This year’s SME Assembly, which is set to take place in Portorož, Slovenia on 15-17 November 2021 , will be one of the first major European Commission conferences to be held in person post-COVID. With a programme packed with panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses, and more, the SME Assembly 2021 promises to bring a sense of normality to the European and international enterprise ecosystems and celebrate European SMEs’ resilience.
The hybrid format will allow those unable to attend to follow online as sessions will be streamed live and made available on-demand later on. This virtual experience will be facilitated by an online host and participatory sessions, enabling active participation even without being on-site. Don’t forget to register in order to join online .
The Assembly will be subject to a strict COVID protocol coordinated by the European Commission and the Slovenian Presidency. All in-person attendees will be required to present a valid EU Digital COVID certificate  demonstrating full vaccination, having recovered or a negative test not older than 24 hours. In addition, there will be on-site testing to provide additional assurance to all SME Assembly delegates and participants.
This means that, in addition to being the number one event in the EU for SMEs and those who support them, this year’s Assembly will also send an important signal to the conference and convention industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic that it has the unwavering support of the Slovenian Presidency and the European Commission.
What to expect
The 2021 SME Assembly will kick off with the highlight of the programme – the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture . This year will be given by professor Lučk a  Kajfež Bogataj  – the joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the United Nations – who will focus on the role of SMEs and enterprise in achieving the transition to a sustainable economy. Lučka Kajfež Bogataj is an Agrometeorologist, a professor at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana and a pioneer in researching the impact of climate change.
This will be followed by panel discussions, policy workshops and masterclasses on a range of topics – from the role of SMEs in place-based industrial policies to new opportunities for family-run tourism or empowering girls and women through entrepreneurial and digital competences. At all the sessions, key experts will be on hand to share their experience and provide specialist advice.
This year the SME Assembly 2021 is also hosting two awards ceremonies, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards  and the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards, where the most innovative projects in our Promoting Enterprise community are recognised.
Something for everybody
With its wide range of discussions and topics, there will be something for everybody at this year’s Assembly. Like in previous years, the SME Assembly 2021 will also offer networking opportunities, allowing participants to build on the valuable connections that they have made within our Promoting Enterprise community and to forge new links.
Make sure to visit the Promoting Enterprise portal regularly for future updates on the Assembly, its speakers, programme sessions and so on. We are very much looking forward to meeting you in person in beautiful Portoroz!