The second day of the SME Assembly 2021 opened with the European Commissioner for Internal Market Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), Thierry Breton. In his speech, the Commissioner talked about the collective responsibility to ensure that SMEs embark on the road to recovery as swiftly as possibly.
This was followed by Slovenia’s Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, who praised the Green Deal for enabling countries to transform their economies and lead them towards climate neutrality by 2050. Eurochambres President Christoph Leitl noted that SMEs are not just the backbone of the European society but also the backbone of our society.
The official opening was followed by a series of simultaneous panel discussions, policy workshops and masterclasses on a range of topics. Participants in the SME ‘Sustainable Enterprise’ Panel discussed rewriting the rules with a view to replacing endless growth with regenerative and distributive economies.
Other sessions in the morning included a panel on learning from the winners: how the SME Assembly is helping to build a culture of enterprise; the EU Climate Pact: how to make a business pledge; and a policy hackathon on ensuring the EU’s strategic independence in the area of MedTech. There were also sessions on IP for SMEs and on new ways of working.
After a networking lunch, the Assembly restarted with a participatory session we revisited the stories of success one year on, with presentations from entrepreneurs who have succeeded against all odds in times of COVID and who are preparing for a sustainable and digital recovery.
This was followed by sessions on new opportunities for family-run tourism and the role of SMEs in place-based industrial policies. A session on empowering girls and women through entrepreneurial and digital competences explored what it means to be an entrepreneur for women and girls and what skills they need to develop through the various education systems, including digital education.
Other sessions discussed how SMEs can support the mission to restore our oceans and waters by 2030, exploiting synergies for SMEs in the civil, security and space industries, and a session on city centre rejuvenation.
The final event on Day 2 was the European Enterprise Promotion and Small and Mid-Caps Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to the winners from Germany, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden. Find out more about the EEPA winners this year in a separate post.
What’s in store for Day 3? Follow the live streaming or take a look at the live coverage on Twitter via @EEPA_EU. Remember to use #SMEAssembly2021 to be featured on the feed and check out the all the photos on Flickr! Haven’t registered yet? Last minute registrations are still possible but be quick! You can register here.
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