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The SME Assembly is back. Live – and better than ever

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This year’s SME Assembly focused on Togetherness + Resilience = Recovery, will bring together actors from across the European and international enterprise ecosystems, including citizens, businesses and policymakers, to build a more sustainable and resilient future together.

From 15-17 November 2021, the beautiful city of Portorož in Slovenia, and the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will play host to the flagship event of the 2021 European SME Week, the SME Assembly.

What is on the programme?

The SME Assembly presents a unique opportunity to bring together the brightest minds and actors from across the enterprise ecosystem to share, discuss and work towards solutions for problems European SMEs and their networks face. After the challenges brought around by the pandemic, and the need for SMEs to be resilient and resourceful, the SME Assembly will be focusing on how community and collaborative resilience are two important elements on the road to recovery.

Through a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, and informative masterclasses, this year’s Assembly will explore how resilient SMEs can recover by working together towards a more digital and sustainable European economy.

The full programme will be released closer to the SME Assembly but in the meantime, we can confirm that the SME Assembly 2021 will feature:

For full programme details, and high-level speaker announcements, including the prestigious Schumpeter lecturer, keep coming back to the News Portal, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to sign up for the SME Week Newsletter.

What will this year’s Assembly look like?

This year, the Assembly will follow a hybrid format, with the majority of the event taking place in-person, and key sessions also being available online, for global attendees to contribute. Due to the ever-changing health situation, in-person places will be limited, and all attendees will be required to present a valid EU Digital COVID certificate demonstrating full vaccination or a negative test. Further details about the upcoming SME Assembly, including the format and highly anticipated programme, will follow soon.

For any questions on this year’s SME Assembly, please contact the SME Assembly Secretariat.

Stay up to date

Don’t miss out on any of the latest news from Promoting Enterprise and keep following us here on the News Portal, or over on Twitter via @EEPA_EU, @EU_Growth and the dedicated Facebook page. For all the latest on the SME Assembly, don’t forget to follow – #SMEAssembly2021.

Schumpeter Lecture with Joseph Stiglitz at the SME Assembly 2020

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Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz says, “We need to transform our economic system from dependence on fossil fuels to renewables and to do that we need rapid innovation” and calls for a new partnership between the public and the private sector.

This year’s Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture was given by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner and Professor at Columbia University.

Professor Stiglitz’s lecture covered topics such as the problems caused by the emphasis on markets without sufficient government regulation markets; the economic effects of the COVID pandemic and the effect of cutbacks in science budgets; the rise of the tech giants; the role of innovation in  transforming our economic system from dependence on fossil fuels to renewables; and his hopes for the new US administration.

Speaking on the balance of markets and government, Professor Stiglitz stated that “in recent decades we’ve lost that balance under neoliberalism under the ideas of Thatcher and Reagan, we put all the emphasis on markets but without government, without government investment, without government regulation, markets don’t work well. In fact, we saw in the 2008 crisis how poorly they worked. The financial sector even though it was absorbing 8% GDP up from 2.5% of GDP,  wasn’t allocating resources more efficiently, it wasn’t creating higher growth, it was creating more instability and so it was the absence of government regulating the market that led to the disastrous outcomes we saw.” 

Professor Stiglitz also addressed the COVID pandemic, describing it as a ‘natural experiment’ of ‘historical proportions’. Speaking about the pandemic he went on to say that “it’s becoming a field for social scientists, for economists, for epidemiologists, as they study what kinds of actions led to controlling the pandemic and controlling the economic aftermath of the pandemic.” 

He closed the lecture by speaking about Schumpeter and his vision of what a dynamic market economy was like.

“Thank you for inviting me to address you in this Schumpeter lecture, Schumpeter had a vision of what a dynamic market economy was like, it was a good vision, that dynamism leads to the flourishing of the human spirit.

That entrepreneurial spirit has the potential, as it has in the past raising standard standards of living for all, but we won’t live up to that potential unless we have the right balance between the government, market and civil society. A new social contract which embraces public investments, strong regulations, including on the environment, and the right rules. We are at a critical point in time, we are recovering hopefully from the pandemic or we will be in the not too distant future, we should have learned a lot of lessons and among the lessons are the importance of science, the importance of good institutions, the importance of global cooperation, the importance of innovation and as I emphasized those things which made for success in addressing the challenge of the pandemic I believe will also make for success in achieving long-term shared prosperity. 

Watch the Schumpeter Lecture in full:

Top billing at this year’s SME Assembly – introducing Joseph Stiglitz

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As you are probably already aware, U.S. economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will be delivering the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture at the SME Assembly 2020, to be held online on 16 and 17 November during European SME Week. This promises to be a riveting address, so if you haven’t already saved the date, make sure to do so immediately. Ahead of the Assembly we are publishing a short introduction to Mr Stiglitz and his work on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Joseph Stiglitz is an American economist, public policy analyst, and a professor at Columbia University. His CV is formidable – he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chair of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank on international development based at Columbia University, where he has been a faculty member since 2001.

Stiglitz has also served as chair of the international Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, appointed by President Sarkozy of France, and currently serves as co-chair of its successor, the High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. In addition, from 2011 to 2014, Stiglitz was president of the International Economic Association (IEA).

Excellence rewarded

In addition to his impressive work Stiglitz is the recipient of a long list of international awards. Chief among these are the John Bates Clark Medal, which he was awarded in 1979 by the American Economic Association, and later, in 2001, he was recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Stiglitz received the Nobel Prize along with George Akerlof and Michael Spence for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information.

The economic theory of asymmetric information proposes that an imbalance of information between buyers and sellers can lead to market failure. Analysis of these markets looks at questions such as why interest rates are often excessively high on local lending markets in Third World countries, or why rich landowners don’t bear the entire harvest risk in contracts with poor tenants.

Stiglitz and his co-laureates proposed a common explanation and extended the theory, augmenting it with the realistic assumption of asymmetric information: agents on one side of the market have much better information than those on the other side – tenants know more than landowners about their work effort and harvesting conditions, for example. For more information on markets with asymmetric information, check out the Nobel Prize site.

Stiglitz is also the author of several books, most recently The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. His other books include People, Power, and ProfitsThe Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About ThemRewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity; and Globalization and its Discontents.

Don’t miss out!

In 2011, Time magazine named Stiglitz as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Delivered by such a formidable keynote speaker, the Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture at this year’s SME Assembly is a not-to-be-missed event that promises to be full of valuable insights for innovative businesses. 

Register for the SME Assembly and contact the SME Assembly Secretariat for more information.

SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #5

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In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the European Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event.

The event will feature the usual array of top-level speakers, panels and masterclasses, and will feature a highly curated programme designed for the European enterprise community to share, innovate and continue to build the resilience that has helped us get through the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19.

In this edition we will also be sharing the latest EEPA 2020 announcements, including introductions to some of our top finalists, as well as a closer look at the projects awarded Special Mentions by the 2020 jury.

Don’t forget that we also want to hear YOUR stories, how are you facing these challenging times? Share your news and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue or on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal.

Read more >>

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The SME Assembly 2020 goes ONLINE!

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In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our community, the decision has been taken by the German Presidency of the Council in cooperation with the Commission to transform the SME Assembly 2020 into an online event.

The SME Assembly 2020 will feature a combination of high-level panels and interviews, expert roundtables, interactive workshops, informative masterclasses, and innovative networking opportunities to help answer the difficult questions facing our community post-COVID.

Top speakers, such as Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz, have already confirmed their participation in this year’s event. We are delighted to inform you that Professor Stiglitz will deliver the 2020 Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ Lecture from New York.

We will also be joined by many other top speakers such as Commissioner Thierry Breton, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, the distinguished economist Dr. Maja Göpel, and many more.

So, if you haven’t already, SAVE THE DATES in your diaries.

You can start following the SME Assembly 2020 conversation and join in by using #SMEAssembly2020 on Twitter and by following @EEPA_EU, or by heading over to Facebook and following the @PromotingEnterprise page. Other updates on the SME Assembly 2020 will also be posted right here on the News Portal.

We look forward to seeing you online on the 16th and 17th November for this exciting virtual version of SME Assembly 2020!

For any questions on this year’s SME Assembly 2020 please contact the SME Assembly Secretariat and don’t forget to register.

Meet the 2019 Schumpeter Lecturer – Mariana Mazzucato

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The SME Assembly 2019 is getting closer and it is time to meet this year’s Schumpeter Lecturer, Mariana Mazzucato! Read on to find out who she is and about her extensive work around entrepreneurship.

Who is Mariana Mazzucato?

Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). IIPP is dedicated to rethinking the role of public policy in shaping both the rate of economic growth and its direction—and training the next generation of global leaders to build partnerships that can address mission-oriented societal goals.    

She is winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis, the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought and the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values.  She was named as one of the ‘3 most important thinkers about innovation‘ by the New Republic, and is on The Bloomberg 50 list of ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2019. As part of her work, she advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led inclusive and sustainable growth including in her role as Special Advisor for Carlos Moedas, the current Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

Mariana Mazzucato – The author

In addition to a prize-winning thinker on innovation, Mariana is also the author of two acclaimed books:

Her second book from 2018, which brings value theory back to the center of economics in order to reward value creation over value extraction was a 2018 Strategy & Business Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the 2018 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year prize.

This year’s Schumpeter lecturer is not only inspiring but very accomplished, which made us wonder, where does she draw inspiration from? What influences Mariana Mazzucato’s thinking? We asked her what her favourite book was and why to which she answered:

“My favourite book is ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I love this quote in the book: ‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea,’ because it perfectly sums up how I feel about missions (where multiple state and private sector actors collaborate to achieve a shared mission) and the importance of mission-oriented innovation policy as the means to tackle societal challenges, which is the focus of my work at the Institute that I founded at UCL.”

To find out more about Mariana, her work and the Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose, be sure to visit be sure to visit her institute website and follow her on Twitter (@MazzucatoM).

To follow her Schumpeter Lecture on Day 1 of the SME Assembly 2019 on 25 November, make sure you are following @EEPA_EU & #SMEAssembly2019 on Twitter for live coverage and that you have subscribed to @PromotingEnterprise on YouTube to be notified when her lecture is available online.

Watch Mariana Mazzucato’s Schumpeter Lecture here:

SME Assembly 2018 – Day 1

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The SME Assembly 2018 is officially open! Yesterday on 19 November 2018, this year’s Assembly, taking place in Graz, Austria got started with the highly anticipated business tours and the Mind the Bridge SME Matchmaking session.

Several Austrian enterprises opened their doors to the SME Assembly 2018 delegates, and welcomed them to learn about their processes, manufacturing, research, history and the products that they create. We would like to thank A&R Carton, Sappi, UP TO ELEVEN, XAL, Brauunion, Spitzer Dach, SUNNYBAG GmbH and the WKO Steiermark Talentcenter for participating in the tours and for letting the delegates experience their business environments.

During the business tours, some specially invited SMEs were given the chance to attend an exclusive matchmaking session run by Mind the Bridge. Chairman of Mind the Bridge, Alberto Onetti presented their work and the importance of creating links between SMEs, start-ups, scale-ups and existing corporations. Through these bridges, SMEs are able to progress faster and corporates can benefit from fresh ideas and impart their experience on new market entrants.

Day 1 continued into the evening with two spectacular events, the European SME Week Reception and the Schumpeter Lecture. The evening kicked off with the European SME Week Reception, which took place at the Old University of Graz. The Reception opened with speeches from Austrian dignitaries and was followed by traditional accordion music.

Later on in the evening the Schumpeter Lecture, the VIP event of the SME Assembly, took place at the Kunsthaus. The evening began with opening remarks from André Meyer from DG GROWTH, Deputy Director General for DG GROWTH Irmfried Schwimann and Dr. Margarete Schramböck, who spoke of the unique strength of Austria with its SME dominant culture, and the ever growing presence of and continued need for female entrepreneurs. After these remarks, this year’s lecturer Professor Bronwyn H. Hall opened the third Schumpter Innovation in Enterprise lecture, which centred on tax policy for innovation, including considerations for policy makers and SME actors.

Watch the Schumpeter Innovation in Enterprise Lecture:

What a great start to the SME Assembly 2018, but that was just the beginning! Be sure to follow us on Twitter @EEPA_EU for all the live coverage of the SME Assembly and we look forward to bringing you all the latest from the Helmut List Halle, this year’s venue here in Graz.

Don’t forget to have a look at all of the photos from the SME Assembly 2018 here on Flickr.

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