Issue N° 126 - November 2014
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

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Keep up to date on innovation matters worldwide with the INSME Association!

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

the final spurt of 2014 has begun!

May the last month of the year be a successful one for all of you!

The INSME Association is delighted to announce that the dates for the 11th INSME Annual Meeting have been fixed: 26th to the 28th of May at amazing Cape Town - the Innovation Capital of South Africa!

In preparation let me share the following brainstorm:

“Others have seen what is and asked why.
I have seen what could be and asked why not.”

(Pablo Picasso)


…and now as usual enjoy your reading!

Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General

The INSME Team welcomes your comments and inputs for further improvement of this service.

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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

Second Successful Smart Communities Workshop held by the JEUPISTE Consortium

On the 13th of November 2014 in Turin, Italy, INSME in collaboration with the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member) delivered the second successful innovation workshop on "Smart Communities" in a broader term. The event was attended by an important number of local professionals as well as international delegates and attracted more than 35 people from 10 different countries. Participants made use of the unique opportunity to share their thoughts and projects with outstanding speakers from Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Meta Group, t2i, the European Crowdfunding Network, Sendai National College of Technology, Torino Wireless Foundation, Torino Smart City Foundation and Telecom Italia.

The interactive nature of the workshop encouraged representatives from industry as well as the academic world with vastly different goals to collaborate and learn from each other. Speakers and participants shared ideas and methodologies that might be applied to a variety of projects to produce effective results in the field of smart communities.

The event was held in connection with Smart Mobility World, one of the most important European events dedicated to connected and integrate mobility, that increased networking opportunities with potential international partners.

Speakers' presentations will be available soon on the dedicated website of the JEUPISTE project at the following link.

Looking forward to the 11th INSME Annual Meeting

OSIBA Management (INSME Board Member) will host the 11th INSME Annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa from the 26th to the 28th of May 2015 on the theme "Technology and Innovation for Inclusive Growth". The event focusing on innovation, technology transfer and technology commercialisation within the SME economy will be held in the stimulating framework of "Forging Enterprise 2015", a national programme to mark 20 years of small business promotion in South Africa since the introduction of the democratic government's White Paper on small business promotion in March 1995.

The exclusive three day event including round tables, conference, innovation tours, training as well as social events and networking opportunities will be a chance to increase knowledge sharing among the strongly growing network and meet key innovation actors to discuss hot topics and lay the foundations for successful initiatives and projects.

The dedicated website of the 11th INSME Annual Meeting is currently under construction and will be available soon. For any further information, please contact the INSME Secretariat at

Find out more about INSME Annual Meetings here.

Energize your ideas: Insights on the 19th session of the INSMEAcademy

Nowadays the global context in which innovation is occurring, is experiencing a series of challenges that entrepreneurs must be able to face. During the 19th session of the INSMEAcademy that was held on the 23rd of October 2014, Mr. Shukla, CEO at Larta Institute (INSME Member), stated that these are: market dynamics that are changing fast in ways that are not always predictable; information asymmetry; lower barriers to market entry and global availability of talent, knowledge and technology. To overcome these challenges Larta Institute developed the network-centric approach involving partners, buyers, and adopters of "open innovation" that assured a more holistic approach to the commercialization of research and more useful (and usable) outcomes in a world that is more connected now than even before. The approach follows four main principles: nodes, links, common goals and flexibility.

Read more about it here.

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News and contributions from the INSME Members

Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate at the Global Entrepreneurship Forum organized by The Centennial Fund (INSME Member)

Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance actively intervened at the Global Entrepreneurship Forum organized by The Centennial Fund (INSME Member) in Saudi Arabia.

The event was a meeting place for important business entrepreneurs, intellectuals, journalists, investors, researchers, opinion and decision leaders to work together within the discussion sessions about the most recent issues and challenges facing entrepreneurs in the current period.

Under the forum umbrella, many important initiatives took place, including the Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Prize for Global Entrepreneurship prize and the international counseling week.

INSME Secretary General also served as a speaker during the forum by giving a speech on "Empowering Female Entrepreneurs to Build Global Companies".

Learn more about the event here.

Christian Saublens, Executive Manager of EURADA (INSME Member), was awarded the 2014 Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

Christian Saublens, Executive Manager of the European Association of Development Agencies (INSME Member), was awarded the 2014 Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), for a lasting commitment to economic development. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony in October during the IEDC Annual Conference held in Texas.

Each year, the IEDC Chairman of the Board chooses an influential leader which receives the Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development. This years' edition selected Mr. Saublens for his outstanding efforts in widening the international network for economic development and fostering international exchange and cooperation among practitioners.

Searching for Solutions for SMEs: NBS's (INSME Member) 2014 SME Sustainability Challenges Report

The NBS (INSME Member) Montréal office recently met with the SME Council to discuss their sustainability priorities. The result of this meeting has been a report underlining eight priority challenges which is intended to be a support for the university community to understand the most pressing needs in terms of research into sustainable development and a tool for SME managers that will help them to adopt sustainable practices. The highlighted challenges deal with: how to measure the benefits of sustainability activities; how SMEs can efficiently manage requests from forcing markets regarding responsible procurement; where SMEs can find proper resources when starting a sustainability process; how SMEs can focus their communication strategy; how SMEs can influence consumers during the responsible purchasing process; how sustainability activities of growing SMEs can be prioritized and finally what the price elasticity is for a certified responsible product or service.

Read the whole report here.

Institutional non-bank lending and the role of debt funds: EIF's (INSME Member) Working Paper

Against the background of the need for alternative or additional financing channels for SMEs, this EIF's (INSME Member) paper analyses the market segment of Debt Funds. In the first part of this paper, the concept of Debt Fund is split between Diversified Funds and Selective Funds by giving a range of examples and related initiatives to enhance the (SME-) financing via non-bank sources, private initiatives as well as publicly supported initiatives. Additionally the emerging market segment of the so-called SME bond is presented with examples from Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK. The paper concludes that the volumes of Debt Funds' activities are too small in order to crowd-out the traditional bank-lending channels. Despite the on-going disintermediation processes, also after the crisis banks are going to remain the main provider of external financing to SMEs. However, as the dynamic in this market segment shows, its importance is growing and increasing non-bank lending and capital market solutions seems to be rather a trend than a fashion, as such they can play an important complementary role to the traditional bank financing.

Read the paper here.

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INSME's Picks in the News

Dubai-based Beehive launches region's first P2P online lending platform for SMEs

Dubai-based Beehive recently launched the region's first peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platform, offering a new funding alternative for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). By using crowdfunding principles, Beehive's online platform directly connects credit worthy businesses looking for funding with smart investors to build mutually beneficial partnerships for growth. Beehive's online marketplace facilitates flexible funding for established businesses seeking investment between AED 100,000 (ca. 21,759.12 EUR) and AED 500,000 (ca. 108,810.31 EUR). Individual investors can invest from as little as AED 100 (ca. 21.7611 EUR) and bid to lend money, choosing how much they will lend and at the interest rate. Beehive then facilitates the loan agreement between the business and investors, charging a small percentage fee of the loan amount. The business receives funding typically in around 7 days and investors receive monthly repayments at target rates of between 8% and 12%.

Learn more about the online tool here.

IDB and European Investment Bank establish facilities to support internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced the creation of two facilities that will finance the international expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Financing for the IDB's Internationalization of SMEs Financing Facility will consist of a $ 250 million loan and up to $ 250 million additional resources to be raised through syndication or co-financing. The IDB funds will support eligible financial intermediaries' on-lending to EU-based firms undertaking foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Latin America and the Caribbean and businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean engaged in trade with the European Union, with a focus on SMEs. A facility established by the EIB will finance an amount of up to $ 500 million (EUR 370.2 million) to promote the internationalization of Latin American and Caribbean SMEs via investments by their subsidiaries in Europe as well as European SMEs with trading activity or a presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Learn more about these facilities here.

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INSME Picks in the Web

Assessing the role of Women in Africa's economic growth

On the occasion of the 3rd African Women's Economic Empowerment Summit recently held in Zambia, delegates from regulatory bodies, financial services providers, development agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, business and professional organisations, advocacy groups, as well as prominent businessmen and women and Government leaders gathered to discuss initiatives and ideas to empower women economically in a continent that still reluctantly accepts a woman as a decision-maker in the world of business. By shedding light on different African programmes that directly involve women as decision makers, the overall initiative underlined the important role played by women entrepreneurs as central and indispensable shapers of economies of the continent.

Read the article here.

How commercial banks can offer financial products to SMEs for investing in Energy Efficiency

Energy consumption can account for up to 50 per cent of the total business costs for an SME.

Building on different studies and projects that the DAI - Development Alternatives, Inc. has carried out in Latin America and Eastern Europe, the article by Ms. Anzboeckand Ms. Couzinet, Senior Project Managers at DAI, examines the role that commercial banks can play in supporting the uptake of energy efficiency as a means to improve long-term profitability and business competitiveness.

Read the article here.

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About IPR…in China

Intellectual Property in the Food & Beverage Industry in China

European Food&Beverage SMEs are making significant investments in emerging East Asian markets, particularly in China, with new local product development and national business strategies. In this framework, important changes are occurring in the industry that are redefining how companies operate and manage risk. In this changing environment, China IPR Helpdesk examines the most relevant IPR issues related to trade marks, rights related to packaging and trade secrets.

Read more here.

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Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Europe as a global actor

The European Commission is going to launch (the planning opening date is the 10th of December 2014) the call Europe as a Global Actor aiming at enhancing and focusing research and innovation cooperation between European actors and international partner countries such as Australia, USA, Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and Ukraine.

In particular it is requested to:

  • Stimulate research actors from the Union and its international partners to increase cooperation, notably through Horizon 2020 and through the partner's funding programmes;
  • Support the identification and implementation of targeted international cooperation activities;
  • Contribute to the elimination of the obstacles to cooperation between actors from the EU and its international partners.

The deadline for submission is the 12th of May 2015.

More information available here.

IDEAS V 2014: Energy Innovation Contest

The Inter-American Development Bank, in collaboration with CONACYT-SENER Fund for Energy Sustainability (FSE), recently launched the Energy Innovation Contest IDEA V 2014 in order to fund innovative energy projects in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. The projects should aim to develop innovative technologies and business models that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, bio-fuels and access to energy in rural areas in the above-mentioned regions.

Winners will receive up to 200,000 $ for projects promoting the integration and innovation of high impact technology in the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The deadline to apply is the 15th of January 2015.

Find out more here.

Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research - Research Alliance

The US National Science Foundation is promoting the Partnership for Innovation, within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnership (IIP), aiming at creating partnerships and collaborations between governments, academia and other public and private actors in order to transform research discoveries into competitive technologies and real businesses.

The program targets discoveries focused on different stages along the innovation spectrum.

Furthermore a webinar will be held soon to clarify any doubts about this solicitation.

The deadline to submit a letter of intention is the 12th of January 2015, while the deadline for full proposals is the 18th of February 2015.

More information is available at this page.

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The Bold Ones - High-impact Entrepreneurs Who Transform Industries

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with EY, Endeavor and Purpose, analyzed survey data from over 600 entrepreneurs in EY' Entrepreneur of the Year program with the goal of better understanding how successful entrepreneurial companies accelerate access to new markets and become scalable, high-impact businesses. While generalizing from these firms, it seems that the most important characteristics for an aspiring high-tech entrepreneurs are:

  • identify market opportunities or mismatches, and focus on niches - addressing them with an innovative business model;
  • have a strong vision and passion for the business and communicate it well;
  • design a business that makes a positive impact in the community and engage with policy makers to help shaping their agendas.

For policy makers, the analysis offers food for thought on how to differentiate between the needs of various sectorial groups and how to best match them to existing ecosystem capabilities beyond basic requirements such as strong institutions, infrastructure and legal certainty.

Read the whole report here.

Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2014

The OECD Scoreboard on "Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2014" analyses and monitors financing difficulties and trends in 31 countries along with the policies implemented to deal with these challenges. Since the Great Recession, data show a weak recovery in SMEs' and entrepreneurs' access to finance in many countries. Some of them also experienced a further deteriorating situation in 2011-2012, including emerging economies which underwent substantial business credit growth in 2010-2011. Therefore according to the scoreboard, financing conditions for SMEs remain a pressing concern. The interest rate spread between SMEs and large firms increased in most countries and SMEs non-performing loans as well as bankruptcies continued to grew over the period. The publication underlines the important role played by public financial institutions in fostering co-participation of the private sector in the lending markets through managing guarantees and in encouraging new public-private collaboration in equity instruments.

In addition the scoreboard provides readers with a range of non-bank financing instruments available to SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Read more here.

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency

The World Bank recently released the 12th of a series of Annual Reports, Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency.

The report analyzes business regulations and protection of property rights across 189 economies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, measuring eleven areas of the life of a business. Some of the areas taken into consideration are: starting a business, getting credit, trading across border, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Doing Business 2015 highlights some main findings such as:

  • Entrepreneurs saw improvements in their local regulatory framework: between June 2013 and June 2014 the report documented 230 business reforms;
  • Tajikistan, Benin, Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Azerbaijan, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates are among the economies that improved the most in 2013/2014 in analyzed areas.

To find out all the findings and the indicators used in this year's report download Doing Business 2015 here.

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Recommended Website

The "Global Enterprise Registration" portal

UNCTAD together with the Global Entrepreneurship Week has launched "Global Entrepreneurship Registration", an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation.

Global Entrepreneurship Registration is a portal offering the opportunity to register a business describing it during the registration process and it aims at promoting the use and the improvement of business registration services worldwide, by facilitating the access to existing online platforms and the exchange of experiences and best practices among governments.

Find out more here.

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Recommended Newsletter

The Digital Business Innovation Newsletter

Digital Business Innovation periodically releases a newsletter focused on interesting news and updates on how to boost entrepreneurship, nurture business creativity and how to inspire new forms of enterprises through the Future Internet. The newsletter also aims at providing readers with information on events, calls and interesting initiatives about entrepreneurship and intra-preneurship ecosystems both on a European and on a global scale.

To subscribe to the newsletter please click here.

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Highlighted events

European Business Angels Investment Forum 2014
"Access to finance from Start-up to Scale-up to Exits

15th - 16th of December 2014
Istanbul, Turkey
Organized by EBAN

The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players - EBAN (INSME Member) organizes the European Business Angels Investment Forum 2014 with the topic "Access to Finance from Start-up to Scale-up to Exits" to be held on the 15th and 16th of December in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Forum will gather European SMEs, public and corporate early stage market players working on a more easy access to finance for SMEs and entrepreneurs, with the final aim to develop new financial instruments that might facilitate the access to finance for innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies across Europe.

Lear more here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

4th of December 2014
Conference on the "Economic impacts of IP-centered government incentives in Europe and China"
Organized by the "IP Key" Project and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Policy & Management
Beijing, China

7th - 10th of December 2014
ISPIM Asia-Pacific Innovation Forum
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)

10th - 12th of December 2014
International Conference on Sustainability, Technology and Education 2014
Organized by the International Association for the Development of the Information Society and Tamkang University
New Taipei City, Taiwan

10th - 12th of December 2014
Advances in Business-Related Scientific Research Conference
Organized by GEA College
Milan, Italy

5th - 6th of January 2015
IIPLA Annual Congress
Organized by the International Intellectual Property Law Association
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

9th of January 2015
Fast Track to Innovation Pilot (2015-2016) A Free Interactive Information Event
Organized by the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

16th of January 2015
H2020's ICT-16 'Big data – research' Information and Networking day
Organized by the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

23rd - 24th of February 2015
The Arab Entrepreneurs Conclave
Organized by MICE Quotient
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

25th - 27th of February 2015
2015 EFMD Entrepreneurship Education Conference
Organized by EFMD - The Management Development Network
Copenhagen, Denmark

2nd - 4th of March 2015
1st International Conference on Industrial Networks and Intelligent Systems
Organized by the European Alliance for Innovation - EAI (INSME Member)
Tokyo, Japan

16th - 19th of March 2015
Global Entrepreneurship Congress
Organized by the Global Entrepreneurship Week, META Group (INSME Member) and Kauffman Foundation
Milan, Italy

23rd - 24th of April 2015
Smart City Startups 2015
Organized by Smart City Startups 2014
Wynwood-Miami, USA

5th - 7th of May 2015
The European Association Summit
Organized by VISITBRUSSELS in collaboration with the European Business Summit (EBS)
Brussels, Belgium

26th - 28th of May 2015
11th INSME Annual Meeting on "Technology and Innovation for Inclusive Growth"
Organized by INSME in collaboration with OSIBA Management
Cape Town, South Africa

2nd - 3rd of June 2015
OECD Forum 2015
Organized by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor)
Paris, France

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