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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article30 October 2023Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

SME Assembly 2023: A Glimpse into Europe's Path to Sustainable Success

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In the heart of Bilbao, Spain, the SME Assembly 2023 promises to be an electrifying event set to power Europe's SMEs and start-ups toward a sustainable and innovative future. This year's assembly, which is set to take place on 13-15 November, promises to be a pivotal moment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. Let’s take a sneak peek at what the SME Assembly 2023 has in store.

Day 1: Kicking Off with a Bang

The first day of SME Assembly, on 13 November, starts with the grand opening ceremony at the iconic Guggenheim Museum. The spotlight shines on the 'Basque Open Industry 4.0,' setting the stage for innovation and transformation in the industry. This round table with regional ministers for the economy is expected to shed light on the future of industry in the region.

Attendees have the opportunity to explore and learn from the industry's best through optional business tours and site visits, featuring Adegi, Donostia-San Sebastian, AZTI Scientific and Technological Centre, TECNALIA Centre of Applied Research & Technological Development, the Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Centre (CFAA), and the Basque Open Industry 4.0 Expo.

The evening features the Schumpeter 'Innovation in Enterprise' lecture by Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy and the SME Week Reception, both held at the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

Day 2: A Deep Dive into SME Transformation

Day 2, on 14 November, is all about interaction and learning. It begins with networking coffee and a press briefing, followed by an introduction to the assembly and opening remarks by key figures, including Spain’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Héctor José Gómez Hernández and European Commission for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.

Sessions on Day 2 include workshops on crucial topics such as sustainable enterprise, the single market, and participatory leadership. A networking coffee break will allow participants to connect and share insights.

The day continues with more workshops and a networking lunch, followed by participatory leadership workshops, policy workshops, and masterclasses, covering various subjects. The day culminates in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards and a networking dinner.

Day 3: Building the Road Ahead

The final day, 15 November, kicks off with a discussion on new skills and competencies for supporting entrepreneurs, as well as policy workshops and meetings for SME envoys. These discussions and workshops aim to chart the way forward for SMEs.

The day concludes with the presentation of policy conclusions for the SME Assembly 2023, with SME Coordinator and Deputy Director-General, DG GROW Hubert Gambs and Chair of the INT section of the European Economic and Social Committee Sandra Parthie. It also marks the handover to the Hungarian Presidency.

In the afternoon, the EEN Annual Conference begins, with a focus on the single market's future and the role of the European Enterprise Network (EEN).

With so much in store, the SME Assembly 2023 in Bilbao is set to be an unforgettable event. It's a unique opportunity for SMEs and start-ups across Europe to gain insights, network, and explore the path to a sustainable and innovative future. Stay tuned for the full programme, as timings and titles of sessions may be subject to change. Don't miss out on this chance to power your enterprise toward a brighter tomorrow. See you in Bilbao!


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Publication date
30 October 2023 (Last updated on: 30 October 2023)
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Promoting Enterprise - categories
EU SME WeekEU SME Assembly
Promoting Enterprise - tags
SME Assembly