A successful example of supporting digitalization of SMEs was presented by Alexandre Fonseca, President of the Portuguese Digital Economy Association (ACEPI). ACEPI in cooperation with the Portuguese government has established an association of more than 100 SMEs and they are offering trainings about digitalization of small SMEs in around 150 cities all over the country.
Marta Mikliszanska, Head of Public Affairs of Allegro, largest e-commerce platform in Poland, noted that SMEs do not have very often the means to represent their interests at European level effectively. Therefore, large companies which are benefiting from digital success and economies of scale should also consider and transport clear messages when representing the interests of their SME partners.
Finally, Mira-Maria Kontkanen, Advisor of the Federation of Finish Enterprises, explained that one of the main challenges for the SMEs is to stay up to date. There are two groups of SMEs: Small companies, such start-ups, highly digitalized with tech employees and second group of companies in more traditional sectors, others which are struggling not to lose their competitiveness. In addition, she sent a clear message: when it comes to SMEs, what is at stake is the competitiveness of Europe.
In his closing remarks, SME Connect’s Henrik Reimer urged all stakeholders to use the current window of opportunity to work together, go beyond the dichotomy between large and small companies to make the digital transformation in the European ecosystem happen.