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“Three days of inspiration for innovation” is the slogan of this year, VI European Congress of Small and Medium Enterprises in Katowice, which will be held on 10-12 October in Katowice. Among the most important topics next to innovation will be: international cooperation, capital development, law, education of success and cooperation with the local government and science.

Along with the announcement of the program, we started the registration of participants on 4th of July. To participate in selected events you have only to complete the registration form at https://rejestracja.ekmsp.eu/system/en/login/.

Last year we were hosting 6000 guests from 43 countries. Congress has become the biggest event for the SME sector in Europe.

Innovation is – according to the organizers of the Congress – the most important challenge of 2016 year for small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe. Every year during the Congress beyond the diagnosis of trends in the SME sector there are also created concrete solutions. The main theme of the sixth edition is “Three days of inspiration for innovation.”

Too often, entrepreneurs associate the competitiveness with lowering operating costs and too rarely they can see it in innovation. In Poland, less than 1% of GDP is spent on the sphere of research + development. The situation is different in Europe. Innovation is one of the priorities of the European Union. In the EU budget for 2014-2020 it was provided 10 billion euros for the research and development projects and innovation in Poland. A large part of these funds is dedicated for companies. This are huge challenges and opportunities, which we will discuss during the Congress – explains Tadeusz Donocik, president of the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice, the organizer of the Congress.

New directions: the Americas, the Visegrad Group, Eastern Europe and Iran

As every year, the Congress will have a unique international dimension. It will be patronged by The High Patronage of European Parliament and the great number of visitors and international delegations will take part in it. For the first time since 1989 Poland has a positive foreign trade. This success would not be achived without meetings of entrepreneurs from different countries. For years one of the most important of these meetings are Katowice.

This year, the main directions of the Congress will be: North and South America, Visegrad Group countries, Ukraine, Belarus and Iran. This international character will be emphasized by the accompanying event: V4 Young Entrepreneurs Summit Katowice, during which young entrepreneurs from the Visegrad Group countries will be debating about startups, (sharing economy, or communication in the framework of the Academy of Marketing and Sales. The second event will be the meeting called Future Entrepreneurs, during which the future entrepreneurs will meet the leaders of political, economic, social and cultural life. They will consider whether the American Dream is still possible.

7 different thematic paths

As every year Congress is composed of several thematic paths in which are organized various sessions and events. In addition to international cooperation and innovation it will include Capital for development. Under this thematic path participants will debate about various aspects of cooperation with financial institutions. Problems with external financing affect not only new businesses of high-risk groups (eg. Start-ups), but also companies with limited resources or lack of the necessary knowledge in this field.

One of the main paths will be Law for every day. The importance of the legal aspects of the business provides data: 66% of entrepreneurs in their business activity as the main barrier indicate the instability of the law. For example in 2015 tax laws were changed up to 55 times, that is an average of once a week! It means tahat the Polish entrepreneur operates weekly in a different tax environment. The more important is the fact that the participants of the Congress for the first time will be able to meet the Ombudsman, who will present the work of the Office in the area of ​​protection of the rights of entrepreneurs.

Education for success path will be dedicated to issues related to the inclusion of entrepreneurs to the process of training new personnel or the creation of the Corps of Experts and a special Fund of the Development for Vocational Education.

The program will have also panels concerning development and motivation of employees. Psychologists, personal trainers, teachers and entrepreneurs will take part in them.

As part of the path of My city, my region will be presented areas of cooperation of local government and business, as well as the most interesting solutions used by local governments in Poland and abroad. Complementation of the debates will be presentations of cities and regions during the Fair Business Expo.

Prospects for the development is a series of sessions dedicated to family businesses, the role of labor offices in preparing workers to meet the needs of companies, water and overland transport, and how companies can effectively communicate with their clients.

It is impossible to describe all of the congressional panels. Some of them promises to be an exceptionally interesting. And so during the panel Towards the stars, participants will debate how business entity from the SME sector can participate in the work of Polish Space Agency. And during the panel Clean air the participants will discuss what benefits, beyond health, can bring eliminating smog and pollution. They will also consider whether it will be a chance for “black area” in the dimension of innovation and economic development?

As part of the VI European Congress of Small and Medium Enterprises will also be accompanying events: Trade Business Expo and Local Government program, which supports SMEs. Pay attention to the program of this year’s Fair Business Expo where you will get not only an offer over a hundred exhibitors, but mainly held meetings with experts, business practices and take part in the business meetings and events. The fair is also an opportunity to meet practitioners and authorities of marketing, sales and HR.

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