ISSUE #02, July to December 2012 www.tok-toc.eu
Dear Friends,

The International Launching Event for TOK-TOC was organized in Athens on July 16th, 2012.  The President of the Athens Chamber of Small Medium Industries (ACSMI in short), Mr. P. Ravanis, stressed the need for creating policies, guidelines and tools that prevent business-transfer failures.  Dr. A. Sinanioti, Prof of Business Law at the University of Piraeus, presented the new flexible legal forms of establishing EU Firms, a very flexible tool for operating the transferred business. Dr. Manousos, Lecturer at the University of Leiden, described the Dutch model generated for supporting SME transfers, stressing the positive effects of long-term policy planning in preventing business failures resulting from transfer. Dr. O. Katsaitis, Prof of Economics at the American College of Greece, gave the alarming picture of unsuccessful SME transfer rates in EU and the consequences of business closure for economic stability of local communities.  The speakers and the audience of this event concluded that Europe could curb SME transfer failures through sharing and developing innovative policies, practices, and tools, which allow knowledge transfer from older generations of entrepreneurs or workers to younger ones.   A press conference was organized at the ACSMI and a press release was sent to Greek and international media by the ACSMI’s Communications Department eliciting a great reaction from the EU press. You may read PowerPoint presentations of this event in our portal: www.tok-toc.eu
The first International Event for TOK-TOC was organized by the University of Strthclyde (Partner 3) in Glasgow on Sept 12 to 14, 2012. The Merchants House hosted the international workshop. Project partners and local stakeholders listened to the presentation of Mr. Martin Stepek from the Scottish Family Business Association on the “Challenges & Opportunities Family Business Transitions”.    Prof B. MacKechnie from the Learning Centre/University of Strathclyde spoke about the “Principle and Best Practice in Business Transitions” emphasized the importance of knowledge and know-how transfer from the older work force to younger employees taking over.  Mr. B. MacKechnie and Mr. G. Smith are the coordinators for the write-up of the Best Practices Handbook., which is going to be presented at TOK-TOC’s international event in Barcelona in 2013.  The partners of TOK-TOC visited the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and heard about the importance of understanding the demographics of a region in planning SME transfer policies that facilitate knowledge transfer and developing better quality of jobs. The Partners of TOK-TOC  had their 2nd Steering Committee Meeting in Glasgow as well.

The partners of TOK-TOC met in Athens on October 31st, 2012, for the INFO DAY II organized by the ACSMI.  The event was attended by entrepreneurs, mayors, policy makers, researchers and journalists.  Mr. P. Ravanis, President of the ACSMI, and Prof. O. Katsaitis, Prof. of Economics, at the American College of Greece, coordinated the event.  The Keynote Speaker was Mr. I Komninos, General Secretary of the Greek Secretariat for Trade, who maintained that SME-transfer policy planning requires continuously updated data, records, and registries on SME transfer issues. Prof. M. Sfakianakis, Head of the Business School at the University of Pireaus, Mr. Leonard Drodgendijk, Business Development Friesland (Partner 4) and Ms. Berta Perez, Project Leader, Barcelona Chamber of Commerce (Partner 5) described the strengths and the weaknesses of modern tools supporting entrepreneurship in general and SME transfer in particular. The e-Platforms are effective tools for SME transfer and can play an important role in transferring knowledge B2B.  Prof. O. Katsaitis wrapped-up arguing that SME transfer failures have to be prevented when competiveness and innovation prevail.  A press conference was organized at the ACSMI and a press release was sent to all Greek and international media. The partners of TOK-TOC had a special Steering Committee Meeting in which the progress made on the Best Practices Handbook and the e-Platform were discussed.

The Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona, BCC in short (partner 5) organised TOK-TOC’s INFODAY I in Barcelona on Nov30 2012. The event was attended by a great number of entrepreneurs and policymakers. The Managing Director of BCC, Mr. X. Carbonell, Mr. J. Grego, President of the Catalonian Association of Family-owned Business, and Mr.  P. Estruch, Vice-General Director of BANESTO underlined the importance of the project TOK-TOC in highlighting the problems of transferring family-owned business in Catalonia and the EU. Mr. J. Roure, Professor at IESE, and Mr. Mr. X. A. Castellvi, President at GRUPARPA S.L spoke about the “The Path from Family-owned Business to the Business Family: Encouraging entrepreneurial spirit”.  Finally, Prof. G. Marchisio analysed “The Role of communication in the Success of Family-owned Business”.

POLICY, LEGISLATIVE AND PRACTICAL ISSUES FOR SME TRANSFER IN THE NETHERLANDS
1st Information Day Organised in TOK-TOC ‘s Framework
by Business Development Friesland

Tuesday and Wednesday, 20-21 November 2012
EVENT REPORT:

DAY 1
Business Development Friesland organized a two-day local event to inform representatives of local and regional SMEs, government servants, policy makers, start-up companies, students, university representatives etc. about the practical side of business transfer. Hanna Copini of Business Development Friesland’s incubator Leeuwarden hosted both days and explained how the efforts of Business Development Friesland on local level and in Europe through TOK-TOC are interlined and how we benefit from the knowledge exchange on the topic of Business Transfer on multiple levels.
Tuesday 20 November, the first day of the meeting, featured a keynote address from financial expert Herman Smit about the fiscal side of SME transfer and upcoming legislative issues connected to it.
Dutch law will soon allow the so-called “flex-BV” or flexible limited company as a legal body. This gives new and better opportunities for business initiation and transfer since requirements for entrepreneurs are less strict. Also tax laws on inheriting and issues connected to family business and “father-son” business transfer were addressed.

DAY 2
The second day of the event, Wednesday 21 November, consisted of speed dating with experts from the field with various backgrounds:
established entrepreneurs, bank representatives, start-up companies. In multiple sessions during the morning program they explained the audience in small group what occurred to them in practice and what experience they could share on succession, motivation and business transferal. Interested participants of the local TOK-TOC Information Day were informed about next year’s international event to take place also in Leeuwarden on Business Transfer: the TOK-TOC Interregional Meeting and Seminar.
Original and translated invitations, the full agendas, pictures and lists of attendance have been attached to the event report. A combined audience of over 60 participants attended the two-day event.
LEAD PARTNER:


• Athens Chamber of Small & Medium Industries



PARTNERS:

• University of Strathclyde

• Business Development Friesland

• Barcelona Chamber of Commerce

• Municipality of Kardjhali

• Latvia Technology Park
We look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions on the special pages of our multilingual portal dedicated to the above events: www.tok-toc.eu

TOK-TOC © 2012  |  www.tok-toc.eu

Contact Details:
Athens Chamber of Small & Medium Industries
18, Akademias Street 10671, ATHENS , GREECE
Tel.: +30 210 3680700 | Fax: +30 210 3614726
www.tok-toc.eu