“The benefits of the Digital Agenda for SMEs:
towards simplification, enhanced cross-border trade
and diversified access to finance”
6 October 2011
Key note address
Constantijn van Oranje, Member of the cabinet of Neelie
Kroes, Commission Vice-President and Commissioner in
charge of the Digital Agenda
The digital agenda: a tool to remove administrative, crossborder trade, and access to finance barriers
Case studies- the state of play, benefits/failures moderated by Luc Hendrickx, Director Enterprise Policy and
External Relations, UEAPME
•Removing administrative barriers through cloud computing- Mark Lange, Senior
Policy Counsel, Microsoft
•Facilitating cross-border trade through e-commerce - Stefan Krawczyk, Senior
Director and Counsel Government Relations Europe, ebay EU Liaison office
•Interconnection of business registers , Yves Gonner, Director Registre de
Commerce et des Societes du Luxembourg
•Empowering SMEs to better access to finance - the example of online peer to
peer lending - Jean-Christophe Capelli, CEO Friendsclear
•Software as a service: supporting compliance for EU SMEs, Caterina BerbenniRehm, CEO of PROMIS@service
The benefits of the Digital Agenda
for SMEs
Mark Lange
Senior Policy Counsel
Microsoft Europe
6 October 2011
Case study:
• Small business based in Ireland
• Founded 2006, under 30 employees
• Saw greater opportunity to use technology to
automate information exchange for international
trade transactions
• Uses cloud computing to grow quickly, achieve
global scale
“The average international transaction involves
27 to 30 different parties, 40 documents, 200
data elements (30 of which are repeated at
least 30 times) and the re-keying of 60-70% of
data at least once.”
- UN Conference on Trade and Development
• Cut red tape, reduce costs, increase productivity
– Use online service for paperfree transactions
• New requirements
– Customs data must be exchanged before shipment
– Demanding efficiency as well as security
• Filling a need felt acutely by SME importers and
EU involvement
• As part of FP6-funded eTen initiative, EC sought
to prove feasibility of paperfree trade
• Tradefacilitate participated in Clearview project
– mid term review advised that final audit must
demonstrate scalability to many thousands of
importers/exporters, many thousands of
Delivering the Service: Limits
• Tradefacilitate started with service running on its
own servers/IT infrastructure
– Required capital investment and inhouse staff, difficult
to achieve required levels of security and reliability
• Started with alcohol trade within EU – how to
expand to serve any kind of trade globally?
• Tradefacilitate’s expertise: trade transactions, not
data centre management
Delivering the Service: Without limits
• In 2009 Tradefacilitate moved to commercial
deployment on a public cloud platform
– Using Windows Azure as platform
• Advantages:
– Scale: Tradefacilitate can expand its computing
resources to meet any level of demand
– Pay per use: Major upfront capital expense barrier
becomes routine operational expense
– Agility: company personnel focus on areas of their
expertise to improve service
– Security and reliability: well beyond small
company’s ability to deliver on its own
Tradefacilitate today
• A leading global e-trade service
• Offices in EU ,New York, Malayasia, Dalian
China , Australia, Ethiopia
• Continues to focus on needs of SME
importers/exporters, but also services large
multinational corporations in compliant paperfree
cross border trade
– in line with EU eCustoms (2011 -2013) and EU 2020 goals of
cutting red tape
The benefits of the Digital Agenda for SMEs
European Parliament, Bruxelles, October 6, 2011
Interconnection of business registers
Yves Gonner
Trade and Companies Register Luxembourg
Introduction to Business Registers
Business Registers
 Commercial and companies registers organized centrally or
 Registering commercial companies, sole traders or other legal
entities like not for profit associations or foundations
 Acting nationally adressing principally national customers
Main missions
 Recipient of information and documents filed in pursuance of
European and National legislation
 Information provider offering services to businesses and
Substantial improvements and IT investments in recent years
 Electronic filing of data and documents
 Electronic access to information
Modern service providers that have become more ‘customer
Partners for SMEs
Reliable partners and source of official information for SMEs
 Helping you know better your business partner
 Company information
 Legal information : Name, official address, purpose,
capital, shareholders, company officials, signature
holders and signature rights, etc
 Documents : Articles of Association, Incorporation
deeds, etc.
 Financial information : Balance sheets and accounting
 Company status
 Court decisions
 Respect of filing obligations
 Legal security in business transactions
Cross border perspective
Form a cross border perspective, registers are confronted with two
different challenges :
Foreign customers ask for national register information in order to
secure and facilitate cross border trade and transactions
European legislation requires registers to communicate with each
 Cross border mergers, transfer of seats (SE, EEIG)
 It is agreed that a strengthened collaboration among
Registers would be beneficial to European businesses
 Ex : Exchange of information on the relationship Parent
company / foreign branches
Difficulties for European businesses
Problems in accessing national register information
 Electronic portals are not always easy to access (customer
identification, payments problems, language problems, etc,)
 Official information (company extract) is mostly provided in national
 Difficulties in understanding the legal value of documents and
information provided by the different registers as national legislations
Collaboration between BR
Necessity to interconnect Business Registers has been recognized since
many years by the BR community
Significant advantages for European businesses to benefit from a
standardized set of official company information (company profiles,
company officials etc.) available on a multilingual basis
Voluntary collaboration among registers in the European Business
Register (EBR) network since 1998
Conclusion is that a communication system among registers based on a
voluntary and informal basis is at present not working at full satisfaction
Merits of the collaboration
Significant efforts and investments have been done by EBR members in
order to implement an IT platform that is now fit to support interregistry
Running IT platform enabling international access to BR information
through BR national portals
 Mulitingual, offering payment facilities
 Providing basic standardized information delivered by BR
 Documents (Annual Accounts, Articles of Association,…) are
Ongoing contacts are under way in order to incite membership of
registries that are not yet members of the network
Limitations of voluntary collaboration among BRs
Present legal status of the network is not satisfactory
Insufficient legal framework binding BR
Reluctance of member registers
 to provide sufficient funding for investments
 to prioritize on cross border matters
 to deliver to the EBR network all of the information and
documents they deliver through their national portals
Reluctance of different juridictions to join the network
Future of BR interconnection
Clarify legal status of the network
Clarify the legal framework of the interconnection of BR
Provide guidelines or recommendations concerning the essential aspects
of the communication among registers
Definition of a common set of agreed principles
Ensure financial stability of the network
High expectations concerning the directive proposal as regards the
interconnection of central, commercial and companies registers
Thank you for your attention
Empowering SMEs to better
access to finance :
the example of online peer-to-peer
“Benefits of the Digital Agenda for SMEs”
European Parliament
6 October 2011
Jean-Christophe Capelli, CEO,
A supportive environment for a new system of
financing businesses : online peer-to-peer finance
 Banking system in crisis : risk-aversion among “plain
old’” providers of finance
 A general resurgence of entrepreneurs and
 Low interest rates offered by saving accounts + lack of
attractive financial products for personal investors
Rise of “social” or “peer to peer” (p2p)
finance, where individuals rather than
financial institutions lend to or invest
in small businesses
Equity investment platforms
Crowdcube (UK)
Wiseed (France)
Small Business loans platforms
Lending Club (US)
Funding Circle (UK)
FriendsClear (France)
investment amount :
-Min : 100 euros per project
-Max : 30.000 euros/year
Loan amount
-Min : 3.000 euros
-Max : 25.000 euros
Loan duration
-3 years (monthly payments)
FriendsClear (France)
« Be Bio »
Experience from the field : what is working ?
 Benefits traditionally associated with online
 Banking costs are cut
 Due diligence are performed by a collaborative work between
 Social networks allow to leverage an unprecedented volume
and depth of information on entrepreneurs and their projects
 No middleman : better return for investors / cheaper
access to finance for entrepreneurs
 Loans default rates kept low (peer pressure)
Experience from the field : what needs to be improved ?
 Lack of standardisation (believe it or not) among
european countries
 Banking regulations are VERY different among
europeans countries
 Consumer regulations are different (as far as banking
services are concerned)
 The importance of financial transparency in an online
 Need for better (positive) credit scoring / rating in some
european countries (both for entrepreneurs themselves
and SMEs)
 Hi-quality financial reports and forecasts are required
(even for SME’s)
Jean-Christophe Capelli
Web : http://www.friendsclear.com
A Single Entry Point for
Integrated Compliance and Continuous Improvement
For European SMEs
Across Health&Safety, Environment, Quality, ICT Security & more
Caterina Berbenni-Rehm, CEO
PROMIS@Service Sarl
21 Rue de Nassau, L- 2213 Luxembourg
Email: crehm@promisatservice.eu
Brands, methodology/ies and content are copyrighted and protected by PROMIS@Service.Sarl
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
About us
PROMIS@Service S.a.r.l.,
incorporated in May 2008 in Luxemburg
with the goal to rollout the result of
two EC funded projects in Europe.
Expertise in:
 Knowledge intensive services- eBusiness;
 eLearning and eTraining;
 Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Deployment/marketing of ICT tools
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
What is
An integrated Compliance and Knowledge Management Business Enabler
solution offering tools and services to:
Structure and share Knowledge
Collaborate and Communicate online
Support regulatory compliance
Manage and improve processes and procedures
Keep transparency and order in the organisation thanks to an
adequate documentation and integrated electronic handbook
conforming with ISO 9000, ISO14000 and OHSAS requirements
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
Our Approach
 Human-centred technology and methodologies (TECH)
 Clear definition between free of charge and paid-for content (KNOWL)
 Respect of individual tacit knowledge and recognition of IPRs (LEGIS)
 Clear and well defined rules, duties and rights (Win-win COOP)
 Collaborative Community based approach (HUMANS).
Simplify Complexity and Make Simplicity Effective !
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
The Product
Software as a Service
Web 2.0 Technology
The Base
Workspace for SMEs
 myKnowledge:
Workspace to structure
Three tool Modules
 myCommunication:
Online communication SME &
 myQualification:
Database for consultants
 myQuestionnaire:
To develop initial & other reviews
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
 Multinational, Multilingual and Multi-Client enabled
 Online interactive Collaboration between SMEs, Consultants and
interested Parties (e.g. suppliers, public authorities, banks)
 Structuring and sharing organisation‘s internal and institutional Knowledge
 Protecting Intellectual Property Rights
 Visualisation of Inter-relationships of all Processes in the Organisation
 Supporting de-facto Certification and Compliance
 Europe-wide Qualification for the PROMIS Consultants (via CEN-WS41)
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
For SMEs:
1. Time and cost savings with proven Return on Investment
2. Online interactive Communication, and Knowledge sharing in
the organisation and outside
3. Evidence-based compliance to legal requirements, Safety
improvements and preparation for Certification
4. Transparency and efficiency throughout the organisation
For Institutions:
Opportunity to disseminate and transfer content and knowledge
in the SME organisation up to task level.
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
How to Shorten Time-to-market:
 Machine translation, Cross-text retrieval, Terminology
 Translation in additional 6 languages: FR, ES, PT, RO, GR, HU
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
Digital Agenda &
PROMIS® is a generic framework to build and offer interactive services
answering, partially or in full, the requirements of Digital Agenda 2020:
sector- and theme-oriented turn-key solutions for micro SMEs, with
high level of trust and confidence based on security, high quality,
trusted community building,
(iii) offering a balanced regulatory framework with clear rights regimes,
like the PROMIS® Knowledge repository pyramid, and
(iv) a innovative Business Model, offering adequate protection and
remuneration for rights holders.
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
2010 2011 –
DG Enterprise selected PROMIS as one of the 50 best eBusiness cases in
Europe. Translation of testimonial in 21 languages.
UEAPME - Contractual Partnership to support the dissemination and rollout
of PROMIS in Europe
Thank you for your attention !
Caterina Berbenni-Rehm, Dr.
eMail: crehm@promisatservice.eu
EU Parliament, SME Week, Brussels 06.10.2011
Sometimes a cloud is just a cloud
Key note speech
Daniel Calleja-Crespo, SME envoy, Deputy Director General,
Panel debate: What policy options at EU, national or
local level to optimise the use of the Digital Agenda for
SMEs- moderated by Robin Jarvis, Head of Small Business Affairs at ACCA
and a member of the European Banking Authority (EBA) Banking Stakeholders'
•Magdalena Ochej- Łokuciejewska, Head of Competitiveness Unit at the Ministry
of Economy of Poland, Chair of the Internal Market Working Party
•Harrie Temmink, Deputy head of unit online services, DG MARKT
•Matthias Schmidt-Gerdts , policy officer Company Law and corporate
governance, DG MARKT
•Franck Boissiere, Team coordinator e-businesses and Digital Single Market, DG
Concluding remarks
Andrea Benassi, Secretary General of UEAPME
by the Chair Dr Paul Rübig, MEP
Followed by
Sandwich lunch