2nd GreenEconet Annual Conference

Posted on 29 May 2015

How to grow a sustainable EU green economy through SMEs.

The second annual conference of GreenEcoNet, an online knowledge platform for European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on green business solutions, goods and services, took place at the end of May in Brussels. 

The event, hosted by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, was attended by European SMEs, enterprise boards, small business associations, as well as policy makers, academia and other stakeholders concerned with the green economy. The conference provided SMEs with an opportunity to network with similar businesses from across Europe, to discuss sharing best practices and to talk about how to overcome the barriers they face trying to gain market entry.

The conference was also about identifying solutions for SMEs. Job creation and economic growth are two of the top priorities of the European Commission under President Juncker. Against this background, the Commission in November 2014 announced an Investment Plan aimed at unlocking public and private investments on the path to economic recovery. SMEs - as the backbone of the EU economy - will not only be a major target of the Investment Plan but will also require improvements in the regulatory environment. The conference discussed the impact of SMEs in growing a sustainable EU economy and their overall contribution to creating green jobs.

The conference featured experts from the GreenEcoNet team, European Commission delegates, local policy makers, researchers and most importantly businesses and their representatives from trade associations and business networks.

Following the main conference, a thematic workshop was held to explore the current lack of SME internationalisation and how green SMEs can access international markets more easily such as by using GreenEcoNet web platform.

About the GreenEcoNet platform

Green Econet logo

Since the RIO+20 agenda, the EU has established a number of frameworks and action plans moving Europe towards a more resource-efficient or green economy. It also hosted a range of public consultations with stakeholders to help formulate a Green Action Plan for SMEs. The GreenEcoNet platform was established by the EU as the first European-wide platform to connect SMEs, policy makers and the research community in order to share knowledge on best practice and tools as well as being a marketplace for environmentally friendly products and services.

The platform now has over 2600 active users and is steadily growing. Any SME can join for free and submit their green solution, product or service to be included on the platform. But it is more than just a green business directory. They can also network with other SMEs, policy makers and researchers and access practical tools, advice and guidance as well as receive regular updates on SME green loans, publications and tools. Later on this year GreenEconet will be launching an innovative on-line marketplace for green business interactions as well as a green technology manual. 

Click here to register on GreenEconet or to receive more information and/or support in registering and being involved with the GreenEcoNet platform, please contact:

  • Roberto RINALDI (Project Officer) roberto.rinaldi@york.ac.uk
  • Corrado TOPI (Project Coordinator) corrado.topi@york.ac.uk