Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Tag ‘survey’

SME Assembly 2017 – Delegate Feedback

Tags: , , , , , ,

Welcome back! We hope you have all had a lovely holiday season and are ready to start the new year with us right here on the Portal. To start 2018, we decided to bring you the results of the SME Assembly 2017 delegate survey and find out what everyone really thought about their experience in Tallinn last November. Firstly the overwhelming feedback indicated that the SME Assembly was worth attending (94% of delegates agreed) and 97% of delegates said they would be participating next year, so we hope to be seeing some familiar faces in Graz this year!

Overall feedback

Attendees really enjoyed both the networking and learning opportunities, sighting the chance to meet experts, the quality of the speakers, interaction between different actors and stakeholders and the gained insights into new projects, as positive aspects of the location. Whilst we are interested in what was good, the Promoting Enterprise team are always looking for ways to improve so as to continue delivering high quality SME Assemblies. The two main improvements on which delegates commented were: the need for more networking time (both pre-arranged and facilitated) as well as increased opportunities for audience discussion within the sessions.

Sessions and content

This year the SME Assembly continued to offer a variety of plenary and policy sessions as well as specialised masterclasses and the entrepreneur expo. In terms of relevance and usefulness, the top plenary sessions were Ideas from Europe and E-Estonia, with over 50% of delegates indicating these sessions as ‘extremely useful’. The top two policy sessions, which received 53% and 51% ‘extremely useful’ ratings, were Single Market: New Barriers? and E-commerce. The top masterclasses, which were more niche and specialised in nature also received high ratings with 86% delegates saying ‘Ideas from Europe: 2 years on’ was either relevant and useful or extremely relevant and useful, closing followed by ‘An Hour of Code’, which was also rated relevant and useful or extremely relevant and useful by 85% of delegates.

Now that 2017 is behind us the preparations for this year’s SME Assembly 2018 in Graz, Austria are getting underway. Thank you to all the delegates who took the time to fill out the survey, your feedback is very important to us and helps to continually improve the SME Assembly!

So what is in store for this year? Follow the News Portal for the latest updates about everything to come and join us on the journey to the SME Assembly 2018…

MBA student survey on disadvantaged entrepreneurs reveals surprising results

Tags: , , , , , ,

MBA students in Amsterdam and Brussels were asked for their views on the disadvantages faced by various groups of entrepreneurs: women entrepreneurs, disabled entrepreneurs, migrant entrepreneurs and others, with some surprising feedback.

Team of young casual business people collaborating on an online project using a digital touchpad tablet computer in a bright modern office space. Serie with light flares

On women entrepreneurs

Suzanne from Slovenia is a fashion major. “According to Eurostat, women account for around 60 % of MBA students and it’s even higher in my country, so right now the majority of young people entering business are women. Our real challenge is still the traditional bias against women in business but we have the same access to resources so I don’t see the problem.”

Houng, from Vietnam and planning on a business career in luxury goods, added, “Women are generally better educated than our male contemporaries, we have better interpersonal skills and have a lower feeling of entitlement. Perhaps it is males who are now ‘disadvantaged’.”

Hans from the Netherlands reluctantly agreed. “My experience is that women are generally better placed in terms of raising finance as there are so many lenders who only lend to women. And women are now entering every field, even those traditional male-orientated ones like construction. They’re competing on a level playing field.”

On being a foreigner

Marko from Estonia is planning on starting a business in the Netherlands. “The biggest challenge of all is the language. If you can’t read, write and speak the language then it is really difficult to cope with the official rules and regulations. In my own country this wouldn’t be a problem, but here I have to rely on my partner and her father.”

Arati from India finds the challenge is cultural. “Being a woman is not the issue but being Indian presents problems. With people my age they don’t care that I’m brown and culturally exotic, but when I have to talk to the government agencies I feel very excluded.”

Omar, who was born in Belgium of Moroccan parents, agreed. “There are still a lot of cultural and even racial issues with the older people. I come from Brussels and there is a large Moroccan community to support me but getting to see Belgium customers can be a real challenge, especially after the terrorist attacks.”

Adan, a Syrian who has been granted asylum in Belgium and is working his way through college, had a slightly different story. “I’m a refugee and there is very little support from the state, and the job I’ve got is the type the locals wouldn’t do but it means I have a competitive advantage. I don’t think I’ll be able to start a business here until I can speak French fluently but even then the locals don’t trust us and I get hassled all the time because I’m Syrian.”

On being disabled

Manon from Belgium uses a wheelchair after a car accident five years ago. “Wheelchair access is the biggest barrier to a business career. This is the first business school where I’ve had easy access and that means I can get the sort of education that I need to be successful. All new buildings have such access of course but I still can’t get into some offices. I don’t need special conditions except I do need things to be at my height.”

All the students had a common theme: being an entrepreneur is about doing what you can with what you have rather than expecting special treatment. The challenges and barriers they discussed were all surmountable and most were based on interpersonal behaviour rather than real difficulties. Of course, there are many other people who would disagree with them, and some interesting perspectives can be found at the following links.

 

United Nations University/Maastricht University 

The Guardian newspaper

Interview with Carolyn Downs of Lancaster University

The Prince’s Trust 

Photo credit: ©iStock/julie514

  • Useful links

  • Tags

  • RSS Promoting Enterprise

    • YEC 2021 – How to write a winning entry September 23, 2021
      You would like to take part in this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition but need a little inspiration to get started? We have just what you need! To give you that much-needed push, we asked last year’s winner and finalists for some tips on approaching this year’s question. Just to remind you, this year, […]
      promotingenterprise
    • European SME Week 2021 – Upcoming events September 22, 2021
      The European SME Week is a pan-European campaign that aims to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. It helps and supports existing entrepreneurs and encourages potential entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses. A significant component of the SME Week campaign is the events included in the European SME Week event calendar. These events take place across […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 – Meet the European shortlist September 20, 2021
      This year over 200 National EEPA entries were submitted for consideration from 28 participating countries. The EEPA National Coordinators then selected 47 of these projects for the EEPA 2021 Jury to evaluate. Last Friday, the EEPA 2021 Jury met to make their final selections for this year’s European shortlist.  The decision came after 3-hour deliberations, […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meet the EEPA 2021 Jury September 17, 2021
      Today on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we introduce you to the members of the 2021 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury. The EEPA jury is made up of representatives from the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies and the last Grand Jury Prize winner. EEPA has now progressed to the European […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 National Winners – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship September 16, 2021
      In our last EEPA national winners post on the Promoting Enterprise portal, we presented the EEPA 2021 national winners in the category Supporting the Sustainable Transition. This time it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. This category aims to reward projects that offer new and innovative solutions […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 National Winners – Supporting the Sustainable Transition September 16, 2021
      In our last EEPA 2021 national winners post on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we presented the national winners supporting the Internationalisation of Business. Now it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 5 – Supporting the Sustainable Transition. Projects in this category have a strong sustainability focus and propose innovative approaches to […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 National Winners – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business September 15, 2021
      Last time on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we introduced you to the EEPA 2021 national winners in the category Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition. This time it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business. The ability to access a wide variety […]
      promotingenterprise
    • YEC 2021 – Why YOU should enter! September 13, 2021
      In July, the European Commission launched the 6th edition of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition. If you are 18-25 years old and from an EU or COSME country, the essay competition is an opportunity for you to speak your mind and share your opinions with EU policy-makers, entrepreneurs and innovators. The challenge this year […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 National Winners – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition September 10, 2021
      It’s time to introduce you to some more EEPA national winners. Last time you met the winners in Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills – today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal it is the turn of the national winners in Category 3 – Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Digital Transition. This […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2021 National Winners – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills September 9, 2021
      In our last post on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we presented the EEPA 2021 national winners in the category Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit. This week it is the turn of the shortlisted projects in Category 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills. The Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category recognises initiatives that improve entrepreneurial, managerial and employee […]
      promotingenterprise