SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are the backbone of innovation in regional, national and international markets, but often enough most SMEs will fade away without support.
The SME Assembly 2019, hosted by the EU Commission in Finland, is a venue for projects to honor successful initiatives that support and develop SME’s, and a great opportunity to share ideas and different approaches.
Spanning from November 25 through November 27, people from all over Europe gathered to celebrate the best projects at the EEPA Awards and mingle with another.
Game Hub Scandinavia was there to represent our approach to supporting and developing SMEs in a niche-but-constantly-expanding market, the games industry.
We were shortlisted for the award category “Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit”, which is awarded to a project that best recognizes initiatives that promote an entrepreneurial mindset, especially among young people and women.
The Award Ceremony took place on the evening of November 26, but until then there was much to do.
Policies establish the foundation
The days were full of inspiring keynote talks, networking, workshops, and masterclasses about SMEs on both practical approaches as well as ideas on policies that change our perception of SMEs role in the national market.
The European Commission identified in 2015 that SMEs constitute 99% of all enterprises in Europe. While a lot of are already in place to support SMEs, some policies also obstruct growth.
As for the games industry, it is only within recent years that the games industry has been in the spotlight. Finland is very far in the game followed by Sweden, but in comparison, Denmark and Norway are still in the early teens when it comes to the yearly revenue brought in by games.
The games industry is a massive potential for Scandinavia and is a ripening fruit you simply need to reach out for. However, the games industry has certain needs different from other SMEs, and it is these changes Game Hub Scandinavia and industry associations fight for.
Therefore, The SME Assembly has been incredibly inspiring, particularly because Finland is the leading actor within the games industry in Scandinavia. The ideas and discourse that originates from Finland are flagbearers to what the rest of the Nordic countries need to step up their game.
Food for thought
While we did not return home with the international EEPA Award for ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’, we celebrated our national EEPA Award, and that we were of the shortlisted projects among the impressive projects all over Europe.
We did, however, return home with new ideas, different approaches, and inspiring perspectives.
We were very excited to be at the assembly and to be among peers who share our views on supporting and developing SMEs.