European Shared Value Factory
The European Shared Value Factory is a project undertaken by European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME and financed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), the German development agency.
The project, running its course from November 2018 until the end of October 2019, aims at promoting and strengthening the cooperation of European SMEs in the European development political agenda.
The project works under the principle of Shared Value, a new notion that redefines our approach to sustainable development goals like access to water, electricity, education, training and health.
These can best be achieved through sustainable and smart business ideas, thus creating a “shared value” for the companies putting the business idea in practice as well as the communities and individuals benefiting from the services.
The project identified the following main areas of activity that would lead to achieve its objective:
1) The development of the European Shared Value Business Incubator (Mini Labs)
The Pilot Mini Labs of SME Inclusion, based on the Shared Value Incubator Approach, aim at strengthening the understanding of the Europe-Africa Cooperation in developing business and pushing the private sector to engage and involve SMEs into the project.
Three mini-labs are expected under the project's plan. The first one took place in March 2019 in Brussels as part of the broader EU-African SME Summit.
45 participants representing both European and African SMEs joined to discuss which key actions can be undertaken to improve business cooperation, with the main areas to tackled identified as: access to new markets, scale efficiencies by combining assets and operations, risk sharing for major projects and access to skills and capabilities.
The next labs will be taking place at the end of October 2019 in Addis Ababa and Lisbon.
2) An High level EU-Africa SME Summit that conceptualised the EU-African SME Alliance
The First EU-African SME Summit took place in Brussels on March 20-21. The two-days international summit aimed to build the foundations for cooperation between SMEs in the two continents and was attend by more than 200 participants.
It hosted the historic Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding for the European-African SME Alliance. The document, laying the foundation for the alliance between SMEs in Africa and in Europe, was signed by the representatives of European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME, PACCI, FIPME, BVMW, CONFAPI, AFDEE (F), ESBA, EVBB and YES for Europe.
3) Developing the dimensions of networking building
European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME liasoned with the Global Governance Institute in March, April and May 2019 to discuss objectives, steps and options to establish a joint programme starting with a pilot.
Morovoer it organised meetings with relevant MEPS from the DEVE and AFET Committes at the European Parliament on the need for a strengthened ecosystem regarding budget and procedures and on the future of the European African SME Alliance.
These activities were all support by active campaigning so that as many SMEs, policymakers and international actors as possible would hear about the project and its benefits. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME is now looking forward to keep on working on the cooperation between EU and African SMEs as set down by the project and by the EU-African SME Alliance.