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Tag ‘Enzo Ercole Ribagnac’

Why should I enter the 2020 SME Week Youth Essay Competition?

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On 17 July 2020, the European Commission launched the 5th edition of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition. The competition is open to 18-25 year olds from EU & COSME countries and is an opportunity to make your voice heard and share your opinion with key policy makers and stakeholders involved with European enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation.

More information on this year’s edition is available here.

This year applicants should write an essay answering the following question:

What do SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient, in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges? How can EU policy best aid entrepreneurs?

If you are interested in expressing your opinion and submitting an answer to this year’s question, you have until 18 September 2020.

If you are still thinking about whether or not to apply for this competition, we encourage you to read through what last year’s winner Radu Dumitrescu, and his fellow finalists Estelle Beuve, Aureliano Ulndreaj, and Enzo Ercole Ribagnac, had to say about their reasons for entering.

What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?

I entered the Youth Essay Competition in order to reignite a few ideas, namely that European business leaders deserve the respect of the Union. I wanted to advocate for a more united approach towards companies in Europe as part of my vision of a European Federation, and I wanted to make my voice heard.

I was just finishing my European voluntary service, at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, when I heard about the SME Assembly. I wanted to be a part of it and felt I had something to contribute, so I applied. I have a background in economics and accounting and want to use that to pave the way towards a greener economy. Specifically my vision of a greener economy is one that motivates companies to take the lead in reducing their carbon footprint rather than the green washing that is so common when you read any CSR report. 

I was intrigued by the essay topic. Being a student of political science, the format of the essay (a political speech) made it a very attractive opportunity for me to test my abilities. I also saw this competition as a very interesting challenge, as I was not very familiar with the field of SMEs. However I believe that the unknown (in this case the field of SMEs) is always worth exploring.

Several factors influenced my entry in the competition. When I first saw the advert, I was an intern in a European project funded by the DG Grow and related to SMEs. This experience helped me to accumulate a lot of knowledge concerning European SMEs struggles in Europe and abroad. After the internship I moved to Italy during the summer to study Italian. This gave me plenty of time to think about my essay, use the knowledge I had accumulated but also try to include my personal experience. Both my parents are small entrepreneurs in the French West Indies and their business is often part of our family’s discussions. All things considered, I think I entered the competition because I had a lot to say and time to work on a submission that I was proud of and that reflected my opinion and ideas.

For any questions on the SME Week Youth Essay competition, contact smeweek@loweurope.eu and read the 2020 competition launch post for all of the information on this year’s edition. Good luck and don’t forget to submit!

Young voices, innovative ideas – Meet Youth Essay Competition finalist Estelle

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We are back with another SME Week Youth Essay competition finalist! This time we spoke to Estelle Beuve from France about her experience entering and placing in the top 4 of the 2019 competition.

In her speech Estelle demonstrated her passion for speaking out about climate change and the impacts that this is having on both our planet, industry and the way we consume. She highlighted the issue with multinationals adopting the Producing more To Earn more principle and the devasting effects of planned obselenece. In response to this she proposed a new initiative under the new commission, “Companies for a sustainable future”.

Read Estelle’s speech here.

Estelle caught the jury’s attention in Round 1, landing herself on the Top 10 shortlist and a space to compete in Round 2 of the 2019 competition. In her Round 2 submission she explained the need to apply the “Think Small First Principle” when dealing with SMEs, specifically touching upon the need to remove red tape for SMEs in order to allow them to innovate. She also referenced the European private company status from 2008, calling it a step in the right direction and something to build on further.

Read Estelle’s second submission here.

What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?

I was just finishing my European voluntary service, at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, when I heard about the SME Assembly. I wanted to be a part of it and felt I had something to contribute, so I applied. I have a background in economics and accounting and want to use that to pave the way towards a greener economy. Specifically my vision of a greener economy is one that motivates companies to take the lead in reducing their carbon footprint rather than the green washing that is so common when you read any CSR report.  

How did you feel when you found out that you were going to Helsinki?

I was very surprised as the process was both very long and competitive. I didn’t expect to reach the final step – going to Finland! I was very glad to be one of the finalists of the Youth Essay Competition and I didn’t hesitate to skip classes to get there.

What did you think about the SME Assembly 2019?

The SME Assembly is all about exchanging new ideas that will shape tomorrow’s economy. We dealt with so many different topics in 3 days, among them many topical issues on which I was really eager to have a better understanding. After the Assembly I came back home to Strasbourg with a sense of achievement both personally and professionally.  

What was your main takeaway from the SME Assembly 2019?

The most important thing that I took away was that we should not give up on containing global warming, and this can be done by helping our SMEs. It might be hard and there will be hurdles in our way but I’m sure it is feasible if we give to companies the right incentives to fight global warming at the European level. That is what the New Green Deal pledged by the European Commission is all about.

What is next for you? Any exciting plans to share?

I’m back studying in Strasbourg for a Master’s degree in accounting and management and I’m looking forward to writing my final thesis on the Comprehensive Accounting in Respect of Ecology model. I really wish that companies could be more accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions than they have been in the past. We have already seen how ineffective CO2 quotas are and we have to urge companies to take a greener path with new mechanisms that haven’t been explored yet. 

Congratulations Estelle on being a 2019 finalist and for sharing your passion for fighting climate change with us at the SME Assembly and through your submissions. Don’t forget to read our interviews with the other two 2019 finalists Aureliano and Enzo to get an insight into the competition.

Want to hear from the 2019 winner? Come back to the News Portal next week to find out what our 2019 winner has to say…stay tuned!

Young voices, innovative ideas – Meet Youth Essay Competition finalist Enzo

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We are back with another SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 finalist! Today we are speaking to Enzo Ercole Ribagnac from France, who made himself stand out to the jury with his 1st submission that detailed the speech he would give as the new EU Commissioner for SMEs and Entrepreneurship.

In his speech Enzo drew on his own experience growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, and likened founders to founding members, and business shareholders to the European Member States. He spoke of the need to take risks and collaborate to bring initiatives to life, and the European challenge of supporting small and medium sized enterprises. He also emphasised and proposed actions surrounding: Developing entrepreneurship spirit and skills across the Union, Supporting innovations to play a leading role on the global market and Facilitating internationalization and access to markets.

Read Enzo’s speech here.

After impressing the jury in Round 1, Enzo made it to the Top 10 shortlist, where he impressed the jury once again with his second submission that focused on the need to incorporate the “Think Small First Principle” with regards to SMEs, the need to equip SMEs to fight against unfair advantages of big foreign tech companies and to create opportunities for SMEs to communicate with the European institutions.

Read Enzo’s second submission here.

What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?

Several factors influenced my entry in the competition. When I first saw the advert, I was an intern in a European project funded by the DG Grow and related to SMEs. This experience helped me to accumulate a lot of knowledge concerning European SMEs struggles in Europe and abroad. After the internship I moved to Italy during the summer to study Italian. This gave me plenty of time to think about my essay, use the knowledge I had accumulated but also try to include my personal experience. Both my parents are small entrepreneurs in the French West Indies and their business is often part of our family’s discussions. All things considered, I think I entered the competition because I had a lot to say and time to work on a submission that I was proud of and that reflected my opinion and ideas.

How did you feel when you found out that you were going to Helsinki?

I actually couldn’t believe it! I have participated in a lot of public speaking competitions before, but it was the very first time that my writing skills were recognised. I remember being on public transport when I received the “congrats email”, and I literally stopped at the next station to call a friend and tell them the news. I guess you could say I was a little bit overexcited at first.

What did you think about the SME Assembly 2019?

It was a unique event, and a great opportunity. When you think about it, our market is so large with various countries and languages, and our SMEs are so diverse and numerous. So, to build an event that brings together representatives from all sectors, from all types of companies that can discuss all issues is kind of an impossible recipe. Yet somehow it is made possible, and each year is a success!

What was your main takeaway from the SME Assembly 2019?

I think all informal meetings and advice I took from professionals attending are my main takeaway. When I was at the event, I was a soon-to-be-graduated student looking for an end-of-studies career opportunity. Thus, I had a lot of questions about the sector, the challenges and future of European policies and also about the “European bubble”. All the people I met were very kind and took time to answer my questions and discuss further things with me. This did not stop after the Assembly and I am still in contact with most of them.

What is next for you? Any exciting plans to share?

Well, I will be a Bluebook trainee at the European Commission in the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW), the same that organised the SME Assembly. It will be my first experience in Brussels and it’s exactly what I wanted to do. I have to say the SME Assembly and the Youth Essay Competition helped me to reach this goal!

Congratulations Enzo on being a 2019 finalist and good luck with your traineeship! Want to hear from another 2019 finalist? Come back to the News Portal next week to find out who we will talk to next…stay tuned!

SME Week Youth Essay Competition – Who is going to Helsinki?

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The 2019 Youth Essay Competition jury have decided who will be going to Helsinki to give their speech in front of the SME Assembly 2019 delegates. After much discussion and debate our jury narrowed it down to their Top 4 finalists and would like to congratulate:

  • Enzo Ercole Ribagnac
  • Radu Dumitrescu
  • Estelle Beuve
  • Aureliano Ulndreaj

Well done to our finalists! Read through their short biographies and speech summaries below and get ready to watch them compete at this year’s Assembly for the chance to be the 2019 SME Week Youth Essay competition winner.

Enzo Ercole Ribagnac

A French student passionate about the economy and issues related to SMEs, particularly issues related to internationalisation.

“Setting up an organization by taking risks in the hope of profits and results that we know will bring something new to the world”. This sentence could be either the definition of entrepreneurship or a short summary of the European Union construction. Indeed, coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I have recently been amused about how the life of entrepreneurs can be similar to European history. Like every success story, it all started with a great idea of a few that decided to put their qualities together and realize something greater. You entrepreneurs call them “founders” I call them “founding members”.

Read Enzo’s Submissions:

Radu Dumitrescu

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

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.

Read Radu’s Submissions:

Aureliano Ulndreaj

From a young age I had a distinctive curiosity for subjects related to politics due to the fact that politics are based on human relations and how the living standards of people can be improved from an economic and social perspective. Thus, I decided to engage in politics through my studies, and do a BA in Political Science and International Relations. Throughout my studies I had the opportunity to carry out and participate in different research projects with a focus on regional relations in the Balkans and Albania’s Integration process to the European Union. My main aspiration is to become active in politics and specifically have the privilege to be part of the group of people who will accompany and lead Albania to its long waiting destination, the European Union family.

My speech is focused on two leading factors. The first is to present the most integral areas which need an immediate improvement in order to raise the standards of EU entrepreneurship. The second is the presentation of my personal, strong motivation and belief that EU entrepreneurs have what it takes to succeed in this field and compete with the rest of the world. The messages derived from this speech are firstly to inform that the solutions to the issue of entrepreneurship will be discovered only by an intensive and truthful desire of the policy-makers to understand the challenges that EU entrepreneurs face in their ventures. Secondly, my message to the entrepreneurs themselves is to be courageous, take risks, have faith in themselves and their ideas and most importantly to not give up on their dreams and aspirations, no matter the objections.

Read Aureliano’s Submissions:

Estelle Beuve

I’m Estelle Beuve I’ve been aware of European issues since I started to get involved with the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) in 2016. When I was studying my Bachelor in Accounting and Management at Saint-Brieuc I started a mandate as a treasurer of Les Jeunes Européens Rennes. I helped the organisation find new partnerships with local institutions and started helping to raise awareness on the European Union in schools within their programme Europe at school. A year later, I became president of the association and launched a twinning with a local section in Aarhus, Denmark. In July 2018, we visited them to exchange our best practices. Once done with the bachelor, I wanted to go for a gap year and I decided to move to Chisinau, Moldova. As a European Voluntary service I worked for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova from October 2018 to June 2019 where I had the opportunity to promote European projects and learn both Romanian and Russian. Now I’m about to start my Masters in Strasbourg and I would like to become a chartered accountant and auditor.

I’ve imagined the next commissioner for SMEs and entrepreneurship taking into consideration the current environmental issues by offering a better set up for SMEs in Europe. For this, they introduce a new programme and will do their best to put forward legislative reforms so that “sustainable entrepreneurs” can be competitive in an open market context. Moreover, they pledge to bridge the gender gap in Europe as it is still deep by making clear that women are also the sustainable entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Read Estelle’s Submissions:

For more information on the Youth Essay Competition have a look at this year’s Top 10 and the 2019 competition launch.

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