Nathan Farrugia; TedXBinnenhof; EEPA; SME Assembly; E.Musk
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European SME Week

Welcome to the first SME Week newsletter of 2016! 

We’re looking forward to bringing you the most inspiring news and features from across the European enterprise landscape. As we approach SME Week this November, stay tuned for updates on preparations for the Week, the SME Assembly and the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA).

And send us your stories to share with the community. We’d love to hear from you!

Hi, I’m Nathan, and I’m a serial entrepreneur:

Meet our new Entrepreneur in Residence, Nathan Farrugia

We’re introducing a new feature! Each month on the Promoting Enterprise blog, an Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) will give us an insight into their entrepreneurial journey. This month’s entrepreneur is Nathan Farrugia from Malta. His company, Ultimate Performance, works with CEOs, leaders and business owners who are seeking to take their performance to a higher level in business and in life.

“At the end of 2014, I quit my CEO role at Inspire, Malta’s leading non-profit education and health provider, and set up my coaching business in January 2015. Since then, it’s been an interesting journey of metamorphosis for me personally, building up something from scratch while delivering services to my clients through my coaching services and the Ultimate Performance, UP Executive Academy.”

Read more of Nathan’s inspirational story here >>

In the age of creativity, ideas rule the world

The ‘Ideas for Europe’ grand finale was an outstanding success. The range of ideas was impressive and some really useful and interesting ones emerged. Held in the presence of, and with the support of Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry and SMEs, the 12 speakers presented on topics ranging from Artificial Intelligence and replacement bones to how to get children interested in learning and developing creativity skills.

Read more:

Ideas from Europe - Part one: In the age of creativity, ideas rule the world >>

Ideas from Europe - Part two: Entrepreneurs are our future >>

Make your views known on the European startup scene

Would you like to influence European startup policy? Do you have ideas on how to improve the European startup scene? Then this is your chance to have your say in the future of enterprise by taking part in a new public consultation launched by the European Commission.

The information gathered will help in identifying possible solutions and designing new policy and/or support measures at both EU and Member State level to address startup needs throughout their life cycle. The goal is to create serial entrepreneurs who will try again when they fail, reinvest when they succeed, and support a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The survey contains questions related to each phase of a company's life cycle, providing examples of policy or support measures for you to reflect on and share your knowledge and expertise for better policy making.

The consultation is open until 30 June, 2016 so don’t miss this opportunity to help shape startup policy.

Click here to get involved >>

To join the discussion group, click here >>

On the blog...

Watly: Clean Water and Energy for a Sustainable Future

Marco A. Attisan is  the founder and CEO of Watly. The company is building the first thermodynamic computer in the world that’s also a water purification system and an electric power-station that generates electricity off-grid to power its own internal electronics as well as thousands of external devices. It purifies water from any source of contamination without the use of filters and is exclusively powered by solar energy. Read more >>

WeFitter: Rewarding Users for Healthy Living 

WeFitter is a Spanish fitness and well-being platform that allows companies to encourage and reward active lifestyles. Individual users can also accumulate points for their activities and either exchange them for prizes or donate them to charitable causes. The team behind the application’s development wants to motivate end users to be more consistent with their physical activity and trans form it into a lifelong habit. Read more >>

News and updates

Assembly News

The 2016 SME Assembly will take place in Bratislava, Slovakia this November. Around 600 participants representing business, government, European academia as well as national winners of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards will be present at the event, which will start at lunchtime on Wednesday, 23 November, and close mid afternoon on Friday, 25 November.
The SME Assembly is the event of the year for Europe's SMEs and entrepreneurs, and those that support them. The Assembly focuses on how to make SME policy work on the ground, in order for Europe's SMEs to really thrive.
Highlights of the programme include the European SME Week Reception; the inaugural Schumpeter 'Innovation in Enterprise' lecture; the European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony which celebrates its 10th anniversary; keynote speeches from high-level politicians and dignitaries; interactive and participatory sessions where participants get an opportunity to drive the policy agenda; practical masterclasses and bootcamps; and an interactive Expo to promote local Slovakian businesses.

To find out more about this year’s SME Assembly, email us


The national competitions for this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) are now well underway. The 2016 event is the 10th anniversary edition of EEPA, which recognise excellence in supporting and promoting SMEs in Europe. The winners of the six categories will be announced at a high-profile ceremony in Bratislava, Slovakia on 24 November as part of the SME Assembly, the main event of European SME Week.

The competition is comprised of two competitive stages: National competitions will be held between now and the end of June. In July, two national entries from each country will be selected to compete at the European level and represent their country. A European Jury will review all entries and shortlisted nominees will be announced in September.

Upcoming deadlines for national competitions are:

  • Belgium, Lithuania: 9 May

  • Hungary: 15 May

  • Poland: 21 May

  • Croatia, Cyprus, Spain: 31 May

So get your entries in soon to be in with a chance of being at this year’s prestigious EEPA ceremony in Bratislava in November.

And EEPA National Coordinators: Send us your stories about the exciting projects you’re working with and be featured in a future edition of the newsletter!

Click here for more on EEPA >>

Event calendar

Literary inspiration from the world’s leading entrepreneurs

Elon Musk:
How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future (Paperback)

Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey Junior.

The personal tale of Musk’s life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story. He was a freakishly bright kid who was bullied brutally at school, and abused by his father. In the midst of these rough conditions, and the violence of apartheid South Africa, Musk still thrived academically and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he paid his own way through school by turning his house into a club and throwing massive parties.

He started a pair of huge dot-com successes, including PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. Musk was forced out as CEO and so began his lost years in which he decided to go it alone and baffled friends by investing his fortune in rockets and electric cars. Meanwhile Musk’s marriage disintegrated as his technological obsessions took over his life ...

Elon Musk is the Steve Jobs of the present and the future, and for the past twelve months, he has been shadowed by tech reporter, Ashlee Vance. Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping our Future is an important, exciting and intelligent account of the real-life Iron Man.

Fast fact

Denmark is the most entrepreneurial country in Europe!

According to the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index, Denmark is the most entrepreneurial country in Europe. The report’s authors spoke to over half a million participants across the 132 countries included in the index, focusing on 14 key pillars. These ranged from start-up skills to networking ability, cultural support to risk capital and even product innovation. Denmark came 4th in the rankings, behind the USA, Canada and Australia. But on hot on its heels, and making up the rest of the top 10, are Sweden, [Taiwan], Iceland, Switzerland, the UK and France.

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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