10 Take Aways from SME Assembly; EEPA; YEC; Get in the Ring; Annual SMEs reportWatify
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Welcome to the December edition of the SME Week newsletter!

This month the focus is on the SME Assembly 2016, which took place from 23-25 November in Bratislava, Slovakia. With over 600 delegates and speakers from all over Europe and beyond, this year's assembly was a great success and brought together a diverse audience committed to building an SME friendly Europe and sharing views on entrepreneurship, scale ups and startups.

The assembly played host to policy sessions, interactive open spaces, high-level roundtables, lectures, masterclasses and much more. The event also saw the crowning of this year’s prize-winning projects at the EEPA ceremony and gala dinner which took place on 24 November. Read the EEPA news section for more.

During the assembly we brought you live coverage from the event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! Daily roundup posts from the three days are also available for you to read the Promoting Enterprise blog.


Now that SME Assembly 2016 in Bratislava has come to an end, we can begin to look forward to the SME Assembly 2017 which will take us to Tallinn in Estonia. The preparations are already under way, we hope to see you there!


Top 10 Take Aways from the SME Assembly 2016
If you could not make it to the Assembly, or you need to refresh your memory about SME policies and solutions discussed, read the blog post of the Online SME Assembly team gathering top 10 learnings from the event. 
AND do not forget, the debate still lasts online, join now.


The 10th annual European Enterprise Promotion Awards took place on Thursday evening of the assembly. Of the 57 outstanding projects selected to compete at the European level, ultimately only seven could be crowned as winners. The six category winners and the Grand Jury prize winner came from across Europe and are a testament to the high standard of projects competing this year:

For more information you can read the press release on the blog here or have a look at the 2016 Compendium (an overview of category winning projects, national winners and past winners). Be sure to stay tuned to the Promoting Enterprise blog as there will be dedicated posts to present all the winners!

Get in the Ring

As part of the SME Assembly, ‘Get in the Ring!’ hosted a ‘demo pitching battle’ on Day 2 of the assembly. Get in the Ring pitches entrepreneurs against each other, putting them in a real boxing ring to fight it out with their pitches and ideas.
The SME Assembly saw two hard fought preliminary battles which culminated in a final showdown won by Roel van der Kamp representing Dutch startup Pearltect, with their pioneering bracelet designed to protect wearers from sexual violence. Pearltect will now be going to the grand global final in Singapore, during which they will have to face off against other national battle winners to be crowned the global champions.


Youth Essay Competition  Winner

Andri Pandoura presents her vision 

Andri Pandoura is a member of the Cyprus Children’s Parliament and has already developed an interest in human rights and advocating, which she plans to pursue in future by studying law and embarking on a career in human rights law.
She presented her winning entry during the '10 years on’ session on day 3, giving us all an insight into her vision of the future of entrepreneurship and what is needed now to encourage her generation. As the youth representative, she reminded the audience about the importance of the youth voice, and the need for younger generations to ‘know that there are people out there that they can rely on when in need’.
She continued to present the youth perspective by making reference to the generational gap, but highlighting that ‘when new and old generations work together, we can change the world’. She challenged the audience to ‘work with youth, not for them’ and connect with them on their level and using their platforms.
We will be featuring Andri and the other runners up of the Youth Essay Competition on the Promoting Enterprise blog, so keep visiting for their views on youth entrepreneurship in the EU.
Read more about European SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2016.

 On the blog…

November was a busy time on the blog as we all got ready for the SME Assembly 2016 and the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. In the run up to Bratislava we announced that Estonia will be the next host of the  2017 Startup Nations Summit, in addition to hosting the SME Assembly 2017. We also share with you the final contribution from our last Entrepreneur in Residence of the year; Karen Boers which focused on the European Startup Manifesto.  


 Share your SME Week 2016 pictures with us

How was your SME Week 2016? If you organised an SME Week 2016 event we want to know about it! Share your pictures and stories with us on social media, tag us and use #SMEWeek2016.

Twitter: @EuropeanSMEWeek
Facebook: European.promoting.enterprise.awards
Instagram: @promotingenterprise

 Event calendar

December 2016

●    1 - 2 December: The European Cluster Conference 2016, Brussels, Belgium
●    1 December: Factories of the Future – Making Innovation Happen, Brussels, Belgium
●    5 December: Europe as a Global Actor, Brussels, Belgium
●    7 December: Watify Launch Event, Brussels, Belgium (see below)
●    7 December: Revolutionary innovation: how could innovation change our world?, Brussels, Belgium
●    14 December: EU-GREAT! Workshop, Brussels, Belgium
●    15 December: EIT Digital Italian Innovation Day, Trento, Italy

January 2017
●    3 - 4 January: EU-US B2B opportunity, Las Vegas, USA
●    23 - 24 January: IoT Tech Expo Global, London, UK

 Literary inspiration: Annual report on SMEs 

DG Grow presented the Annual report on SMEs 2015-16 at the SME Assembly 2016. The main takeaway was that ‘the SME recovery continues’, with SME employment growing for the first time after the recession in both 2014 and 2015. 

SME growth is improving at varying rates across member states and overall change appears to be moving in the right direction.


Fast fact

Delegates from 42 countries

attended the SME Assembly 2016.

 Send us your photos from the Assembly on Instagram

This month we are also looking for your #SMEassembly2016 contributions! What we received to date is great, but don’t stop now, we want to see more. Did you take pictures at the assembly? Got memories and moments you want to share? Tag us on instagram @promotingenterprise or tweet us at @EEPA_EU using the hashtag #SMEassembly2016.

 Watify - digital and technological transformation of European industry

Watify is an awareness-raising campaign funded by the European Commission to boost the digital and technological transformation of Europe’s industry. The campaign will be launched through an event that will outline the opportunities and challenges related to advanced technologies for European businesses and regions.

Inspirational and forward-looking, the conference will start with keynotes from Lowri Evans, Director General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME (EC), Eva KAILI, Member of European Parliament (Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy), and Mr Jo Caudron, strategic consultant and entrepreneur. It will also feature a Technological Compass session - a hands-on demonstration of innovative and ground-breaking solutions.
To register please follow this link.

 Tell us your stories
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you’re doing in your business. Submit an article on a topic that you think would be of interest to the European enterprise community. Tell us who or what you’d like to see featured. Submit a business book or podcast review. Send us a photo of you and/or your team at work for our new “Enterprise @ Work” feature, where we highlight entrepreneurs in their own domains.
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