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The Year Ahead
2021 – Growth Through Change

Episode 2: Getting Hands-On in Closing the Gap Between Digitally Advanced and Uncertain SMEs

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15/06/2021 5 PM CET
WEBCAST
opening:Josianne Cutajar MEP

ITRE, TRAN & REGI Committees,
S&D Group Shadow Rapporteur for the ITRE Committee on the European SME Strategy,
Member of the SME Intergroup in the European Parliament,
SME Connect Board Member

introduction & case study:Jake Ward

President of Connected Commerce Council

Ntina & Eleftheria Denaxa

Owners of Emmantina Houses hotel in Greece

debate:Gori Yahaya

Founder & CEO of UpSkill Digital

Philipp Jauernik

EU Relations Officer with Fit4internet - Member Digital Skills & Jobs Coalition of the European Commission

Dr. Ingo Adler

Partner in the EU Project Consortium "Digitalisation – Strategy Development Tool for the Digitalisation of SME”

Stefan Moritz

Managing Director of European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME

What would be the overall economic impact if all digitally uncertain SMEs were instantaneously transformed into advanced ones?

According to findings of the recent Connected Commerce Council research, the estimate of the economic value to Europe of such a transformation would be an increase of 262 billion EUR in sales (0,91% of European total); 67 billion EUR in economic value added (0,93% of European total); 3.76 million jobs due to more hiring (2.59% of European total).

There are approximately 10.5 million digitally advanced, 10 million evolving, and 4.5 million uncertain SMEs in Europe right now. For the millions of entreprises who are not yet digitally-driven, that status is within reach with the right mindset, digital strategy, access to digital tools and training.

Digitally uncertain SMEs are aware of digital tools – they used an average of five of them even before the pandemic, and during the pandemic their digital tool use increased. Hence, the root of the digital divide is not a lack of awareness, experience, or ability, but rather that SME leaders are worried about costs or unsure of return of investment, think they lack skills and knowledge, or concerned over protecting data privacy.

The Episode 2 of TYA series will study the cases of real SMEs, the strategies they used to bouce back from the pandemic and to maximise the sustainability of their businesses. The key question is how we can further strengthen the EU SME Strategy initiatives when it comes to hands-on support to Europe’s SMEs.

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