Issue N° 158 - October 2017
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

In this Issue:


Contact the editorial staff


Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME among the supporters of the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017 organized by UNIDO ITPO Bahrain

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation” will be the theme of the second World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum to be held from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.

The event, organized by UNIDO ITPO Bahrain under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, aims at introducing best practices on entrepreneurship and innovation; paving the way for business partnerships and enterprise creation; acting as a platform enabling entrepreneurs from around the globe to develop joint investments and trade facilitation.

During the three-day event more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, policy makers and representatives from business support organizations will discuss the following themes: Maritime-Continental Silk Road, Global Impact Investing and Women in Industry.

INSME is among the supporting organizations of the event and the Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini, will be one of the panelists sharing views on the theme “SMEs, internationalization and access to global markets”.

Find out more about the event here and register at this page.

Join the next session of the INSMEAcademy to learn more about digital innovation capabilities and their impact on SMEs

The INSMEAcademy confirms itself as a knowledge-sharing platform more and more responsive to the needs and interests of its Community of Members and Partners. In line with the themes at the top of the international agenda, the upcoming 51st session will be a unique occasion to learn more about the importance of digital innovation capabilities for an SME’s sustainable development, competitiveness and growth by taking advantage of the expertise of Dr. Martin Ruppert from IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy (INSME Member from Germany). The webinar will also introduce the IMP³rove Digital Innovation Quotient assessment and benchmarking developed as part of a European Commission project.

Do not miss the webinar scheduled for the 2nd of November at 1 p.m. CET. Have a look at the abstract of the session to learn more about the presentation and the speaker or click on this link for an overview of the topics the INSMEAcademy dealt with so far.

For any further information about the INSMEAcademy or to candidate as a future speaker please contact the INSME Secretariat at this e-mail.

INSME at the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship

On the 11th and 12th of October the OECD Headquarter in Paris hosted the Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship. INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini took part in the event that has been the occasion to exchange insights and observations on current conditions and policies related to SMEs and entrepreneurship as well as alternative financing instruments. Furthermore, during the Working Party, the OECD Secretariat presented the findings of the draft report on Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2018: An OECD Scoreboard and participants have been invited to discuss the draft agenda of the upcoming OECD Ministerial Conference on SMEs that will be held in February 2018 in Mexico, co-hosted by INADEM (INSME Board Member).

INSME since 2004 enjoys the moral patronage from the OECD.

THE NEXT SOCIETY: first meeting of the Advocacy Panel for innovation and competitiveness in Jordan

In the framework of The Next Society - a EU-funded project aiming at mobilising entrepreneurs, innovators and corporate ecosystems to tackle the innovation and sustainable development challenges faced in the Mediterranean, in the North as much as in the South – the first meeting of the Advocacy Panel for innovation and competitiveness will be organized in Amman, Jordan.

The Advocacy Panels will be held in each of the South Mediterranean countries involved in the project, namely Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and are intended to be a space to facilitate public-private-academic dialogue and share experience on innovation and competitiveness in order to identify priorities to be addressed in each country through technical assistance.

INSME, collaborating to the project as affiliated entity, is actively involved in this first meeting and will participate in the upcoming Advocacy Panels.

Follow the project initiatives on Twitter and Facebook.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (INSME Member from South Africa) partners to the SAB Entrepreneurship Programme

The Small Enterprise Development Agency – SEDA (INSME Sustaining Member from South Africa) is one of the partners of the South African Breweries (SAB) Entrepreneurship Programme, an initiative aiming at creating 10.000 jobs in South Africa by 2021. To achieve this objective, SAB includes a series of programmes offering a comprehensive and holistic package of entrepreneurship support to develop small businesses from ideation to growth, transforming the supply chain, as well as investing in the potential of entrepreneurs in the broader community.

A roadshow in six cities across South Africa will be organized as an occasion to showcase the programme and provide both public and private stakeholders with information about how to benefit from this initiative.

Application to the programme will be open until the 30th of November 2017.

More information is available at this page.

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (INSME Member from Kuwait) launches the Innovation Challenge 2018

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences – KFAS (INSME Member from Kuwait) has launched the 4th edition of the Innovation Challenge, an initiative that through simulation, comparative studies and distance learning will enable participants to improve the skills and expertise needed to become innovative leaders and stimulate their creativity.

This year’s initiative is organized in collaboration with the Executive Education Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson School of Business and addresses mid level executives from Kuwait working in the private sector.

The Innovation Challenge 2018 will contribute to encourage science, technology and innovation in the private sector, a goal that fits into the main objectives of the Foundation.

Find out more about KFAS’ initiative at this page.

The European Investment Fund (INSME Member) & UNDP joining forces to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Small and Medium Enterprises play a role of paramount importance in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This role is emphasized in a Memorandum of Understanding recently signed by the European Investment Fund – EIF (INSME Member) and the United Nations Development Programme – UNDP. The two institutions will cooperate to support SDGs and address global challenges by leveraging the private and philanthropic sectors, and utilizing a broad range of financial instruments. The cooperation will market research and studies, social impact and blended finance investments, and the provision of advisory services that will incentivize capital market investments in the SDGs.

Visit this page for more info.

INSME Interview

“Go beyond your comfort zone” Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kliewe’s interview for INSME

INSME has recently interviewed Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kliewe, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of the University Industry Innovation Network-UIIN, and founder and Chair of the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities who shared his thoughts on innovation. According to Prof. Dr. Kliewe one of the prerequisites to stimulate innovative thinking is to embrace failure, being tolerant with it and build on the mistakes. He also highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships to develop innovative and lasting organizations and defined networks like INSME or UIIN as ‘social glue’ between key innovation stakeholders worldwide.

The interview is available at this page.

INSME's Picks in the News

G7 Common Policy Approaches for SMEs’ Competitiveness and Inclusiveness in The Next Production Revolution: outputs from the Industry and ICT Ministerial Meeting under the Italian Presidency

On the occasion of the G7 recently held in Turin, Italy, Industry and ICT Ministers adopted common policies approaches for SMEs’ Competitiveness and Inclusiveness in the Next Production Revolution.

These common approaches aim at enhancing the opportunities the NPR can bring as well as removing the barriers that could impact on SMEs’ ability to exploit the benefits of the digital era.

The G7 Ministers identified a series of issues to be tackled among which:

  • Bridging the productivity divide for SMEs
  • Fostering start-up ecosystems and innovative business models.

The final Declaration also highlights the importance of promoting a cross-sectoral collaboration between SMEs, start-ups and large firms with universities, research centres, financial actors and public sector and the need of governments to better understand the impact of digital transformation on SMEs in order to design targeted policies.

Find out more by reading the whole conclusions available here.

“The wind is back in Europe's sails” EC President Juncker’s speech about the State of the European Union

By looking at the European Union trends, a positive outlook stands out. Many important results have been achieved: Energy Union, a Security Union, a Capital Markets Union, a Banking Union and a Digital Single Market have been completed, but many things need to be done to make a stronger, more democratic and united European Union. This is what Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, stated on the occasion of his annual speech on the State of the European Union.

Mr. Juncker shared some of the proposals that need to become actions to establish a more robust Union. He firstly highlighted the importance to strengthen the European trade agenda and defend the Union’s strategic interests. The second element stressed by President Juncker is the need to make European industries more competitive and to do so a new Industrial Policy Strategy has been presented to support enterprises to become leaders in innovation, digitization and decarbonisation.

You can listen to Mr. Juncker’s speech at this link or read it here.

About IPR…in South East Asia

Prevention not cure: online IPR in South-East Asia

E-commerce in South-East Asia offers a variety of opportunities to European SMEs to expand in a region with rising consumer demands without facing the costs of opening a physical office. Nevertheless there are challenges SMEs should be aware of when establishing their virtual gateway into the South-East Asian market that are explained in this article by the South East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk.

The article also presents a case study on the experience of Nikon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of leading Japanese electronics and imaging firm, Nikon Corporation, regarding a domain name dispute.

Read more in the article at this link.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The Arab Startup Competition

The Arab Startup Competition is an initiative promoted by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab aimed at recognizing entrepreneurs and companies registered or to be incorporated in an Arab country in three different tracks: the startup track, the ideas track and the social entrepreneurship track.

For each category, three winning teams will be awarded with the following monetary prizes:

  • US$50,000 for the first place;
  • US$10,000 for the second place;
  • US$5,000 for the third place.

Besides the monetary prize, the winners will also receive top tier training, coaching, mentorship, and great networking opportunities.

The deadline for submitting applications is the 27th of November 2017.

For any further information about the eligibility criteria, please visit the official webpage of the competition at this link.

The Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) launched the 1st Call for the Seed Money Facility (SMF)

The Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) launched the 1st Call for the Seed Money Facility (SMF) providing support to proposals that are:

  • complex – projects comprising a variety of activities intended to address wider scopes;
  • strategic – relevant for the Danube area;
  • transnational – projects must go beyond the local/national need and address the wider Danube area in a macro-regional approach.

The financial support provided by this Call combines the EU structural funds (European Regional Development Fund - ERDF and the EU external funds – Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance - IPA II and European Neighborhood Instrument - ENI) and will cover the development phase of the project, meaning the analysis of the needs and challenges addressed by the main project, the preparation of the work plan, the setting up of the partnership as well as the analysis of the possible funding instruments for the main project. The aim is to prepare project proposals that can be submitted in a second phase to receive funding from any other EU, national or other funding sources.

Each proposal will have an overall budget limit of € 50,000.00. EU contribution to each project is 85% (€ 42,500.00) for ERDF, IPA and ENI project partners.

Local, regional, national public bodies/ bodies governed by public law, international organizations, private (non-profit) entities from 9 of the EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany: Baden Württemberg and Bavaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) and 5 non-member states (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and parts of Ukraine) are invited to apply by the 7th of December 2017.

For any further information, please have a look at the documents available at this link.

Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas

The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), the Organization of American States – OAS (INSME Member) and Pepsi Latin America launched the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas) dedicated to youth between 18 and 34 years old who have innovative business solutions to foster a more sustainable and inclusive development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Entrepreneurs can apply for two different categories:

  • The start-up challenge open to citizens or legal residents of an OAS Member State.
  • and the eco-challenge open to citizens or legal residents of the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Finalists will receive a full scholarship for one registered team member to travel and take part in the TIC Americas finals, plus trainings, mentorships, and networking sessions with YABT’s partners.

Winners will receive a cash award together with a trophy, a certificate and other opportunities such as the participation to international events.

The deadline for applications is the 1st of December 2017.

For any further information, please visit this webpage.

Interesting Initiatives

EU4Business supporting SMEs in the EU’s Eastern Partnership region

EU4Business is an EU initiative that helps SMEs in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) to realize their full potential and boost economic growth.

In particular EU4Business provides small businesses with:

  1. direct or indirect financing, such as loans or guarantees, often via third parties such as banks or partner organisations;
  2. training, coaching and mentoring;
  3. networking opportunities at fairs and on trade missions.

EU4Business also works with business support organisations (BSOs) by improving the dialogue between government and business to create a better regulatory and business environment and by creating networking opportunities between SMEs and BSOs in EU and Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries to open up new markets.

For any further information about the opportunities currently available, please click here.


The Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018

Ten years after the global financial crisis, the world is showing first signs of recovery even though leaders remain concerned about the prospects of economic growth.

Some obstacles to economic growth, such as uneven distribution of the benefits of economic progress, generational divides or rising income inequality among others, persist. The emerging and general consensus is that policy makers need to focus more on human well-being and in this framework, competitiveness remain a central factor to better education, health, security and higher income per capita.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2017 – 2018 intends to support policymakers to analyze development challenges by providing rankings and detailed data profiles of about 140 countries. This year’s report highlights three main challenges that are fundamental to economic progress: a) economies’ ability to finance innovation and technological adoption b) support to emerging economies in spreading the benefits of innovation c) labour market flexibility and worker protection.

To download the report, please click here.

Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2017

According to ‘Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2017’ produced by the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme, numbers of new firm creations continue to recover and in many countries are above pre-crisis level. The Report points out four main trends that are impacting on the entrepreneurial environment:

1-services have been an important driver of firm creation: enterprise creation rates in services outpaced those for industrial firms, contributing around two-thirds of all jobs created by new firms in 2014. In addition a more entrepreneurial service sector may also help to reduce gender inequalities as women engage more often in service sector start-ups;

2-wage gaps in manufacturing are increasing in many countries: these gaps among larger and smaller manufacturing firms increased in all OECD Eastern European countries (except Poland), the Baltic States, Norway and the United Kingdom between 2008 and 2014;

3- digital tools have provided new pathways and unlocked new markets for micro-entrepreneurs: according to data from the “Future of Business Survey”, two in three exporting firms responded that more than half of their international sales depended on online tools and 45% reported that more than 75% of their international sales were reliant on online tools;

4- the emergence of “gig workers”: a generalized trend related to growth in numbers of self-employed working only part-time has been reported reflecting the opportunities emerged with the “gig economy”, meaning the rising phenomenon of flexible working arrangements.

To learn more about global trends on entrepreneurship, you can read the whole publication at this link.

Recommended Website

The Science and Innovation Policy Evaluations Repository

The Science and Innovation Policy Evaluations Repository – SIPER has been developed by the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR), the Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, as part of the European Commission’s RISIS project. The repository builds on the assumption that all the actors involved in policy and science interventions constantly seek to analyze the impact of these measures, how well they have been managed, what results have been achieved and how efficient their implementation has been. To fill this gap, SIPER collects knowledge on science and innovation policy evaluations with the aim of:

  • providing on-line access to a unique collection of policy evaluations, located at a single location;
  • allowing policy learning which provides the basis for additional academic analysis.

The SIPER database is in continuous updating, policy makers, evaluation practitioners as well as research actors are invited to browse policy evaluations available at this link.


Highlighted events

The Business Angels Week 2017

From the 13th to the 19th of November 2017
Organized by the European Business Angel Network – EBAN (INSME Member), the Middle East Business Angel Network - MBAN and the African Business Angel Network - ABAN

The Business Angels Week is a major initiative dedicated to events featuring business angels and entrepreneurs from Europe, the Middle East (MBAN) and Africa (ABAN) to raise awareness about angel investing, early stage market and offer entrepreneurs a variety of matchmaking opportunities to make their business grow.

In the four previous editions, the Business Angels Week - organized by the European Business Angel Network, EBAN (INSME Member), the Middle East Business Angel Network, MBAN and the African Business Angel Network, ABAN -featured 900 events in 60 countries and 3 continents.

To connect an event to the Business Angels Week taking place from the 13th to the 19th of November or to find out more about the opportunities it offers, it is possible to contact this e-mail address.

For further information, please visit the official website of the Business Angels Week here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 1st to the 3rd of November 2017
Global SME Finance Forum 2017
Hosted by the SME Finance Forum
Berlin, Germany

From the 7th to the 9th of November 2017
20th TCI Global Conference
Organized by TCI Network
Bogota, Colombia

From the 13th to the 17th of November 2017
China-Italy Science, Technology & Innovation Week
Organized by Fondazione Idis - Città della Scienza, the National Research Council (CNR) and the Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission
Beijing, Chengdu, Guiyang, China

From the 13th to the 19th of November 2017
Global Entrepreneurship Week
Organized by the Global Entrepreneurship Network
160 different countries

From the 20th to the 24th of November 2017
Horizon 2020 Project Development Week
Organized by ERRIN, the European Research and Innovation Network, in partnership with EURADA (INSME Member)
Brussels, Belgium

From the 22nd to the 23rd of November 2017
6th Romanian National Cluster Conference 2017
Organized by the Romanian Ministry of Economy and other partners
Bucharest, Romania

From the 22nd to the 24th of November 2017
The 2017 SME Assembly
Organized by the European Commission
Tallin, Estonia

From the 22nd to the 24th of November 2017
The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders
Organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation and UNIDO
Barcelona, Spain

From the 27th to the 28th of November 2017
Opening up to an era of Social Innovation Conference
Organized by the European Commission, the Portuguese Government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Lisbon, Portugal

From the 27th of November to the 1st of December 2017
9th European Innovation Summit | Week
Organized by Knowledge4Innovation
Brussels, Belgium

From the 7th to the 8th of December 2017
IP Summit 2017
Organized by Premier Cercle
Brussels, Belgium

From the 13th to the 16th of December 2017
The 4th Annual World Open Innovation Conference
Organized by Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, ESADE and others
San Francisco, United States of America

top of the page

Supporting organisations:


Sustaining Members:



You are receiving this Newsletter because you are included in our mailing list of recipients who are involved or interested in INSME.
Please feel free to forward this Newsletter to others you think might find it interesting and useful.
You are also welcome to partly or fully reproduce and disseminate the contents of this publication
provided that you acknowledge the source.
To subscribe/unsubscribe to the INSME Newsletter, please visit the page

INSMEnews is edited by the INSME Secretariat. We welcome contributions as well as comments and suggestions.
For enquiries please contact the INSME Secretariat at
Previous editions of INSMEnews are available at

INSME Secretariat
Via Giosué Carducci 4
00187 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06-68806803


Join us on Follow us on