Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Bulgarian Kristina Dimova wins SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021

Kristina Dimova, 22 year-old from Bulgaria, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the SME Assembly 2021.

“Change is inevitable. That’s why businesses must adapt or perish. The way they could adapt is by being as human as possible. The main thesis of my essay is that humanity is the key to sustainability not only for the business plan of the company but in the context of management. However, humanity should be combined with key factors such as digital transformation, ecology, and economic growth.”

This was the focus of Kristina’s winning entry which answer the question: “What do SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges? Think about the competences and skills needed in the future for an entrepreneur, describe three promising and sustainable start-ups in 2030”.

During the final of the Youth Essay Competition on the third day of the SME Assembly, she also added:

“Crucial to SMEs’ ability to adapt to changing circumstances, will be their willingness to change their management model. Sociocracy would be the “secret ingredient” with four ground rules: consensual decision-making, a hierarchy of circles, double linking between circles, and election of leaders. Sociocracy would also allow businesses to reach the required flexibility to thrive in an ever-changing world.”

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

About Kristina Dimova

Kristina Dimova is currently studying Journalism BA at Sofia University. She had the opportunity to participate in Erasmus+ at the University of Lodz. Her academic interest in journalism continues with her role as a scholar of KAS Media Programme SEE Bulgaria. Her professional interest is connected with her role as an Editor at GoGuide – one of the biggest lifestyle magazines in Sofia – and her experience as a co-founder of Slovo 111 – Youth Media in Bulgaria, which has lasted for a year. She is also part of the team of 9Academy – a business academy for entrepreneurship and personal development as a Content Creator. In the meantime, she works as a Social Media Specialist in a PR agency, in Sofia. She had the chance to see how the European Parliament works as a journalist in a Plenary Session in Strasbourg in 2019. She won a contest for an Essay, held by European Parliament, Bulgaria, and FJMC, Sofia University, and had the chance to be one of the six finalists for the Megalizzi-Niedzielski prize for aspiring journalists, part of the Youth4Regions programme.

Click here to read Kristina’s essay.

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!

Tags: ,

SME Assembly – Day 3

The third and final day of the SME Assembly 2021 kicked off with a series of panel discussions and the Youth Essay competition, which 22-year-old Bulgarian Kristina Dimova won.

The morning panel discussions covered environmental, social and governance issues; transfer of business; European scale-up firms; and SME support under the new Multi-annual Financial Framework.
A highlight of the final day of this year’s SME Assembly was the presentation of the top three essays by the finalists in this year’s Youth Essay Competition, with feedback from the Chair of the Youth Essay Jury and Sabine Kerssens, 2020 Youth Essay Competition winner. After the presentations, the audience voted on the winning essay, with the prize going to Kristina Dimova. Congratulations to Kristina for her exceptional essay.

The final discussion on Day 3 of the SME Assembly focused on SME economic performance and the prospects for recovery and resilience in 2022.

Day 3 ended with some policy conclusions from the SME Assembly 2021, presented by Outi Slotboom, Director for Strategy at the European Commission. According to her, the focus on SME policy should focus on digitalization, sustainability and the effort to promote the entrepreneurial spirit, particularly amongst girls and women. MEP Martina Dlabajová and Milena Angelova from the European Economic and Social Committee concluded that economic recovery depends on the successful adaptation of SMEs.

We hope you were able to catch all of the interesting sessions at this year’s assembly. For an overview of the session on Day 1, click here, and here for Day 2. You can also catch some of the highlights on Twitter via @EEPA_EU.

Tags:

European Enterprise Promotion Awards Class of 2021

Over the past months, you have followed us as we showcased the best projects in the six European Enterprise Promotion Awards categories here on the Promoting Enterprise portal. The EEPA story of these projects reached its climax on the second day of the SME Assembly on November 16, when the winners in the six categories were announced.

We extend our warmest congratulations to our entire EEPA class of 2021 and in particular to our category champions.

Category 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Spain: Culinary Action! by Basque Culinary Centre

Category 2  – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Germany: COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V.

Category 3 – Improving the Business Environment & Supporting the Digital Transition

Portugal: Digital Commerce Programme by ACEPI – Digital Economy Portugal in partnership with CCP – Portuguese Commerce and Services Confederation and with Municipal Council of Viana do Castelo

Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

Spain: Iberian Centre for Research and Forest Firefighting – Firefighting Open Innovation Lab-CILIFO (FOIL-CILIFO), Fundación by Delegación Fundación Finnova

Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition

Slovenia: Green Penguin, Iskraemeco, d.d

Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Sweden: Inkludera by Inkludera

Grand Jury Prize

Germany: COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige by Initiative Selbständiger Immigrantinnen e. V.

The SME Assembly is not over yet! Make sure to join us for the final day of the Assembly to attend the streamed sessions. You can also follow the live coverage on Twitter @EEPA_EU. Haven’t registered yet? Last minute registrations are still possible but be quick! You can register here.

 

Tags: , ,

SME Assembly 2021 – Day 2

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.

Tags:

European Small and Mid-Cap Awards – 2021 winners

At the SME Assembly 2021, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) again joined forces with the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards to highlight cutting-edge projects that are helping to generate entrepreneurship, jobs and growth. This year’s awards ceremony was bigger and better than ever. Read on for details about this year’s winners.

The European Small and Mid-Cap Awards aim to promote best practices and to highlight the best European Small and Mid-Sized Companies that have gained access to capital markets via an Initial Public Offering (IPO). They showcase the diversity of European markets with a view to promoting stock listings, in particular targeting SMEs and growth companies.

The ninth edition of the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards took place alongside the EEPA Awards at the end of the second day of the SME Assembly on November 16.

And so without further ado, the 2021 winners are:

International Star: Pexip Holding ASA

Rising Star: FOM Technologies

Star of Innovation: Nanoform Finland plc

Star of 2021: Aluflexpack AG

Special Mention: Enlight Research OÜ

The SME Assembly is not over yet! Make sure to join us for the final day of the Assembly to attend the streamed sessions. You can also follow the live coverage on Twitter @EEPA_EU. Haven’t registered yet? Last minute registrations are still possible but be quick! You can register here.

Tags:

EEPA 2021 – Meet the Special Mentions

Every year at the EEPA finals at the SME Assembly expert jury selects a number of projects for Special Mention. While these projects may not have made it to the finals, they nevertheless stood out to the jury due to their excellent work.

This year during the European Enterprise Promotion and Small and Mid-Caps Awards Ceremony the EEPA jury has awarded two Special Mentions from two different categories as an appreciation of their work.

Finland: DRAFT Program – Exploratory Entrepreneurship

The Special Mention in Category 1 went to DRAFT Program from Finland. Draft Program – Exploratory Entrepreneurship is a small but innovative entrepreneurship programme shared by five eastern Finnish educational institutions. It provides microfinance and coaching for student, staff and alumni teams.

The programme has developed an operating model for exploring entrepreneurship, where each customer team is seen as an expedition that produces locally relevant industry-specific information. Entrepreneurship coaches transform lessons learned from working with teams into useful publications – so-called “business developers” – that help to transfer local industry-specific good practices to other start-up entrepreneurs in the area. More than 60 useful publications have been created over the past 12 months, and nearly a dozen companies have benefited from the programme every year in recent years.

The Netherlands: The New Economy

In Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition, Special Mention goes to The New Economy, from MVO Nederland, a network organisation from the Netherlands that is teaming up with entrepreneurs to create a movement to reach a tipping point towards the New Economy by 2025.

The New Economy is one that’s future-proof. It is climate-neutral, circular and inclusive and is based on fair supply chains. The project has produced a New Business Agenda, which shows the quickest way to get to the New Economy, and supports this roadmap by facilitating innovation through collaboration and by lobbying to create an enabling environment. The project has a goal of reaching 20% of Dutch GDP earned in the New Economy, and aims to reach this tipping point by 2025.

Congratulations to the EEPA 2021 Special Mentions!

Tags: , ,

SME Assembly 2021 – Day 1

The 2021 SME Assembly, the first pan-European post-COVID EC conference to be held in person, is finally underway. The three-day programme, packed with panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses and award ceremonies, got off to a fantastic start on 15 November in the beautiful town of Portorož in Slovenia.

The 3-day event kicked off with a presentation from the Slovenian Digital Center showcasing some of the best and most innovative projects that the Slovenian business sector has to offer. The SME Assembly delegates learnt how the Slovenian companies are tackling the digital transition to ensure continued sustainable and green development.

The highlight of Day 1 was the Schumpeter’ Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture. For the first time this year, the lecture was delivered by a non-economist. The climate scientist Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj delivered the speech in front of hundreds of delegates. As a pioneer in researching the impact of climate change and a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Professor Bogataj spoke about the effects of climate change on SMEs. She focused on the role of SMEs and enterprises in achieving the transition to a sustainable economy and explained how businesses could prepare and adapt to face climate change. Measuring and managing emissions from onsite operations, powering operations with renewable energy, and demanding more climate policy are some of the actions that SMEs could take to boost their environmental performance. You can find all about Professor Bogataj’s address in a separate blog post.

The opening day of the 2021 SME Assembly ended with the European SME Week Reception, where the Slovenian presidency presented some traditional crafts, arts and cuisine.

Welcoming guests on behalf of the presidency, the Slovenian Envoy Jernej Salecl spoke about the need to put the green economy and digital transformation is at the heart of all strategies for SMEs.

Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), highlighted the need to stay together and be resilient in order to achieve recovery.

What’s in store for Day 2? 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 photos on Flickr! Haven’t registered yet? Last minute registrations are still possible but be quick! You can register here.

Tags: ,

Schumpeter Lecturer says “climate crisis is also a business crisis”

Speaking at the European Commission’s SME Assembly 2021 during the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture, joint Nobel Prize laureate Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj of the University of Ljubljana said that the world needs “enlightened policies and governance, and an engaged citizenry if we are to achieve long-term sustainability.”

“We can no longer postpone tackling difficult issues, and we need to change the way we produce, consume and trade. We will only achieve a change in behaviour by emphasising the economic win for those who change.

Decarbonisation and climate change mitigation offer a multitude of business opportunities,” Professor Bogataj said to a high-status audience at the prestigious European Commission lecture series.

“Business has a crucial role to play in this process,” she added. “They should switch:
• from accumulation to distribution,
• from an economy of extraction to regeneration, and
• from competition to co-operation.

Professor Bogataj emphasised that “Carbon emissions must have a price, and every person and every sector will have to contribute.” She also suggested that nuclear fusion could be the key to the future of carbon-free energy.

Professor Bogataj ended by saying that when it comes to climate change we must “aim high and do fast”.

Find out professor Bogataj’s presentation here.

Tags: , ,

SME ASSEMBLY 2021: Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj to Deliver the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture

The highlight of the SME Assembly 2021 – the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture will be delivered by professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj. Professor Bogataj is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the United Nations for more than 16 years  and a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its efforts towards raising public awareness about the fatal consequences of the warming of the atmosphere. She is one of Slovenia’s pioneers in researching the impact of climate change.

Reflecting on the new social and political dynamics brought upon by the pandemic, professor Bogataj will focus on the role of SMEs and enterprise in achieving the transition to a sustainable economy.

We reach out to her for an exclusive interview ahead of the SME Assembly 2021.

Prof. Bogataj, how important do you think is the role of small and medium-sized businesses in the green transition? What incentive could be offered to them to take part in the transition having in mind we are yet to see the big business do their fair share?

So far, the big business has in my mind failed to understand the dimensions of environmental crisis. But small and medium-sized enterprises can pave the way for greening across ecosystems, including industry and manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and even energy. I believe that entrepreneurs drive social and economic innovation and can revolutionize patterns of production. If motivated they can also address climate change in a sustainable, meaningful, and profitable way. But they face larger challenges when it comes to the capacity to green their operations, due to limitations in size. For instance, small businesses often lack confidence to invest in environmental-friendly technology. In many EU countries small and medium-sized businesses need more political backing and monetary support. Governments can provide incentives for small businesses to be proactive through financial support and educational resources. Financial incentives, including tax breaks and carbon offset programmes, reward entrepreneurs for their time in creating sustainable businesses. To achieve all that, at this moment we need a mix of top-down and bottom-up approaches. We do not have enough time to only rely only on bottom-up way. Action by governments and business leaders is also urgent.

If you could give one piece of advice to an entrepreneur striving to make their business more sustainable, what would it be? 

My advice would be – do not underestimate climate change risks. Decarbonise! Decarbonisation is both profitable and environmentally friendly. Set carbon targets to achieve and deadlines. Once this is completed, look again at how you operate and think how your business could be even more sustainable. There is always room for improvement. Environmentally conscious practices are entrepreneurship’s hottest innovation.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2021?

To meet people, to listen, to get new ideas from small businesses world and to get infected by entrepreneurial spirit. I am especially interested in success stories, embodied by successful women entrepreneurs. Also, I am looking forward to discussions at policy workshops.

How hopeful are you about the prospects of the tackle climate change given the new social and political dynamics brought upon by the pandemic?

Pandemic so far did not help climate change action, but post covid stimulus might. The Recovery and Resilience Plans can be once in a lifetime chance to mitigate climate change and also to adapt small and medium-sized businesses to climate change impacts. To really tackle climate change means to transform our economies in an unprecedented way. The EU recovery package pays attention to fighting climate change and also to fair climate transition. I really hope that post-COVID Europe will be greener, more resilient and better fit for the forthcoming challenges. Also, I believe that small and medium-sized businesses can really benefit from the EU budget.

In 2012, you were named in the group of Women inspiring Europe – has Europe inspired you back with its actions on climate change ever since?

Europe is trying really hard to tackle environmental problems. Europe listens to science and takes warnings and proposed scientific solutions seriously. In spite of that, “living well within environmental limits” is still far away. The EU is not yet able to achieve really fundamental transitions in the systems of production and consumption that are the root cause of environmental and climate pressures. Our institutions, practices, technologies, policies, lifestyles and thinking still favour a ‚Culture of Growth‘ instead of a ‚Culture of Sustainability‘. It is high time to move beyond a simple ‘green growth’ narrative.

Which book or documentary do you think could change people’s opinion on the urgency to act on climate change?

There is a huge choice of really good stuff.  Climate change is already prominent part of our lives and it is increasingly reflected in arts and literature. but is hard to say which is the best book to change our mindset. Personally I still prefer real books but I would recommend to read on line The 2013 Late lessons from early warnings report produced by the European Environment Agency.  It illustrates how damaging and costly the misuse or neglect of the precautionary principle can be and how to maximise innovations whilst minimising harms. My second choice is potent and evocative book The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wellst.

Don’t miss out!

Interested to hear more about what Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj will say at the SME Assembly 2021? Make sure you are following @EEPA_EU on Twitter and #SMEAssembly2021 for live coverage. You can also still register to follow the live stream online here.

Tags: , , ,

SME Assembly 2021 – Register Now to Follow Online!

Make sure to register now for this year’s SME Assembly, taking place in Portorož, Slovenia on 15-17 November 2021, so you can follow the key sessions online. Click here to register, it will only take a moment!

This year’s SME Assembly 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.

With its wide range of discussions and topics, there will be something for everybody at this year’s Assembly. So, don’t miss out – register now; and 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 Portoroz and online at this year’s SME Assembly!

Tags: , , ,
  • Useful links

  • Tags

  • RSS Promoting Enterprise

    • Bulgarian Kristina Dimova wins SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021 November 29, 2021
      Kristina Dimova, 22 year-old from Bulgaria, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the SME Assembly 2021. “Change is inevitable. That’s why businesses must adapt or perish. The way they could adapt is by being as human as possible. The main thesis of my essay is that humanity is […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly – Day 3 November 18, 2021
      The third and final day of the SME Assembly 2021 kicked off with a series of panel discussions and the Youth Essay competition, which 22-year-old Bulgarian Kristina Dimova won. The morning panel discussions covered environmental, social and governance issues; transfer of business; European scale-up firms; and SME support under the new Multi-annual Financial Framework.A highlight […]
      promotingenterprise
    • European Enterprise Promotion Awards Class of 2021 November 17, 2021
      Over the past months, you have followed us as we showcased the best projects in the six European Enterprise Promotion Awards categories here on the Promoting Enterprise portal. The EEPA story of these projects reached its climax on the second day of the SME Assembly on November 16, when the winners in the six categories […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly 2021 – Day 2 November 17, 2021
      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 […]
      promotingenterprise
    • European Small and Mid-Cap Awards – 2021 winners November 17, 2021
      At the SME Assembly 2021, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) again joined forces with the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards to highlight cutting-edge projects that are helping to generate entrepreneurship, jobs and growth. This year’s awards ceremony was bigger and better than ever. Read on for details about this year’s winners. The European Small […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 – Meet the Special Mentions November 16, 2021
      Every year at the EEPA finals at the SME Assembly expert jury selects a number of projects for Special Mention. While these projects may not have made it to the finals, they nevertheless stood out to the jury due to their excellent work. This year during the European Enterprise Promotion and Small and Mid-Caps Awards Ceremony […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly 2021 – Day 1 November 16, 2021
      The 2021 SME Assembly, the first pan-European post-COVID EC conference to be held in person, is finally underway. The three-day programme, packed with panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses and award ceremonies, got off to a fantastic start on 15 November in the beautiful town of Portorož in Slovenia. The 3-day event kicked off with a presentation […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Schumpeter Lecturer says “climate crisis is also a business crisis” November 15, 2021
      Speaking at the European Commission’s SME Assembly 2021 during the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture, joint Nobel Prize laureate Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj of the University of Ljubljana said that the world needs “enlightened policies and governance, and an engaged citizenry if we are to achieve long-term sustainability.” “We can no longer postpone tackling difficult […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME ASSEMBLY 2021: Professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj to Deliver the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture November 12, 2021
      The highlight of the SME Assembly 2021 – the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture will be delivered by professor Lučka Kajfež Bogataj. Professor Bogataj is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the United Nations for more than 16 years  and a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly 2021 – Register Now to Follow Online! November 4, 2021
      Make sure to register now for this year’s SME Assembly, taking place in Portorož, Slovenia on 15-17 November 2021, so you can follow the key sessions online. Click here to register, it will only take a moment!
      promotingenterprise