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Top billing at this year’s SME Assembly – introducing Joseph Stiglitz

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As you are probably already aware, U.S. economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will be delivering the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture at the SME Assembly 2020, to be held online on 16 and 17 November during European SME Week. This promises to be a riveting address, so if you haven’t already saved the date, make sure to do so immediately. Ahead of the Assembly we are publishing a short introduction to Mr Stiglitz and his work on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Joseph Stiglitz is an American economist, public policy analyst, and a professor at Columbia University. His CV is formidable – he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chair of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank on international development based at Columbia University, where he has been a faculty member since 2001.

Stiglitz has also served as chair of the international Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, appointed by President Sarkozy of France, and currently serves as co-chair of its successor, the High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. In addition, from 2011 to 2014, Stiglitz was president of the International Economic Association (IEA).

Excellence rewarded

In addition to his impressive work Stiglitz is the recipient of a long list of international awards. Chief among these are the John Bates Clark Medal, which he was awarded in 1979 by the American Economic Association, and later, in 2001, he was recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Stiglitz received the Nobel Prize along with George Akerlof and Michael Spence for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information.

The economic theory of asymmetric information proposes that an imbalance of information between buyers and sellers can lead to market failure. Analysis of these markets looks at questions such as why interest rates are often excessively high on local lending markets in Third World countries, or why rich landowners don’t bear the entire harvest risk in contracts with poor tenants.

Stiglitz and his co-laureates proposed a common explanation and extended the theory, augmenting it with the realistic assumption of asymmetric information: agents on one side of the market have much better information than those on the other side – tenants know more than landowners about their work effort and harvesting conditions, for example. For more information on markets with asymmetric information, check out the Nobel Prize site.

Stiglitz is also the author of several books, most recently The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. His other books include People, Power, and ProfitsThe Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About ThemRewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity; and Globalization and its Discontents.

Don’t miss out!

In 2011, Time magazine named Stiglitz as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Delivered by such a formidable keynote speaker, the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture at this year’s SME Assembly is a not-to-be-missed event that promises to be full of valuable insights for innovative businesses. 

To register your interest and attend this year’s SME Assembly, contact the SME Assembly Secretariat.

The SME Assembly 2020 goes ONLINE!

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In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event.

The SME Assembly 2020 will feature a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, informative masterclasses, and innovative networking opportunities to help answer the difficult questions facing our community post-COVID.

Top speakers, such as Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz, have already confirmed their participation in this year’s event. We are delighted to inform you that Professor Stiglitz will deliver the 2020 Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture from New York.

We will also be joined by many other top speakers such as Commissioner Thierry Breton, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, the distinguished economist Dr. Maja Göpel, and many more.

So, if you haven’t already, SAVE THE DATES in your diaries.

You can start following the SME Assembly 2020 conversation and join in by using #SMEAssembly2020 on Twitter and by following @EEPA_EU, or by heading over to Facebook and following the @PromotingEnterprise page. Other updates on the SME Assembly 2020 will also be posted right here on the News Portal.

We look forward to seeing you online on the 16th and 17th November for this exciting virtual version of SME Assembly 2020!

For any questions on this year’s SME Assembly 2020 please contact the SME Assembly Secretariat.

Keep the conversation going – Join “Online SME Assembly”

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The new SME strategy needs you and your input!

At the SME Assembly 2019 we collected and harvested ideas and topics raised throughout the sessions that address the 3 main challenges:

  • Sustainability for SMEs in the context of the Green Deal and climate change
  • Digitisation for SMEs
  • SME broad-based growth

We are also looking for topics that you feel are important and that go beyond the 3 challenges. The Assembly harvest has been shared in the Online SME Assembly LinkedIn group so do not hesitate to join and invite others with interesting ideas and thoughts to share!

By joining the Online SME Assembly LinkedIn group you will have the chance to be part of the SME Strategy Exchange, during which follow up questions are being shared and where your ideas matter and are needed to spark further discussion.

Interested? Want to know more? Request your membership today and keep the conversation going!

Romanian Radu Dumitrescu wins SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019

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Radu Dumitrescu, 24 year-old from Romania, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the European Commission’s SME Assembly.

Radu Dumitrescu is one of the Editors-in-Chief of The New Federalist web magazine. He has a Master’s in Comparative Politics and is interested in voter behaviour, European affairs, and corporate personhood.

In his speech as potential EU Commissioner for SMEs and Entrepreneurship he said: “So, what is our goal? To put the new industries at the heart of European SMEs – to create ‘Silicon Europe’. We can no longer afford to linger in coal, petrol, manufacturing jobs, farming and hard labour. They cannot be abandoned either, but the way to the future is through the digital, the online, the streaming and the virtual. That is where the state of the future will be, where voters will have their say, where poets will forge their dreams and where love will take hold of couples. But first, it is where money will be made – and European SMEs will pioneer the way during my term.”

The other finalists of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay competition were:

  • Enzo Ercole Ribagnac (France)
  • Estelle Beuve (France)
  • Aureliano Ulndreaj (Albania)

The four finalists presented their speeches on the stage of the SME Assembly in Helsinki.  This was followed by a live vote from the audience to determine the winner.

The SME Week Youth Essay competition, run by the European Commission, is in its fourth edition.  This year the competition asked young people aged from 18-25 to prepare a speech from the perspective of the new Commissioner for SMEs and Entrepreneurship addressed to Europe’s entrepreneurs. Entries were received from 20 different countries, with the top two being Albania and Romania, followed closely by Italy, Greece, Turkey and Ukraine . The top 10 applicants then had to propose concrete measures and initiatives that could benefit from the application of the ‘Think Small First Principle’.

Read Radu’s Submissions:

Read Enzo’s Submissions:

Read Aureliano’s Submissions:

Read Estelle’s Submissions:

More information on the Youth Essay Competition is available here.

About the SME Assembly

The SME Assembly is the annual flagship event of the European SME Week and is hosted by the current European Commission presidency. This year the Assembly was hosted by the Finnish Presidency of the European Commission in Helsinki on 25–27 November 2019. Delegates from across the world came together to hack policy, discuss enterprise and create the governance structure of the Small Business Act.

Watch the SME Assembly 2019 highlights:

SME Assembly 2019 – Day 3

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The third and final day of the SME Assembly started with an overview and discussion on the future roles for regions and cities in promoting both entrepreneurship and SMEs. The session was opened by Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy and Entrepreneurship, European Commission:

“I believe we achieved a lot through the single market and now we to build on this momentum. I’m counting on you to come up with bright and innovative ideas for the new SME strategy”.

It was then time to review the annual performance of Europe’s SMEs for 2019, with the SME Economic Performance Review, led by Kristin Schreiber – Director for SME Policy, Ben Butters – Eurochambres, and Jan Bormans from the European Startup Network. For more information and to read the review and accompanying report in full, have a look here.

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The highly anticipated Youth Essay Competition session kicked off with inputs from members of the jury, including Kristin Schreiber from the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Marija Elena Borg, last year’s competition winner. Congratulations to the three runners up, Estelle Beuve, Enzo Ercole Ribagnac and Aureliano Ulndreaj who gave excellent speeches to the SME delegates, and special congratulations to Radu Dumitrescu for being crowned this year’s winner!

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The Assembly closed with a look at the future of sustainable SME Growth, and the contributions from this year’s participants towards the new SME Strategy. The winner of the best tweet competition, was also announced and received a signed copy of Schumpeter Lecturer Mariana Mazzucato’s book “The Value of Everything”. To close the SME Assembly, it was time to handover the torch to the next host presidency, Germany, who will be hosting next year’s Assembly in November in Berlin.

SME-Assembly-Day-3

That’s a wrap for the 2019 SME Assembly! See you next year in…Berlin!

The SME Assembly may be over, but the discussion continues! Keep sharing your ideas on Twitter with #SMEAssembly2019 and by tagging @EEPA_EU and don’t forget to join and post in the LinkedIn group “Online SME Assembly” to keep the conversation going.

Watch the SME Assembly 2019 highlights:

SME Economic Performance Review

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Every year the European Commission analyses how much progress the countries made in implementing the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA).

The SME performance review is one of the main tools the European Commission uses to monitor and assess countries’ progress in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA) on a yearly basis. With an emphasis on the measures from the SBA action plan, the review brings comprehensive information on the performance of SMEs in EU countries and other partner countries. It consists of 2 parts: an annual report on European SMEs and SBA country fact sheets.

The SBA fact sheets are developed on the basis of a wide range of indicators and national policy developments, grouped according to the SBA’s ten policy dimensions:

  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. ‘Second chance’
  3. ‘Think Small First’
  4. ‘Responsive administration’
  5. State aid & public procurement
  6. Access to finance
  7. Single market
  8. Skills & innovation
  9. Environment
  10. Internationalisation

It is important to note that the figures presenting trend charts in the EU SME sector represent estimates for 2017-2020, based on 2008-2016 figures from the Structural Business Statistics Database (Eurostat).

For more information and to read the latest annual report, country-specific factsheets and the accompanying study, visit the European Commission website.

Watch the SME Assembly 2019 highlights:

SME Assembly 2019 – Day 2

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Day 2 of the SME Assembly opened with inspiring and thought provoking speeches from keynote speakers Professor Daniel Isenberg, Alberto Onetti and Petri Peltonen.

Professor Daniel Isenberg spoke of the need to change our beliefs surrounding entrepreneurship and the fundamental need to focus on scaling up and ban unicorns from public discourse so as to ensure that this phenomenon does not skew relevant policy. Chairman and Founder of Mind the Bridge Alberto Onetti, followed on with his talk on how to get SMEs to innovate and the need to expose them to innovation and cross-border partnerships. Petri Peltonen closed the opening speeches with his call for SME policy to be more horizontal and cross-sectoral in order for SMEs to be recognised more strongly across different sectors.

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The day continued with a participatory session on Sustainable SME Growth where delegates shared their thoughts and ideas on how to build and move towards a sustainable economy that works for people.

It was then time for the parallel sessions which included workshops, masterclasses and policy sessions spanning the upcoming SME Green Deal, the value chain in the Finnish maritime ecosystem, sustainable finance, jobs of the future, the opportunities for SMEs in the field of space data and more.

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The day closed with the highly anticipated finals of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. The Awards were opened by Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, who announced the opening of the next call for the European Entrepreneurial Region awards. The ceremony that followed celebrated the achievements and wins of projects across six different categories as well as an overall Grand Jury Prize winner.

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Find out all about the EEPA class of 2019 right here on the News Portal.

Congratulations to all the winners, and be sure to check out the updates and activities from Day 2 using #SMEAssembly2019 and by following @EEPA_EU on Twitter.

Watch the SME Assembly 2019 highlights:

EEPA Class of 2019

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The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2019 celebrated the best of the best in a ceremony on the 2nd day of the SME Assembly 2019. On 26 November 2019, six category winners were awarded with EEPA prizes, and an overall Grand Jury Prize winner was crowned as being the most outstanding project across the six categories for 2019.

Congratulations once again to the EEPA class of 2019!

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Haven Incubator CVBA-SO, a safe port for young experimentation, Belgium

Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

IDEA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Centre, Cyprus

Improving the Business Environment

Fomento de la Contratacion Publica con Pymes, Spain

Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

HealthTech Nordic, Sweden

Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

TILOS, Greece

Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Start-Up Your Future, Germany

Grand Jury Prize

Green PAC iLab, The Netherlands

SME Assembly 2019 – Day 1

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The SME Assembly 2019 is underway! Day 1 got the event off to a fantastic start and was full of events and experiences for this year’s delegates.

Kicking things off was the SME Envoy meeting, which also featured discussions on the future of SME Policy, including presentations and speeches from Amazon and Sugartrends representatives. Whilst the SME Envoys were hard at work discussing the upcoming SME strategy, other delegates had the opportunity to visit Team Finland house for an exclusive tour and showcasing of Team Finland’s work. Team Finland consists of a Finnish SME network that benefits from a variety of services, ranging from advice services to funding. Delegates were treated to an insight into what the network provides, some of the participating companies, and a traditional musical performance from Lauri Schreck on the traditional Finnish kantele.

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Next it was time to properly open the SME Assembly with the European SME Week Reception at the Finlandia Hall. At the reception, delegates listened to Petri Peltonen, Under-secretary of state – MEAE, and Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission, who shared ideas about the need to prepare SMEs for upcoming challenges like sustainability and skills shortages. The floor was then passed to Finnish music star Ida Elina, who delighted the delegates with her varied vocal and kantele repertoire.

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To close the evening, renowned thinker and academic Mariana Mazzucato from University College London gave the fourth Schumpeter Innovation in Enterprise lecture at the House of the Estates. She spoke of the importance of state finance, particularly patient finance and the importance of government support for SMEs willing to innovate. During her speech she challenged the audience to think about and approach innovation from outside of their comfort zone, and critically analyse current approaches to SME finance and to steer away from blanket SME policy.

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What’s in store for Day 2? Don’t forget to have a look at the programme, follow the live coverage on Twitter via @EEPA_EU, use #SMEAssembly2019 to be featured on the feed and check out the photos from Day 1 on Flickr!

Watch the SME Assembly 2019 highlights:

Meet SME Assembly 2019 speaker – Alberto Onetti

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Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we are excited to introduce another speaker for the SME Assembly 2019, Alberto Onetti! Alberto is the chairman of the Mind The Bridge foundation which works to bring startups and corporates together to enhance growth and foster innovation. He is also the co-founder of Funambol, a white-label cloud solution provider, as well as a professor who specialises in research in entrepreneurship and corporate strategy.

Here on the News Portal we asked about his inspirations, what he is looking forward to at the upcoming SME Assembly 2019 and his advice for future founders.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by doing things that have an impact. Simply continuing to do things that I know I am quite good at, staying in my comfort zone, is no longer that exciting. If you look at the evolution of Mind the Bridge over the last ten years, you can probably see a similar pattern.

We started as a bridge between Silicon Valley and Europe. While we were supporting hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs to improve their vision and plans, we noticed that there was another gap to be “bridged”: connecting startups to established corporations. As a result, we decided to turn Mind the Bridge into an organisation that helps companies shape and execute their open innovation strategies.

This is quite an interesting and complicated challenge, but it is definitely an opportunity for us to make and have an impact, and that is what I care about and what is most important to me in the end.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2019?

I am looking forward to sharing insights on how we can help SMEs go beyond incremental innovation and capture the opportunities enabled by open innovation and startup-corporate collaboration.

Startups and scaleups can provide mid-size companies with radical and disruptive innovation, while established companies can help startups and scaleups to grow. It is a win-win opportunity. However, based on our experience in the field, SMEs are – most of the time – not aware of such possibilities and opportunities. As such, we need to collectively find a way to fully involve SMEs in open innovation which is currently limited to large corporates.

I hope to come back from the SME Assembly 2019 with some concrete plans on how to make this happen, and add to the ideas I already have.  

If you could give a founder a single piece of advice, what would it be?

To be ambitious and dare to be unconventional. It is hard to get something new if you follow other people’s paths.

Interested in what Alberto will say at the SME Assembly 2019? Make sure you are following @EEPA_EU on Twitter and #SMEAssembly2019 for live coverage from Helsinki! You can also follow Alberto (@aonetti) and Mind The Bridge (@MindTheBridge) on Twitter.

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    • Youth Essay Competition 2020 – Who is going to the final? October 29, 2020
      Are you ready to find out who will be competing in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition final? After narrowing down the entries to the top 8 our jury met and discussed their selections for the top 3 candidates who will present during this year’s SME Assembly. After much discussion our jury are proud […]
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    • EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship October 27, 2020
      Time for our final round of introductions to this year’s shortlisted projects! Don’t forget to follow the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) finals ceremony at the upcoming SME Assembly 2020 and follow #SMEAssembly2020 to be amongst the first to find out the category winners and the Grand Jury Prize Winner of the 2020 competition. Today […]
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    • Top billing at this year’s SME Assembly – introducing Joseph Stiglitz October 22, 2020
      As you are probably already aware, U.S. economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will be delivering the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture at the SME Assembly 2020, to be held online on 16 and 17 November during European SME Week. This promises to be a riveting address, so if you haven’t already saved the date, […]
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    • EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency October 20, 2020
      We are almost at the end of our shortlist introductions and getting closer to this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) finals! Make sure to tune into the finals ceremony during the SME Assembly 2020 and follow #SMEAssembly2020 to find out who will be the 2020 winners of the EEPA competition. Today we are meeting […]
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    • SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #5 October 15, 2020
      In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the European Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event. The event will feature the usual array of top-level speakers, panels and masterclasses, and will feature […]
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    • EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Supporting the internationalisation of business October 13, 2020
      Ready to meet more projects competing in the 2020 European Enterprise Promotion Award finals? Today we are meeting the shortlisted projects competing in Category 4: Supporting the internationalisation of business. Our 2020 finalists come from Belgium, Portugal and Ukraine. These projects focus on supporting national projects and industries, and helping them get into international markets. […]
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    • The SME Assembly 2020 goes ONLINE! October 1, 2020
      In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event. The SME Assembly 2020 will feature a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, […]
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      We are back with the next category of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2020 shortlist. Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to each project that has been carefully evaluated and selected by our EEPA 2020 jury. Today we are meeting the projects competing in Category 2: Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills. […]
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