Issue N° 148 - November 2016
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Keep up to date on innovation matters worldwide with the INSME Association!

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

in this month of cold and rainy weather, INSME is on your disposal and serves you with a warm smile, inviting all of you to keep in touch and prepare yourself for an enthusiastic count-down towards the end of the year.

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

(William Collen Bryant)

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…and now as usual enjoy your reading!




Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General


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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

The 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum is just around the corner: your last chance to register

One of the most vibrant productive Regions in Italy, Venice and Veneto Region will host the 15th edition of the International Entrepreneurship Forum - IEF, an event involving the Essex Business School, the OECD LEED Centre, the Chambers of Commerce of Venice and Udine and INSME with the strong support from Qatar Development Bank and T2i (INSME Board Members).

From the 14th to the 16th of December academics, policy makers, researchers and innovation practitioners will gather in Venice to discuss the topic “The Globalization and Internationalization of SMEs and New Ventures”. The meeting will be an occasion to discuss how entrepreneurship and innovation connect the local with the global and the future of SMEs in the light of the benefits and threats of globalization and internationalization.

Throughout a series of academy and industry-based sessions, INSME Members will bring their unique experience from the respective countries of origin to further animate the discussion and brainstorm with the international audience for the development of a common agenda for entrepreneurship and innovation. Diverse representatives from the INSME Community have already confirmed their presence and will enrich the brilliant list of speakers: Mr. Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, CEO at Qatar Development Bank; Ms. Mandisa Tshikwatamba, CEO at the Small Enterprise Development Agency - SEDA/South Africa; Mr. Lusapho Njenge, Chief Strategy and Information Officer at the Small Enterprise Development Agency, SEDA/South Africa; Mr. Andrea Di Anselmo, Vice President and Founding Member at META Group/Slovenia and Italy and INSME Vice President; Mr. Massimo Deandreis, General Manager at SRM- Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno/Italy.

The site visits to the shoemaking district of Riviera del Brenta, a model both at national and international level in the footwear sector and to the San Daniele Ham Cluster, a worldwide recognized excellence created entirely and only in the region, will give a concrete vision of the local dynamic industry.

If you are interested to join, you are warmly invited to register at the following link and reserve your accommodation at discounted rates by filling the form available here.

More details about the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum are available at this page.

INSME met with a Delegation of Executives from GCEL to strategically brainstorm on Future Collaboration

On the 28th of October INSME President Sergio Arzeni, Vice President Andrea Di Anselmo and Secretary General Christin Pfeiffer met with a high level delegation from the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics - GCEL in Rome, Italy (INSME Sustaining Member from Switzerland).

The meeting was intended as an occasion to reaffirm the strong collaboration between the two organizations and put the basis for new initiatives with the common aim of enhancing the digital economy as well identifying mutually beneficial partnership opportunities.

During the meeting both GCEL and INSME expressed the appreciation for the fruitful collaboration and agreed on the need of reinvigorating the relationship to move their cooperation a step forward.

INSME President at the International Conference on “Developing Public Policies for Upgrading Productivity in Traditional Small Enterprises”

On the 3rd and 4th November 2016 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico hosted “Developing Public Policies for Upgrading Productivity in Traditional Small Enterprises”, an International Conference organized by SELA - Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (INSME Member), INADEM - Instituto Nacional del Emprendedor (INSME Member from Mexico, hosting the 13th INSME Annual Meeting) and the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor).

The event benefitted from the expertise of high level speakers, including INSME President, Mr. Sergio Arzeni who actively intervened in the session “Increasing Productivity in Small Traditional Enterprises: Findings from an OECD-INADEM Project” giving a speech focused on “European lessons from policies aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and small business in traditional sectors”. The 13th INSME Annual Meeting co-organized by INSME and INADEM and taking place in May 2017 will also be a further opportunity to discuss how to improve productivity in SMEs and their role in global value chains.

For more information please visit the following page.

The EUROMED Invest Project concluded its Cycle of Webinars for Young Entrepreneurs

As a follow up activity of the Masterclasses for young entrepreneurs, women and diaspora organized in the frame of the EUROMED Invest Project, a series of five webinars has been realized by INSME in collaboration with the Coordinator of the project, ANIMA Investment Network since September 2015. Over the five sessions, the initiative raised the interest of entrepreneurs, startuppers, intermediaries from different countries, especially from the Mediterranean Basin expressing their appreciation for the topics treated during the webinars, the quality of the Speakers and the networking opportunities.

Focus topics of the sessions included the following:

  • How to Manage Innovation Processes Successfully - Insights for Young Entrepreneurs, Start-ups and Diaspora;
  • Solving the ‘business plan puzzle’ - Successful approaches to raise money from investors;
  • Green Entrepreneurship & Women and The Essential Role of Public-Private Partnerships to Encourage Innovation;
  • Open Innovation 2.0 calls for Magnetic Organizations & The Importance of Financial Education for Women Entrepreneurship.

On the 23rd of November the last appointment with the EUROMED Invest webinar series on “User-focused Innovation Management and Women’s Empowerment in Global Value Chains” has been a further occasion to discuss the opportunities offered by the EUROMED Invest Project and to reinforce proper skills enabling young entrepreneurs to start or improve their businesses and by doing so, giving a contribution to the economic growth of the project’s target countries, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

Go through the project’s website to discover all activities and events designed for the Euro-Mediterranean Community of young entrepreneurs!

News and contributions from the INSME Members

LUISS Business School’s involvement in European Projects: AuToMa and GreenTour

The Competence Center of Public Administration, Healthcare and Non-Profit of the LUISS Business School (INSME Sustaining Member from Italy) confirms its major role of being an important knowledge provider and is successfully involved in two European Projects under the Erasmus+ Program.

AuToMa - Automation, Technology Transfer and Managerial Practices for the Growth of SMEs, Better Employability and Promotion of Entrepreneurship is a project presented and coordinated by the LUISS Business School that involves 5 European countries (Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria). AuToMa aims at designing and developing a common European website to train entrepreneurs and employees in order to promote the adoption and use of industrial automation instruments, as well as the development and management of innovation and technology transfer practices within their businesses.

GreenTour - Green Tourism Education: an lnnovative Way to Develop Rural Areas is a project involving partners from Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Bulgaria. The Project aims at studying innovative methods and sustainable management approaches in order to spread good practices among public and private organizations involved in tourism, hospitality and related services. Among other practices, proper tourism marketing strategies and policies will be promoted.

Find out more about LUISS Business School and its activities here.

The Small Enterprise Development Agency - SEDA launched the Vhembe Rapid Incubation/Centre for Entrepreneurship

The Small Enterprise Development Agency - SEDA (INSME Sustaining Member from South Africa) has recently launched the Vhembe Rapid Incubation/Centre for Entrepreneurship aiming at stimulating growth in technology-based small, medium and micro-sized enterprises - SMMEs and enhancing a culture of entrepreneurship among student graduates.

The Centre for Entrepreneurship (CFE) will offer a six-months theoretical training programme focused on Business Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Idea Generation, Product Conceptualization. CFE successful candidates will also have access to an incubation programme lasting 12 months. During the whole programme participants will be provided with financing and business support and following both the training and incubation programmes SMMEs are expected to be ready for market and will graduate.

The centre is intended to be a driver for job creation and economic growth, to develop new industry sectors particularly focusing on young, women and physically challenged individuals.

More information is available here.

The International Trade Centre - ITC and Expertise France collaborating to the Libya Entrepreneurship Programme

As part of the Support to Libya for Economic Integration, Diversification and Sustainable Development Programme (SLEIDSE), a four-year initiative funded by the European Union, the International Trade Centre - ITC (INSME Member from Switzerland) has launched the Libya Entrepreneurship Programme in collaboration with Expertise France.

Young and aspiring Libyan entrepreneurs will access 12 hours of online training over six weeks and will have the chance to take part in the programme through self-study modules or in-class sessions at one of the initiative’s partner municipalities and universities in Libya.

The Programme will provide participants with knowledge and skills to overcome economic challenges and to understand the risks and rewards of becoming an entrepreneur. Furthermore aspiring entrepreneurs will learn how to find and grow a business idea, how to develop a business model canvas and how to apply for bank financing.

More information is available here and interested participants are invited to register at the following page.

INSME's Picks in the News

The European Commission presented the Third Annual Work Programme

The European Commission (EC) annually presents a Work Programme establishing priorities and actions to focus on along the year to come.

The 2017 Working Programme is of particular relevance as it will contribute to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome in March 2017.

The EC will continue to work across 10 priorities through 21 initiatives, among which:

  • A New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment focusing on Youth initiatives, Implementation of the Action Plan on Circular Economy and the Financial Framework beyond 2020;
  • A Connected Digital Single Market, to be focused on activities such as the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy;
  • A Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base, to concentrate on initiatives such as the Implementation of the Single Market Strategy, a fairer taxation of companies and the implementation of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan.

As declared by EC President Jean Claude Junker “We are focusing on the things that matter, concrete actions that improve people's lives. In the comings weeks I will - together with the European Parliament and Council - select a number of initiatives of major political importance that should receive priority treatment in the legislative process in the months to come. This is the Europe that delivers.

Detailed information about the Junker’s Commission Working Programme is available here.

The African Development Bank Group to launch an “Africa Investment Forum”

The Africa Investment Forum - AIF is a platform recently launched by the African Development Bank Group (INSME Member) aiming at connecting investors interested in Africa with public and private sectors to implement projects in the continent.

This initiative - along with the creation of a Water, Human and Social Development Department; an Infrastructure, Cities, and Urban Development Department and a Syndication, Financial and Technical Services Department - will implement AfDB’s Ten Year Strategy and its five scaled-up core development priorities for the continent, namely the High 5s - Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the Quality of life of the People of Africa.

Visit this page for more information.


“How Asia increases productivity through SME internationalization” the Asian Development Bank’s analysis for the INSMEblog

“Enhancing labor productivity is a central policy issue to sustain growth in Asia”. This is one of the main issues highlighted by Mr. Shigehiro Shinozaki, Financial Sector Specialist (SME Finance) at the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member) in an article recently published on the INSMEblog.

According to Mr. Shinozaki, Global Value Chains (GVCs) are the key drivers to enhance SMEs’ productivity and advance Asian economies, indeed by participating in GVCs SMEs can increase their competitiveness through business linkages, improve product quality by technology transfer and expand their business to overseas marketplaces with job creation. To enhance SMEs’ participation in GVCs a cross-border policy and regulatory coordination is required in order to provide enterprises with accessible innovative financing models.

Read the whole contribution on How Asia increases productivity through SME internationalizationand leave your comment to the article here.

About South East Asia

Protecting your IP whilst Transferring Technology to South-East Asia

European SMEs recognize the growing importance of the South-East Asia market as a region attracting a wide range of technologies across diverse industries. As a matter of fact, some European SMEs prefer to transfer their technologies and designs to local branches of European firms, joint-venture partners, or local manufacturing and service companies. In this article the South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk advises companies on how to define a robust strategy to reduce the risks to their intellectual property associated with technology transfer activities.

Read more about the steps to take in the article available here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Call for Applications for the next "Human Resources Training Programme - Japan Industry Insight"

EU Managers that are looking for tools to better approach the Japanese market have now the chance to get involved in the 4-weeks ‘HRTP - Japan Industry Insight’ scheme, an initiative organized by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member from Japan) designed to gain a deep understanding of the cultural and economic elements characterizing Japan’s business and technological environment.

With almost 30 years of experience in training European companies, the Centre launched a scheme enabling participants to acquire a complete comprehension of Japanese business and technological achievements and Japanese-style personal communication capability in order to establish successful business relationships; awareness on the decision-making process in Japan and skills to reinforce and facilitate partnerships with Japanese customers.

The scheme comprises a mix of lectures, a joint seminar with Japanese managers and a field trip to experience trading companies unique to Japan. For those who are willing to stay an additional week, individual visits to either Japanese or European-owned firms of potential interest to the participants’ work might also be envisaged. The EU-Japan Centre will cover tuition, travel costs for visits and interpretation expenses while participants will be in charge of covering the costs incurred with regard to travel to/from Japan and accommodation arrangements and any other costs not covered directly by the EU-Japan Centre. Furthermore SMEs can further take advantage of a grant up to €3,000.

The deadline for submitting applications is the 23rd of February 2017.

For further information about this and other schemes implemented by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation please click here.

Call for Applications for the Innovation Prize for Africa 2017

The African Innovation Foundation will recognize innovation achievements that are contributing to overcome Africa’s challenges with the Innovation Prize for Africa - IPA 2017. African entrepreneurs, academics and inventors who own breakthrough innovations in the following thematic areas are welcome to apply: agriculture and agribusiness; environment, energy and water; health and well-being; ICTs; manufacturing and service industry. The Prize provides a unique opportunity for applicants to assess their hi-tech and low-tech innovations, including tangible and intangible social processes and compete on the same level despite their educational and social backgrounds. Besides this, IPA 2017 will award two prizes of the value of US$ 100.000, US$ 25.000 for the first and second ranking applicant respectively. Furthermore, a special prize of US$ 25.000 for the innovation that demonstrates the greatest social impact is foreseen. The initiative will also support the top 10 nominees reaching the final stage of the selection process with a US$ 5.000 voucher that must be strictly used to keep the business competitive in the near future.

Last but not least, nominees will also take advantage of local, regional and international media coverage and support through training opportunities.

The deadline for applications is the 3rd of January 2017.

For any further information on the selection criteria, please visit the dedicated website here.

Innovating SMEs - segmentation along lifecycle and sectors

Diverse regions in the EU are trying to identify high-growth potential SMEs and provide suitable services to develop their full capacity, even though methodologies to recognize this potential vary substantially across regions. This is the reason why the European Commission launched a call for proposals on Innovating SMEs - segmentation along lifecycle and sectors with the aim of analyzing new approaches to provide better and more efficient support services for SMEs taking the regional economic environment and smart specialization strategies into account.

Throughout an extensive analysis of existing and potential new approaches for the benefit of SMEs, this call intends to upgrade the skills of national and regional ministries, innovation agencies and providers of innovation support, such as cluster organisations, science and technology parks or development agencies that will gain a deeper understanding of the features of the innovation opportunities in diverse segments of SMEs and a panorama of existing measures supporting those SMEs that have a high-growth potential and may impact considerably on a country’s economy and society. In addition, the call will enable SMEs to diversify their portfolio of activities through the design of new services for specific segments of SMEs.

The maximum budget allocated for this call is € 1,000,000 and the deadline for submitting proposals is the 28th of March 2017.

For further information about the call and to download related documents, please click here.

Interesting Initiatives

MIT launched New Venture for World-Changing Entrepreneurs

On the 26th of October the Massachussets Institute of Technology - MIT announced the creation of The Engine, an initiative supporting startup companies focusing on scientific and technological innovation. Over a period of 12 months, accepted startups will receive financial investments as well as guidance in business planning and access to shared services such as legal, technology licensing and administrative assistance by the Engine’s incubator. To provide financial support, the Engine will establish a venture-investing arm demanding less equity in startups than what is usually requested by allowing owners to keep a wider control over their companies.

The Engine will also provide logistic support to participating startups in the form of offices, laboratories and prototyping and maker spaces, enabling them to reduce costs. In order to achieve this goal, The Engine will make these facilities available through “The Engine Room”, an online marketplace allowing entrepreneurs to rent and use resources and infrastructure.

For further information about The Engine, please click here.


The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017

The Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum, measures competitiveness of 138 economies according to 12 key pillars. 2016-2017 report shows that Switzerland, Singapore and the United States ranked in top three of the world’s most competitive economies. Besides the rankings, the report reaches key conclusions in terms of drivers of productivity and growth. This year’s edition highlights that monetary stimulus in countries without strong economic conditions is not enough as efforts to revitalize growth through monetary policies alone would be less effective. Secondly, to stimulate entrepreneurship and the establishment of new businesses, countries need to adopt more comprehensive competitiveness agendas putting technology and innovation at the core of their strategies. Last but not least, reducing openness represents a major risk for a country’s future growth and prosperity. Openness to trade and foreign investments is fundamental to incentive businesses to innovate. Inclusive growth strategies shall be a top priority for countries to avoid the risk of protectionism.

For more findings, please download the report here.

Start-up Latin America 2016

The creation of new firms is a driving force of productivity gains as they can create new markets and introduce innovative solutions to emerging problems, incentivize competition by creating a dynamic business environment and have the potential to diversify the economy.

Despite this, start-ups still face major obstacles above all in developing countries. This report on “Start-up Latin America 2016” issued by the OECD analyses the policies in favor of start-ups implemented by Latin American countries with a special attention to Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Even though countries implement diverse policies, they share and need to overcome four pressing challenges:


  1. map start-ups and measure their impact: as pro-startups policies increase, countries need to use more specific criteria to define which enterprises are eligible for support from public programmes and make sure that resources are invested in an efficient manner;
  2. simplify and consolidate support programmes by bringing them more in line with the population’s needs;
  3. facilitate productive investment by creating tax incentives and reforming legislation;
  4. increase regional cooperation to facilitate the transfer of best practices and improve the learning process.

To read more insights, please click here.

Recommended Website

Partnerships for Development - sharing opportunities to partner in Latin America and the Caribbean

Partnerships for Development is a blog managed by the Inter-American Development Bank focusing on how the creation of partnerships is impacting on lives in Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The blog is a space to share literature on partnership perspectives, stories, trends and opportunities to collaborate in the region.

The blog deals with a multitude of topics which might serve as a basis for further discussion and reflection. Among the most recent contributions, the blog tackled items such as time as an untapped force for development; how companies, governments, NGOs and other organizations can integrate development into their operations, and how big businesses and small ones can win together to improve lives of people in the LAC region.

Please click here to have a look at the blog and receive instant updates about the most recently published posts.

Recommended Newsletter

The International Council for SME & Entrepreneurship Malaysia announced its First Newsletter

The International Council for SME & Entrepreneurship Malaysia - ICSMEE, an affiliate of the International Council for Small Business - ICSB (INSME Member from the United States), launched the first issue of its newsletter, providing an additional platform to share experiences and ideas to contribute to entrepreneurship and business development.

The first issue focuses on the most recent activities involving ICSMEE including the 4th Asian SME Conference, on why SMEs need intellectual property and an outlook on future events and missions.

If you are interested in receiving updated news about trends and initiatives on entrepreneurship with a special focus on the Asian region, please click here.


Highlighted events

ISPIM Innovation Forum “Fostering Innovation Ecosystems”

From the 19th to the 22nd of March 2017
Toronto, Canada

One of the most dynamic cities in the world for culture, creativity and innovation - Toronto, Canada - will host the 2017 ISPIM (INSME Member from UK and Finland) Innovation Forum on “Fostering Innovation Ecosystems”. From the 19th to the 22nd of March 2017 around 250 innovation experts from ca. 30 countries will gather to discuss ways in which innovation is imagined, practiced, assessed in business and society. Executive-level representatives from i-CANADA Alliance, York University, Barrick Gold Corporation, GE Company, The Conference Board of Canada, OCAD University, Edwards School of Business and the Centre for Social Innovation have confirmed their presence and will be keynoting at the Forum.

Participants will also have the chance to experience the innovation landscape of Canada by participating to the exclusive visit to the Toronto-area innovation clusters.

For more info and updates about the Forum, please visit the Conference website at this link.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 1st to the 2nd of December 2016
IP Summit - The Paneuropean Intellectual Property Summit
Organized by Premier Cercle
Brussels, Belgium

On the 1st of December 2016
Factories of the Future - Making Innovation Happen
Organized by the European Factories of the Future Research Association - EFFRA
Brussels, Belgium

From the 1st to the 3rd of December 2016
InnoDesignTech Expo
Organized by HKTDC SME Centre
Hong Kong

From the 12th to the 13th of December 2016
2nd Annual Africa Middle East - Investment Forum
Organized by Aidem Business Solutions
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 14th to the 16th of December 2016
The 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum Conference on “The Globalisation and Internationalization of SMEs and New Ventures”
Organized by the Essex Business School, INSME and the OECD LEED Centre
Venice, Italy

From the 12th to the 13th of January 2017
9th GIPC Annual Meeting for IP Professionals on "Synergising Invention, Investment & Innovation"
Organized by Global IP Convention (GIPC)
New Delhi, India

From the 23rd to the 25th of January 2017
Unconvention 2017
Organized by the European Young Innovation Forum
Brussels, Belgium

On the 7th of February 2017
The 15th European Financial Services Conference
Organized by Forum Europe
Brussels, Belgium

From the 9th to the 10th of May 2017
Global Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference 2017
Organized by the International Institute of Certified Innovators and Entrepreneurs
London, United Kingdom

From the 7th to the 9th of June 2017
University-Industry Interaction Conference
Organized by University Industry Innovation Network
Dublin, Ireland

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