The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Annual Conference is the key Network event, which brings together 800 Network partners, representatives from European institutions and key external stakeholders to explore how to help SMEs make the most of the marketplace in Europe and abroad.
The event will feature plenary sessions, speakers’ corners, discussion tables, networking area, business matching opportunities and social events.
Today, European SMEs and the Network that supports them are facing a number of challenges, from major shifts in the political environment to the rapid rate of industrial and technological change.
In the light of these challenges the overarching theme for this year’s event is: “Addressing future needs of SMEs“.
This theme will be addressed by a range of sessions covering a selection of topics including:
- Industrial policy and sustainability
- Single Market
- Innovation support
- Access to finance and scale-ups
- Digitalisation, including Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This year’s edition is organised by the European Commission and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in partnership with three Finnish Network partners: Business Finland, Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce and Turku Science Park.
The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME)
Set up by the European Commission, EASME aims to help create a more competitive and resource-efficient European economy based on knowledge and innovation. EASME provides high quality support to its beneficiaries, turning EU policy into action.
As an executive agency of the European Commission, EASME manages significant parts of COSME (including the Enterprise Europe Network), LIFE, Horizon 2020 and EMFF, ensuring that actions funded by these programmes deliver results and provide the Commission with valuable input for its policy tasks.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is the European Commission service responsible for:
- completing the internal market for goods and services
- helping turn the EU into a smart, sustainable, and inclusive economy by implementing the industrial and sectorial policies of the flagship Europe 2020 initiative
- fostering entrepreneurship and growth by reducing the administrative burden on small businesses
- facilitating access to funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- supporting access to global markets for EU companies
- generating policy on the protection and enforcement of industrial property rights, coordinating the
- EU position and negotiations in the international intellectual property rights (IPR) system and assisting innovators on how to effectively use IP rights
- delivering the EU’s space policy via the two large-scale programmes Copernicus (European Earth observation satellite system) and Galileo (European global navigation satellite system), as well research actions to spur technological innovation and economic growth.
Enterprise Europe Network Finland
The Enterprise Europe Network in Finland is represented by three organisations, which are all involved as co-organisers of the conference.
- Business Finland is an accelerator of global growth. Business Finland creates new growth by helping businesses go global and by supporting and funding innovations. Its´ top experts and the latest research data enable companies to seize market opportunities and turn them into success stories. The strategy of Business Finland is two-fold: it enables companies to grow internationally and also creates world-class business ecosystems and a competitive business environment for Finland. Business Finland employs 600 experts in 40 offices overseas and in 20 regional offices around Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network. In addition, Business Finland is the coordinator of the Enterprise Europe Network in Finland.
- Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce (HRCC) was founded in 1917 and is one of the largest chambers of commerce based on voluntary membership in Europe. With over 7000 members, including all the leading companies in the region, HRCC works seamlessly with local stakeholders and interest groups. The Chamber of Commerce supplies high-standard services to its members, represents the business community and lobbies for its interests. Free advisory services are a benefit of HRCC membership. The Chamber also provides a wide variety of training courses on topics of current interest. The Chamber of Commerce promotes the success of companies in the Helsinki Region.
- Turku Science Park , founded in 1988, provides business and innovation services in Turku Region where 22,000 companies, six universities, and an extensive co-operation network of different players speed up the generation of new products and services as well as growth of business operations and local well-being. In business development, starting new venture, growing business and internationalisation Turku Science Park serves all industries, but focal areas are clean tech, creative fields, experience industries, health, maritime and technology industries. Turku Science Park provides Enterprise Europe Network services also in Mikkeli and Seinäjoki areas in close cooperation with areal business service companies.
Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce & b2fair
B2fair is an international concept of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce that combines the assets of trade fairs with the advantages of international matchmaking events. An internationally protected trade mark, b2fair ®, along with its partners, organises 8-10 matchmaking events every year allowing companies to find new business partners in an easy and cost-effective way via pre-organised qualitative business meetings.
The matchmaking events offer companies:
- Valuable information on potential contacts prior to the trade fair
- Organisation of individual business meetings according to their specific needs and requests
- Ideal business conditions for:
- new and high-quality business contacts;
- generation of new business partners and potential partnerships;
- successful knowledge transfer at interregional and international level.