all participating countries. The flagship event of the European SME Week is the SME Assembly, which takes places every autumn and is organised in collaboration with the Presidency country.

You can find information on past SME Assemblies here on the News Portal.

Where can I find out about SME Week events?

All SME Week events are submitted to the SME Week Event Calendar, and once approved are displayed publicly. You can browse events by country, dates, event types, organisers and more, to find exactly what you are looking for.

How can I get involved in SME Week in 2021?

In addition to attending existing SME Week events, you can also decide to organise your own! Events can be submitted to the calendar and national coordinators will help with selection, organisation and overall support.

If you are between the ages of 18-25, you can also get involved by participating in the annual European SME Week Youth Essay Competition.

Where can I find more information?

If you need more information on the European SME Week you can visit the European SME Week webpage or contact the SME Week Secretariat if you have specific questions.

Get involved in the European SME Week 2019

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The European SME week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. It helps existing entrepreneurs find information on available support and tries to encourage more people to set up their own businesses. Coordinated by the European Commission, this campaign consists of events throughout the whole year. The main event of the European SME week is organised every autumn together with the SME Assembly and the European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony.

How can you take part?

With events throughout the year across 37 participating countries, there is something for everyone. Each National Coordinator is busy updating the European SME Week calendar where you can browse what is going on both in your country and across others. Have a look at the event calendar here.

Feeling motivated? Got something to share? Why not organise your own event as part of the European SME Week! Find out more about the different types of events and how to be featured in the event calendar here. There is also a set of Frequently Asked Questions for event organisers if you have any further questions.

For more information visit the European SME Week website and contact the SME Week Secretariat.

SME Assembly 2017 – Day 1

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What an opening! Yesterday on 22 November 2017, the SME Assembly 2017 officially opened and the long awaited programme of events finally got under way.

Three Estonian enterprises opened their doors to delegates to show us all what goes on behind the scenes of some of Estonia’s top innovators. From finding out what goes into the making and running of a digital state with the E-Estonia showroom, learning what goes into Estonian defence with top supplier and manufacturer Milrem, to learning about super capacitors with ‘Estonia’s oldest startup’ Skeleton Technologies, this year’s business tours were certainly diverse and showed us the entrepreneurial, innovative and e-spirit of Estonia.

The day continued with the long anticipated Ideas from Europe semi-finals, during which all 28 candidates made their three minute pitches in front of a live audience and a high level jury. The jury, made up of Kristin Schreiber of the European Commission, Kaupo Reede from the Estonian Presidency, Ulrike Rabmer Koller President of UEAPME, and Cees Vermaas CEO of CME Europe, asked tough questions and challenged the candidates to defend their solutions on stage. Both the Jury and the audience voted on who should go through to the finals in the Hague next year…be sure to follow our live coverage on Twitter to find out who they picked!

Ideas from Europe was swiftly followed by two more high level events to round off the evening, the SME Week Reception at the stunning Seaplane Harbour Museum, and the Schumpeter Lecture given by Jan Fagerberg at the beautiful Kadriorg Art Museum.

The Reception included opening remarks from Costas Andropoulos of the European Commission, some SME insights from Kaupo Reed of the Estonian Presidency, and a showcase of Estonian culture, traditional folk dancing, music and a performance from Veronika’s Portsmuth Academy Concert Choir and Uppsar dance show. The Schumpeter Lecture allowed Professor Jan Fagerberg to share his insights on the evolution of innovation policy and what it means for Europe’s future, which was complemented by speeches from SME Envoy Viljar Lubi, European Commissioner Bienkowska and Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

Day 1 certainly had a lot to offer, but this was only the beginning of this year’s SME Assembly activities. What is in store for today? Follow us on Twitter for live coverage, and for those of you that are here…see you in Kultuurikatel!

Invest Week 2017

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