European SME Transfer Summit 2018
On the 17th and 18th May 2018, the 5th edition of the European SME Transfer Summit took place in the Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg. Bringing together over 50 international speakers and around 200 participants, the Summit on SME Transfer was a key event for the Business Transfer network in Europe. Co-organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and Transeo, the European Association for SME Transfer, and in partnership with the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, the Société Nationale de Crédit d’Investissement (SNCI), Sowacess and the Walloon government, the event brought together all of the main regional organisations working on the issue of Business Transfer.
The programme of the Summit was designed for participants to exchange and learn from European experts and policy representatives about matters such as business transfer, entrepreneurship, growth and scale up, family business succession planning, strategic acquisitions, cross-border transactions, financing schemes, etc. Delving into the main issues of business transfers and proposing solutions to facilitate the process and open up the conversation around the topic, the Summit provided participants with a key insight into Business Transfer. The speakers from across the world shared their personal experiences, the challenges they encountered, globally as well as locally, and the support they have developed around those problems.
The presented Initiatives included projects such as the Family Business Act set up in Malta, a new policy framework encouraging and facilitating easier family business succession, or the highly advanced business transfer platform BizBuySell in the United States, connecting sellers and buyers across the country. One of the highlights of the Summit consisted in the official launch of the ‘Transeo Marketplace’, a cross-border matching platform that aims to facilitate and encourage business acquisition across Europe. The launch of the Transeo Marketplace was accompanied by the future launch of Luxembourgish online matching platform ‘BusinessTransfer.lu’, an initiative led by the Luxembourgish House of Entrepreneurship, trying to render the national business transfer market more accessible and transparent.
The two day conference was marked by a highly qualitative discourse. The key messages that were passed to the public throughout the Summit were
- The importance of the business transfer topic, from an economic, innovative and entrepreneurial point of view.
- The requirement for qualitative and quantitative data as well as scientific evidence on the challenges and impacts of business transfers.
- The sincere need for supporting initiatives, networks and coordinating bodies enabling efficient business transfers.
- The need for international regulation and standards as well as the development of adequate financial tools in order to encourage trust and overcome the financial, fiscal and legal obstacles attached to business transfers.
The Summit’s ultimate goal was to inspire and incentivise people to pursue their efforts towards easier and more efficient business transfers and to contribute to strengthen the European SME Transfer network.