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SME Week Newsletter 2017: Issue #9

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Season’s Greetings


With the last edition of the 2017 SME Week Newsletter, we would like to extend our season’s greetings to all of our readers as well as: the EEPA 2017 winners, the SME Assembly 2017 delegates, all YEC participants and in particularly this year’s finalists: Pavle Kostic and Evlampia Karavangeli and winner: Oksana Vedmidska, the Ideas from Europe finalists and finally the European Investment Project Portal.

We look forward to having you back with us on the Portal in the New Year and wish you a successful year ahead.


<< Previous Issue #16


SME Assembly 2016 – Day 1

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What a great start! The SME Assembly 2016 is now well under way after kicking off yesterday on Wednesday 23 November in Bratislava, Slovakia. The day was full of events including business tours, the SME Week Reception and the Schumpeter Lecture to name a few. Missed out or couldn’t attend all sessions? Don’t worry here is a quick round up of yesterday’s highlights.

30396367203_4bccaec88b_zIt all started bright and early with the first business tour of the day to go and see none other than Slovakia’s flying car! Yes you read that correctly, the entrepreneurs behind this automotive innovation showed delegates the product of their efforts, a flying car that makes use of existing aviation and automobile infrastructure to offer a future with the possibility of real door-to-door travel. The second business tour took delegates to GA drilling. This innovative SME in the drilling sector is working towards revolutionising current drilling technology to allow for cheaper and more efficient drilling, with the idea of providing affordable and sustainable geothermal power to all. Delegates were treated to a very interactive demonstration of the unique plasmabit technology that is currently under development.

30396363193_7fbaf6809e_zThere was little time to rest as the next events got underway, with the SME Week Reception starting first in the Old Market Hall where the guests were welcomed by State Secretary  of the Slovak Republic Rastislav Chovanec. The reception was full of fun as national winners, exhibitioners and other attendees had the chance to meet, network and socialise. The Committee of the Regions introduced the 2018 EER Awards, and a regional polish project, Selvita (a drug research company) was also given the floor. Along with all these introductions, guests were treated to a taster of what is to come in the following days of the SME Assembly.

30397309743_ef1f04c0a9_zTo finish off an amazing first day with the presence of Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowská over dinner at the Restauracia Hrad, a small group of delegates was invited to the Schumpeter Lecture. Special guest speaker Philippe Aghion from Harvard University delivered a captivating lecture. Professor Aghion addressed the trials of promoting innovation in Europe and the need for Europe to adapt and reform, saying that ‘If we want to revive the idea of Europe, we have to deliver abroad’, when speaking of Europe’s performance on the global market.

To see photos from the first day, visit our Flickr. It was an eventful day to say the least and with so much going on it was great to see everybody active on Twitter helping to promote #SMEassembly2016! So stay tuned, follow live Twitter updates if you just can’t get enough (@EEPA_EU) and bring on Day 2…

Ukraine launches the SME 2020 Strategy development process to boost a sustainable business environment in the country

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The small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are the driving force and the backbone of the European economy; they are critical in creating sustainable jobs, leading to growth and prosperity. Although in Ukraine the SME make up 99.9% of all registered enterprises in the country, there are limited possibilities for growth and competitiveness. All the stakeholders involved recognise that the situation of SMEs in the economy requires immediate and swift improvement. Only by providing the SME sector with the opportunity to unleash its full potential, can the country be set on its path to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

To mark the launch of a comprehensive and viable SME 2020 Strategy development that will serve as a roadmap towards improved business environment, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine (MEDT) commenced the stakeholder consultations on 17 November 2016. The development of the Strategy is underpinned by broad-based participatory approach and involvement of business community. The development of the Strategy is supported by the FORBIZ project within the EU4Business initiative. The stakeholder consultation on 17 November was launched by Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Thomas Frellesen, Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.

Recognising the critical role of the SME sector in the economic growth, the EU Delegation to Ukraine supports the development of comprehensive and participatory SME 2020 Strategy of the Ukraine’s government via the EU4Business initiative. We welcome the joint, collaborative work of the Government and Ukrainian business community in defining the priorities and the best development scenario for improved SME environment in the country”, Thomas Frellesen, Charge d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.

Although there have been some attempts to draft a SME Strategy in the past, the key to the success of SME 2020 Strategy development commenced by the MEDT is their focus on comprehensive and deeply analytic approach, compliance with the Small Business Act (SBA) and close involvement of the SME stakeholders – both public and private. It is important to emphasize that the business consultations for the first time have become an integral part of the SME Strategy development process.

The discussion between the Government and over 100 business community representatives on 17 November kick-started the round of consultations. It illustrates the first successful step in joint and collaborative approach to the SME Strategy development in Ukraine. Furthermore, the business community is involved in setting the country’s SME agenda that includes such important issues as access to finance, export opportunities and DCFTA, innovation and competitiveness, SME development in the regions and enhancement of entrepreneurial culture and skills.

The Public consultation on the Strategy priorities is taking place in support of the European SME Week, held in Ukraine for the first time. It denotes  Ukraine’s commitment to  SME development and demonstrates EU support towards sustainable SME development in the country.

The Stakeholder Consultation on 17 November kicks off a range of consultation events that are taking place from November 2016 till January 2017 and it underpins the development of the SME 2020 Strategy in Ukraine.

The Strategy will be accessible on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, as of 30 November 2016.medtua

For any additional information, please, contact Aiga Nebare via e-mail: or tel: +380 (50) 520 42 93.


Co-ordinator Catch Up

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Each country participates in European SME Week in a way relevant to its own small and medium-sized enterprise community, so we interviewed Helena Moura, National Coordinator for Portugal, to find out more.


How does the Week work in Portugal? Which organisations are involved?

Since 2009, IAPMEI, the Portuguese Agency for SME and Innovation has run SME Week in Portugal. The organisation has helped different organisations work together to execute and promote all aspects of SME Week.

How do you promote European SME Week?

  • We do a range of different things to promote SME Week in Portugal:
  • IAPMEI included information about SME Week in the Enterprise Europe Network in Portugal newsletter and the Enterprise Europe Network reaching 28,000 subscribers.
  • We announced SME Week at various conferences, seminars, meetings and sent personalised emails to a huge number of stakeholders.
  • We also have a permanent info desk where people can find out more about SME Week

What did you learn from last year’s events?

In order to get the best results, we regularly carry out interim assessments to make sure that we are always learning, so we can improve throughout the process.

And finally, what impact does European SME Week have in Portugal?

SME Week plays a crucial role in the work we do to promote SMEs in Portugal. It encourages key stakeholders and entrepreneurs to engage with and support SMEs. Portugal is one of the most active countries in promoting entrepreneurship and small business.

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