Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the core of the European economic system. SMEs provide two out of three of the private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU.
SMEs are the true back-bone of the European economy, being primarily responsible for wealth and economic growth, next to their key role in innovation and R&D.
This EIF breakfast will provide a roundtable of innovative entrepreneurs, who will discuss their "on the ground" experience of innovating online and the challenges facing SMEs in the EU today.
What are the critical factors to encourage and promote the development of innovative and competitive SMEs? What are the available tools and mechanisms in support of SMEs? What else needs to be done?
Challenges like ensuring an adequate level of IPR protection, funding and investments requirements, obstacles to participation in EU research programmes, access to public markets, as well as cutting red tape and fully exploiting a real single market are some of the issues that our guests will discuss with present participants.
Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP and EIF Governor
Damir Tomicic, CEO of Axinom & board member of ACT – Association for Competitive Technology, represents 1000 European SMEs in the ICT sector
Nigel Gibbons, Chairman UNITECH on high growth online start-ups in Europe
Theodore Zahariadis, CTO at Synelixis Solutions on the Future Internet Public-Private Partnership
Evrard Van Zuylen, Darts-ip on Votre Entreprise en Ligne an initiative by Belgacom, Google and Bpost