Evenement datum
13 maart 2024
Access to Finance for SMEs: Assessment and Perspectives

Table of Contents

    The SME Observatory of the Belgian Federal Public Service Economy is pleased to announce that, on initiative of the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of SMEs of Belgium, the event “Access to Finance for SMEs: Assessment and Perspectives” will be held on 13 March 2024 from 8:45 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. This event, in the context of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will feature a series of high-level panels dedicated to the theme of SME financing. The gathering will occur in-person at the Egmont Palace (Place du petit Sablon 8b, 1000 Brussels).

    The event will be moderated by Karen Boers and Bruno Wattenbergh, who will guide us through five compelling panel debates, exploring diverse facets of SME financing. This gathering aims to foster an open dialogue among entrepreneurs, institutional and financial stakeholders, academics, and SME representatives. Our goal is to delve into innovative solutions addressing challenges across the entire spectrum of SMEs, from self-employed individuals to start-ups and scale-ups.

    Embark on a journey through vital topics in our panel discussions:

    • Starters, start-ups and scale-ups: bridging the gap between diverse funding needs and availability
    • How to act against late payments and their impact on SMEs?
    • How can insolvency rules be improved to facilitate access to finance?
    • Enhancing the intellectual property of SMEs to facilitate their access to finance
    • Sustainable finance and ESG reporting for SMEs

    Why Attend?

    This event provides a unique opportunity to engage with policymakers, experts, and practitioners from both the public and private sectors. It allows you to evaluate the current state of EU SME access to finance policies and identify opportunities for future policies and instruments.

    Programme

    Timing Activity

    08:30 – 09:15 a.m.

    Registration and welcoming of the participants

    09:15 – 09:55 a.m.

    Opening High Level Plenary – Welcome address

    Speakers

    • David Clarinval, Deputy Prime Minister and minister for the Self-Employed, SMEs, Agriculture, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal
    • Oscar Arce, Director General Economics, European Central Bank
    • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

    09:55 – 11:00 a.m.

    Panel 1 - Starters, Start-ups, and Scale-ups: Bridging the gap between diverse funding needs and availability

    Moderator: Karen Boers and Bruno Wattenbergh

    Panel:

    • Pieter Waasdorp, Director Business Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
    • Astrid Bartels, Head of Unit Access to Finance, European Commission
    • Sébastien de Brouwer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, European Banking Federation,
    • Sophie Manigart, Partner and Full Professor Corporate Finance, Vlerick and Ghent University
    • Jean-Pierre Di Bartolomeo, Executive Director, Wallonie Entreprendre

    11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

    Coffee break

    11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

    Panel 2 - How to act against late payments and their impact on SMEs?

    Moderator: Karen Boers and Bruno Wattenbergh

    Panel

    • Rafaël Jafferali, Partner, Simont Braun and Professor, Université libre de Bruxelles
    • Véronique Willems,  Secretary General, SMEUnited,
    • Antonella Correra, Legal and Policy Officer, European Commission
    • Cinzia Alcidi, Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Economic Policy and Jobs & Skills Unit, CEPS

    12:30 – 02:00 p.m.

    Lunch break

    02:00 – 03:00 p.m.

    Panel 3 - How can insolvency rules be improved to facilitate access to finance?

    Moderator: Karen Boers and Bruno Wattenbergh

    Panel

    • Cedric Alter, Partner at Janson and Professor at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.
    • Arie Van Hoe, Executive Manager, Verbond van Belgische Ondernemingen – Fédération des Entreprises de Belgique
    • Andreas Kappeler, Senior Economic and Policy Analyst, European Commission
    • Ondrej Vondracek, Legal and Policy Officer, European Commission

    03:00 – 03:30 p.m.

    Coffee break

    03:30 – 04:30 p.m.

    2 parallel thematic panel discussion

    Parallel panel A: Enhancing the intellectual property of SMEs to facilitate their access to finance

    Moderator: Bruno Wattenbergh

    Panel

    • Alain Strowel, Senior Partner at Pierstone and Professor at UCLouvain
    • Guy Pessach, Director IP for Business Division, IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization
    • Sophia Zakari, Director Enterprise Policy and Legal Affairs, SMEUnited
    • Lally Rementilla, Managing Partner, IP-Backed Financing, Business Development Bank of Canada

    Parallel panel B: Sustainable finance and ESG reporting for SMEs

    Moderator: Karen Boers

    Panel:

    • Karel Baert, Chief Executive Officer, Febelfin
    • Alexander Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, Greenomy
    • Burçak İnel, Director of Financing Sustainable Growth, European Banking Federation
    • Hilde Rutten, Chief Executive Officer, BergHOFF Belgium

    04:30 – 04:40 p.m.

    Small break

    04:40 – 05:30 p.m.

    Closing session

    Speakers

    • Keynote speech by Luciana Tomozei Schwandt, Head of Global affairs and Sectoral policies Division, European Investment Bank
    • Keynote speech by André Sapir, Senior fellow at Bruegel. University Professor at Université libre de Bruxelles and Research fellow of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research

    05:30 – 06:30 p.m.

    Networking cocktail

    Laatst bijgewerkt
    14 maart 2024