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SME Assembly 2019 – Day 1

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The SME Assembly 2019 is underway! Day 1 got the event off to a fantastic start and was full of events and experiences for this year’s delegates.

Kicking things off was the SME Envoy meeting, which also featured discussions on the future of SME Policy, including presentations and speeches from Amazon and Sugartrends representatives. Whilst the SME Envoys were hard at work discussing the upcoming SME strategy, other delegates had the opportunity to visit Team Finland house for an exclusive tour and showcasing of Team Finland’s work. Team Finland consists of a Finnish SME network that benefits from a variety of services, ranging from advice services to funding. Delegates were treated to an insight into what the network provides, some of the participating companies, and a traditional musical performance from Lauri Schreck on the traditional Finnish kantele.

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Next it was time to properly open the SME Assembly with the European SME Week Reception at the Finlandia Hall. At the reception, delegates listened to Petri Peltonen, Under-secretary of state – MEAE, and Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission, who shared ideas about the need to prepare SMEs for upcoming challenges like sustainability and skills shortages. The floor was then passed to Finnish music star Ida Elina, who delighted the delegates with her varied vocal and kantele repertoire.

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To close the evening, renowned thinker and academic Mariana Mazzucato from University College London gave the fourth Schumpeter Innovation in Enterprise lecture at the House of the Estates. She spoke of the importance of state finance, particularly patient finance and the importance of government support for SMEs willing to innovate. During her speech she challenged the audience to think about and approach innovation from outside of their comfort zone, and critically analyse current approaches to SME finance and to steer away from blanket SME policy.

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What’s in store for Day 2? Don’t forget to have a look at the programme, follow the live coverage on Twitter via @EEPA_EU, use #SMEAssembly2019 to be featured on the feed and check out the photos from Day 1 on Flickr!

Watch the SME Assembly 2019 highlights:

Meet SME Assembly 2019 speaker – Alberto Onetti

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Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we are excited to introduce another speaker for the SME Assembly 2019, Alberto Onetti! Alberto is the chairman of the Mind The Bridge foundation which works to bring startups and corporates together to enhance growth and foster innovation. He is also the co-founder of Funambol, a white-label cloud solution provider, as well as a professor who specialises in research in entrepreneurship and corporate strategy.

Here on the News Portal we asked about his inspirations, what he is looking forward to at the upcoming SME Assembly 2019 and his advice for future founders.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by doing things that have an impact. Simply continuing to do things that I know I am quite good at, staying in my comfort zone, is no longer that exciting. If you look at the evolution of Mind the Bridge over the last ten years, you can probably see a similar pattern.

We started as a bridge between Silicon Valley and Europe. While we were supporting hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs to improve their vision and plans, we noticed that there was another gap to be “bridged”: connecting startups to established corporations. As a result, we decided to turn Mind the Bridge into an organisation that helps companies shape and execute their open innovation strategies.

This is quite an interesting and complicated challenge, but it is definitely an opportunity for us to make and have an impact, and that is what I care about and what is most important to me in the end.

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2019?

I am looking forward to sharing insights on how we can help SMEs go beyond incremental innovation and capture the opportunities enabled by open innovation and startup-corporate collaboration.

Startups and scaleups can provide mid-size companies with radical and disruptive innovation, while established companies can help startups and scaleups to grow. It is a win-win opportunity. However, based on our experience in the field, SMEs are – most of the time – not aware of such possibilities and opportunities. As such, we need to collectively find a way to fully involve SMEs in open innovation which is currently limited to large corporates.

I hope to come back from the SME Assembly 2019 with some concrete plans on how to make this happen, and add to the ideas I already have.  

If you could give a founder a single piece of advice, what would it be?

To be ambitious and dare to be unconventional. It is hard to get something new if you follow other people’s paths.

Interested in what Alberto will say at the SME Assembly 2019? Make sure you are following @EEPA_EU on Twitter and #SMEAssembly2019 for live coverage from Helsinki! You can also follow Alberto (@aonetti) and Mind The Bridge (@MindTheBridge) on Twitter.

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 2019 – The Programme

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The SME Assembly 2019 will be taking place from 25-27 November in Helsinki, Finland. Hosted by the Finnish presidency, this year’s Assembly will gather participants from across the globe to discuss and innovate within the entrepreneurial and policy spheres.

Key speakers include: Mariana Mazzucato, Daniel Isenberg, Alberto Onetti, Jyrki Katainen and Kristin Schriber, along with many other experts.

But what exactly will be happening at this year’s Assembly? Check out the programme below!

Please note that this programme is still subject to change.

Meet SME Assembly 2019 speaker – Daniel Isenberg

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Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we have an exciting guest! Daniel Isenberg is the founder of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Platform, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, and former professor at the Harvard Business School. He wrote “Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value“, which discusses the valuable lessons that Dan has collected from entrepreneurs across the globe. Dan has also been an entrepreneur and venture capitalist in Israel and since 2009 has made personal investments in over two dozen technology startups in Europe, Israel and the US.

Let’s meet Daniel Isenberg!

What is your favourite book and why?

To be honest, I learn more about entrepreneurship from history than from books about entrepreneurship, which are often filtered through rose-coloured glasses. But my one of my favourite books about entrepreneurship is a lesser-known, candid and insightful memoir by the pioneer of private equity in Europe, Sir Ronald Cohen, called “Second Bounce of the Ball: Turning Risk into Opportunity.”

What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2019?

I am very interested in dialogue with local leaders about how to increase the culture and practice of growth entrepreneurship (which we call “scale up”) in their communities or regions. Many of them are hearing nice stories about Silicon Valley from our profession, but I think they are hungry for practical ideas that will work anywhere, and have a short time to initial impact.

Entrepreneurship is seen as very hands on and learning from experience. Yet as a professor of entrepreneurship practice, in your opinion, how teachable is entrepreneurship and its accompanying skills?

There is a crucial difference between entrepreneurship being teachable and entrepreneurship being learnable. Entrepreneurship is definitely the latter. I have many dozens, maybe hundreds, of experiences with my students at Harvard, Columbia and the Technion who were committed to learning how to be entrepreneurs and went on to grow successful companies. That does not mean they learned the most from entrepreneurship classes – I believe they learned from a variety of experiences, including formal and informal education, mentors, life experience, positive and negative examples, role models, their own personal networks, and so on. The classes may have helped, but I doubt that they were as definitive as many of we professors would like to believe.

If you could give an entrepreneur a single piece of advice, what would it be?

Listen openly to as much advice as possible, but then evaluate it critically, but then learn mostly from practice and real life, honest examples. In order to learn from practice, you need to be what Noubar Afeyan calls a “paranoid optimist.” You need to continually shake up the “oil” of optimism and even passion, with the “water” of cool-headed realism and even self-doubt. Passion by itself is greatly over-rated, and can get you into trouble unless it is accompanied by often painful objectivity. I wrote about this in the Danger of Entrepreneurial Passion (HBR).

Don’t forget to follow Daniel on Twitter (@danisen), and make sure you are following us on Twitter (@EEPA_EU) and using #SMEAssembly2019 to listen to more of what Daniel has to share in Helsinki.

Watch Professor Isenberg’s speech from the SME Assembly 2019:

Countdown to the SME Assembly 2019 in Finland

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BRUSSELS – 6 November 2019 – The SME Assembly 2019, the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, is just around the corner and will be hosted by the Finnish Presidency of the European Commission in Helsinki on 25–27 November 2019. Delegates from across the world will come together to hack policy, discuss enterprise and create the governance structure of the Small Business Act.

This year’s Assembly will feature renowned economist Mariana Mazzucato as this year’s Schumpeter Lecturer as well as a host of sessions on the most cutting edge topics for SMEs and the European enterprise ecosystem, on topics such as Sustainable Finance, the Future of jobs, Women in Finance, the Single Market and more.

“This year’s SME Assembly will be a chance to meet innovation-driven SMEs who look for sustainable ways to grow. Together with them we will work on the future European SME Strategy,” said Kristin Schreiber, Director General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission.

One of the highlights of the Assembly will be the European finals for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. 18 shortlisted projects will be competing for the six category prizes and the overall Grand Jury Prize, awarded to the project the jury feels has excelled in their contributions to the European enterprise ecosystem.

The 2019 European shortlist is available here.

The EEPA 2019 edition received 51 entries for the European competition, which were evaluated by a Jury comprising Prof. Thomas M. Cooney (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology), Thomas Wobben (Committee of the Regions), Darius Vodă (Romanian SME Envoy), Petri Peltonen (Finnish SME Envoy), Agnes Mathis (Director of Co-operatives Europe), Anke Wiegand (Head of Unit Innovation Funding Financing at the Enterprise Europe Network Berlin Partner for Business and Technology) and Mads Váczy Kragh (CEO of Erhvervshus Sjælland, ‘Lean Landing’ Grand Jury Prize Winner 2018). The jury was chaired by Kristin Schreiber (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission).

About the European Enterprise Promotion Awards

Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) have rewarded excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small business at a national, regional and local level. Over 4000 projects have entered since the awards were launched and in total they have supported the creation of thousands of new companies. The objectives are to identify and recognise successful activities and initiatives to promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship, showcasing and sharing examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices, creating a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.

For more information
Guendalina Cominotti, Press Liaison Manager
+32 2 286 11 41
smeassemblypress@loweurope.eu
https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/promotingenterprise/

SME Week Newsletter 2019: Issue #7

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We are getting closer to the event of the year…the SME Assembly! The prestigious SME Assembly 2019 is just around the corner and will be hosted by the Finnish presidency of the European Commission in Helsinki from 25 – 27 November 2019. Delegates from across the world will come together to hack policy, discuss enterprise and create the governance structure of the Small Business Act.

This year’s Assembly will feature renowned economist Mariana Mazzucato as this year’s Schumpeter Lecturer as well as a host of sessions on the most cutting edge topics for SMEs and the European enterprise ecosystem, on topics such as Sustainable Finance, the Future of jobs, Women in Finance, the Single Market and more.

One of the highlights of the Assembly will be the European finals for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. 18 shortlisted projects will be competing for the six category prizes and the overall Grand Jury Prize, awarded to the project the jury feels has excelled in their contributions to the European enterprise ecosystem.

The Assembly will be both a physical and digital event with extensive coverage online brought to you by the Promoting Enterprise team. Make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the latest updates and check that you are following us on TwitterFacebookand Instagram to see what happens in Helsinki.

Don’t forget to keep visiting the News Portal for key updates such as the introduction of this year’s Schumpeter lecturer, sneak peeks at what this year’s Assembly has to offer and more! We hope you enjoy the newsletter and do not forget to submit your news, articles and updates to be featured in an upcoming issue.

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Youth Essay Competition 2019 – Top 10

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Ready to find out who has made it into the top 10 for this year’s Youth Essay Competition? Firstly we would like to thank everyone again for their incredible entries, which were of a very high standard and made it difficult to narrow it down to only the top 10.

The top 10 applicants will now move onto Round 2 during which they must answer the following follow-up question from our jury:

The European Commission has recently published its political guidelines for the upcoming legislative term. Among those, newly elected Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has highlighted the importance of reinforcing SME Policy across the EU legislative board. What concrete measure or initiative would you propose to apply the “Think Small First Principle” to? And why?

Their answers will then be reviewed by the jury to narrow down the list again to the top three candidates that will travel to Helsinki to give their speech and defend their ideas in front of the SME Assembly 2019 delegates.

So who is moving on to Round 2? Have a look below!

  • Aleksandra Kochman (Poland)
  • Aureliano Undreaj (Albania)
  • Emilianos Panayiotou (Cyprus)
  • Lucia Ariel Hotti (Italy)
  • Frederik Kusse (Belgium)
  • Enzlo Ercole Ribagnac (France)
  • Estelle Beuve (France)
  • Giurca Paula Ioana (Romania)
  • Radu Domescu (Romania)
  • Magdalena Stoyanova (Bulgaria)

Well done to our top 10 and best of luck for Round 2! Don’t forget to keep checking the Portal to find out who the jury select to travel to Helsinki in November later this year…

The SME Week Youth Essay Competition is an opportunity to make your voice heard and to take your ideas to a key SME stakeholders and policy makers on a European platform.

For more information read the launch post, or contact smeweek@loweurope.eu and follow @EEPA_EU on Twitter and @PromotingEnterprise on Facebook for the latest information.

SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 – Launch

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Youth of Europe, it is time to make your voice heard! If you are between the ages of 18-25 the European Commission wants to hear your ideas and thoughts on the topic of entrepreneurship, SMEs and the European entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Youth Essay competition, organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, is launching for the fourth time and is looking for submissions that answer the following:

“Write the speech that you would give as the new Commissioner for SMEs and entrepreneurship to Europe’s entrepreneurs”

The Youth Essay Competition is a chance to share your thoughts and opinions with key policymakers and entrepreneurs on a European platform within the domains of enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs.

This year, the competition will be divided into two rounds:

  • Round 1: This is an open call to submit your speech. This submission is due by 16 August 2019
  • Round 2: You have given your inauguration speech and journalists are asking you for more details about your ideas. If you are selected for the top 10, you will receive three ‘follow up’ questions asking you to expand upon the ideas in your speech.

In order to win the prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the 2019 SME Assembly in Helsinki, submit your speech of no more than 2 500 words in English before 16 August 2019.

Don’t know what to write? Not sure where to start? Have a look at previous winning entries:

You can also have a look at the entries from previous finalists:

To get started, read through the rules below, get writing and SUBMIT!

If you have any questions please contact smeweek@loweurope.eu

SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 Launch

Rules

  • The competition is open to all 18 to 25 year olds from European Member States or COSME partners countries (see the list)
  • Speeches should not exceed 2 500 words in length
  • All submissions must be in English
  • Only one entry per applicant
  • The deadline for Round 1 submissions is 16 August 2019
  • The three finalists will be announced in October ahead of SME Week and will compete at a grand finale in Helsinki as part of the SME Assembly, where they will give their speeches
  • The final winner will be chosen via a public vote

Prize

  • An all-expenses paid trip to the SME Assembly in Helsinki, Finland for the three finalists, to deliver their speeches to 500+ Assembly delegates
  • Presentation training before delivering speech live on stage at the SME Assembly 2019
  • Promotion of speeches across official social media channels

See Youth Essay Competition 2019 Terms and Conditions.

Follow us for competition updates on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and be sure to follow and use the hashtags #SMEWeekYouth and #YEC2019

SME Week Newsletter 2019: Issue #2

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EEPA 2019 – 13 years of European excellence

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are now in their 13th cycle and looking for the next winning projects to take their place in the EEPA hall of fame. The awards launched at the end of January 2019 and all of the National Coordinators are working hard to find worthy projects to compete for the national EEPA titles.

In this edition you can find more information on EEPA 2019 as well as all the latest Portal articles answering your EEPA FAQs and providing inspiration for EEPA 2019 candidates.

Let us know what you would like to see in upcoming newsletters and on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal and don’t forget to follow us across social media for all the latest updates.

Read more >>

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