Kristina Dimova, a 22 year-old from Bulgaria, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the European Commission’s SME Assembly.
Kristina was asked to answer the question: “What do SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges? Think about the competences and skills needed in the future for an entrepreneur, describe three promising and sustainable start-ups in 2030”.
Kristina provided the following focus in her essay: “Change is inevitable. That’s why businesses must adapt or perish. The way they could adapt is by being as human as possible. The main thesis of my essay is that humanity is the key to sustainability not only for the business plan of the company but in the context of management. However, humanity should be combined with key factors such as digital transformation, ecology, and economic growth.”
She also added: “Crucial to SMEs’ ability to adapt to changing circumstances, will be their willingness to change their management model. Sociocracy would be the “secret ingredient” with four ground rules: consensual decision-making, a hierarchy of circles, double linking between circles, and election of leaders. Sociocracy would also allow businesses to reach the required flexibility to thrive in an ever-changing world.”
The Youth Essay Competition is organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and is an opportunity for 18–25-year-olds to share their ideas and viewpoints with key figures and stakeholders in the spheres of enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs.
The objective of the competition is to raise the profile of entrepreneurship as an attractive career choice amongst young Europeans; and to raise awareness of the support that the European Commission provides to entrepreneurs.
The Youth Essay Competition started in 2016, when the SME Assembly took place in Bratislava, Slovakia. Over the years, it received hundreds of applications from all EU members states, and beyond.