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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News blog15 November 2023Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

SME Assembly Day 3: Charting a Course for a Sustainable Future

day 3

Day 3 of the SME Assembly, on Wednesday 15 November in Bilbao, brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers, and experts for another day of insightful discussions and collaborative sessions. The day was marked by a focus on mentorship, economic performance, and policy discussions, all aimed at empowering Europe's SMEs to thrive in the changing business landscape.

The morning began with an Introduction to Day 3, setting the stage for another day of productive activities. This included an exciting discussion on "New skills and competencies for mentors supporting entrepreneurs in distress," which equipped mentors with the knowledge and tools they need to support entrepreneurs facing challenges.

A workshop on "The EEN and other stories: support for European enterprises" delved into the various ways the European Enterprise Network (EEN) and other support mechanisms are assisting European enterprises in their growth journey, while another on "SME Economic Performance" explored the economic performance of SMEs in Europe, offering valuable insights and strategies to enhance their competitiveness.

Shaping the future of SME support

The day continued with a participatory leadership session on "Co-creative change: how we navigate culture change in our enterprises." This discussion shed light on the importance of adapting to cultural shifts in the business environment, while a "No Net Zero without SMEs" policy workshop addressed the crucial role SMEs play in achieving sustainability and mitigating climate change.

Youth Start-Up Competition

Day 3 of the SME Assembly also saw the announcement of the winner of the "Youth Start-Up Competition" – with the prize going to Mariia Alipatova. The winner was chosen from a shortlist selected earlier. This competition showcases the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of young individuals, while celebrating the next generation of entrepreneurs and nurturing young talent.


mariia alipatova


A highlight of the day was the "Policy conclusions of the SME Assembly 2023" presented by Outi Slotboom, Director for Strategy and Economic Analysis, DG GROW, European Commission and Sandra Parthie, Chair of the INT section of the European Economic and Social Committee. These conclusions summarised the key takeaways and recommendations from the assembly, providing a roadmap for future SME support policies. Finally on the stage of the SME Assembly we saw the handover to the Hungarian Presidency by Yolanda Alcalá García, Spanish SME to László Hunyadi, the Hungarian SME Envoy. 


shake shake shake


The day concluded with the opening of the EEN Annual Conference, marking the beginning of a conference focused on the European Enterprise Network (EEN) and its role in supporting European businesses.

Day 3 of the SME Assembly in Bilbao was a testament to the collective effort to empower SMEs across Europe. As discussions on mentorship, economic performance, and policy insights unfolded, the assembly reinforced the importance of entrepreneurship in shaping Europe's future. Participants left with fresh ideas, new connections, and a shared commitment to building a more sustainable and innovative Europe. Stay tuned for more updates!

Read more about the Day 1 and Day 2 of the 2023 SME Assembly.

Finally, we invite you to stay updated on the event on the Promoting enterprise news portal and also via TwitterFacebookInstagram.  LinkedIn so stay tuned. It is possible to check the photos from the event also on Promoting Enterprise | Flickr

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