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

  • Tags

  • RSS Promoting Enterprise

    • SME Assembly 2022: Save the date! June 27, 2022
      We are back with news on the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe: the SME Assembly. And what better day to announce when this key event will take place if not on the World SME Day? We are 154 days apart from a 3-day journey on entrepreneurship, economy, policy and innovation. […]
      promotingenterprise
    • World Refugee Day: EU initiatives continue to support Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression June 20, 2022
      A large number of Ukrainian refugees have fled to Europe to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against its neighbour in February. Here on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, we have been covering initiatives being implemented across Europe to support these refugees. We have already reported on initiatives in Malta, Portugal and the Netherlands and […]
      promotingenterprise
    • There is only a short time left to register for EEPA! Check out the national competitions that are still open! June 13, 2022
      The EEPA national competitions are underway and are currently looking for the best projects to compete at national level. If you are from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey, we have great news for you. The national competitions are still open in your country and […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Marian Piecha June 10, 2022
      We have already published interviews with three of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury members (Thomas Cooney, Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker and Outi Slotboom). Today it is the turn of Marian Piecha, who represents the Czech EU presidency on this year’s jury. Marian shares his advice for this year’s participants along with some other valuable […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Outi Slotboom June 3, 2022
      We have already heard from two of this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury members – Thomas Cooney and Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker. This time we have the pleasure to introduce you to one more jury member – Outi Slotboom, a newcomer to the EEPA jury, representing the European Commission. Outi is Director for Strategy and […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Week Newsletter 2022: Issue #15 June 2, 2022
      Welcome to the latest edition of the SME Week Newsletter  In this edition of the SME Week newsletter, we are delighted to remind you that the 2021 EEPA Compendium is now available for download. Every year the Compendium showcases all of the shortlisted projects from the previous year and celebrates their achievements, as well as […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker May 25, 2022
      Today we are continuing to introduce you to the members of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury by talking with Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker. Selma represents the organisation that won last year’s Grand Jury Prize. Her recent experience as a participant in the competition means her advice for this year’s cohort is particularly valuable. Keep reading […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Get Digital: Go Green and Be Resilient May 24, 2022
      On the Promoting Enterprise portal today, we are highlighting a call for expression of interest related to green, resilient and digital companies in the European Union, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. The ‘Get Digital – Go Green and Be Resilient’ initiative launches on Tuesday, 24 May, with the goal of creating a catalogue featuring innovative digital […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Thomas Cooney May 20, 2022
      Every year, during the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), we introduce you to the members of our jury, who play are responsible for choosing the most innovative and exciting competition entries and selecting the winner of the Grand Jury Prize. We kick off our introductions this year with an EEPA stalwart Professor Thomas Cooney. Thomas […]
      promotingenterprise
    • It’s that time of year again – Youth Essay Competition (YEC) 2022 is launching soon! May 17, 2022
      The launch of the seventh edition of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition is imminent. Work is continuing on the concept for this year’s competition and we will make an announcement soon – so make sure to check the Prompting Enterprise portal regularly for details. In the meantime, read on to learn about the competition […]
      promotingenterprise