We have just had the pleasure of having a meeting with the association SME United (Small and Medium sized Entrepreneurs) representing entrepreneurs across Europe. Earlier this year we reached out to the SME United because some of the ECDN’s members have been experiencing a great number of entrepreneurs contacting them in need of debt advice and financial counselling. As you might know many of our members are not capable of advising entrepreneurs or like in the case of the Social Legal Aid in Denmark, not allowed to help entrepreneurs, but through our president’s, Sandy Madar, networking activities, we learned that the SME United had counselling activities in place for the SMEs in some European countries called the Early Warning Project.
This off cause spiked our interest and therefore we arranged the meeting today with Kata Porganyi from SME United, Gwen Harris form MABS Ireland, the president of the ECDN, Sandy Madar, and two representatives from the Early Warning Project invited by SME United.
The meeting was very productive, and the involved parties agreed that there is a need for a cooperation between SME United and the ECDN. An important point in regard to the financial matters for the small to medium sized entrepreneurs, is that the finances of the company unfortunately often is closely tied with the entrepreneurs’ private finances. Often the owners of the company have used private loans to finance the company, which makes it difficult to separate what is the company’s debt and what is the personal debt. The ECDN’s members can help the owners to a some point, but in most countries not until their company is bankrupt, while the SME United’s Early Warning Project can help and advise the owners before the situation gets that bad.
Therefore, we are working to connect all you members with the local Early Warning Projects in your country or region, so we can share knowledge and help SMEs the best we can. This could be in the form of information on tools valuable for SMEs and maybe guides applicable for the situation SMEs face in the different European countries.
We hope to have more information for you soon, but until then you can read more about the SME United and their partners here https://www.smeunited.eu/