As part of European SME Week, the European Commission organised its annual conference, the 2015 SME Assembly. The event, which took place between Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 November 2015, is known as the most significant event for SMEs in Europe.
Figures from business, academia, policy-making and the media were invited to the event which was held in cooperation with the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Assembly encouraged interaction and engagement between potential partners, SMEs and senior governmental figures during planned policy sessions and open discussions. The purpose was to encourage awareness of the business landscape and to highlight best practise within the field.
High level speakers included HRH Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. Also speaking at the event was Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy and COSME, and Elźieta Bieńkowska, EU SME Envoy and Member of the European Commission for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Open discussions and policy sessions
Over the course of event, a number of engaging open discussions and policy sessions took place involving policy-makers, academia, delegates and the media, some of which are listed below.
To celebrate the UN’s Women Entrepreneurship Day on Thursday 19 November, attendees joined together to listen to a discussion about female entrepreneurship. The discussion panel consisted of HRH The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and female business leaders Henryka Bochniarz, Betty Fontaine, Amy Millman and Marianne Costigan, who discussed the successes and struggles they individually face in the industry, in their position.
‘Are our expectations limiting men and women in business? Do we prohibit ourselves from reaching the stars?’
‘We shouldn’t be afraid to fail! Failure may happen, but entrepreneurs should be prepared to be resilient and grow!’
‘What are the prime factors that enable long-term success for SMEs? TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK.’
‘Failure. Solidarity amongst Women Coaching.’
An OpenSpace session also took place during the SME Assembly, which aimed to encourage attendees to think creatively with others to share best practise. Feedback has been incredibly positive from this session, which helped many to network and listen to the ideas of those around them!
Policy sessions included Skills for SMEs, Making the Single Market Work for SMEs, From Refugee to Entrepreneur, and Alternative roads to finance for SMEs.
Further to the policy sessions, a number of Masterclasses were arranged for those at the SME Assembly 2015 to attend. The sessions are listed below:
- Creativity with Leonie Baldacchino, Director, The Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking, University of Malta.
- SMEs on the Stock Exchange with Eric Forest, Chairman and CEO, EuroNext, and two entrepreneurs.
- Crowdfunding with Kristine Pontoppidan, CEO, NinjaConsult.
- Circular Economy with Rien Otto, Founder and Creative Director, Dutch aWEARness.
- Digitising Government with Mel Ross, Director, Adapt2Digital; Tristan Wilkinson, Founder, Digital Citizens; Claire Allington, Head of Digital, Lloyds Banks.
- Twitter for Business with Viv Jemmett, Head of Digital, Hanover Communications
If you would like to view any of the slides from the Masterclasses, please click here.
To access slides from speaker presentations and masterclasses, please click here.
To access our SME Assembly 2015 compendium in all EU languages, please click here.
To access more photographs from the SME Assembly 2015, please click here.
To watch some of the key sessions from the SME Assembly 2015, please click here.
If you’d like more information about the SME Assembly 2015 in Luxembourg or the SME Assembly 2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia, please follow our social media channels linked below. Alternatively, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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