Dear ICSB fellow members,
The year that is about to end has been a tremendous time for ICSB. I wish to highlight and share with you some of the most important moments that have made 2016 a terrific year for our association.
If I had to summarize in one sentence what ICSB has tried to accomplish in 2016, I would say that ICSB has worked really hard to sustain the ambition to contribute to sustainable economic growth through fair, responsible, and at the same time, high-impact and high-growth entrepreneurship.
In this last decade or so, we have witnessed deep, unpredictable, and radical transformations in the economy, technology, and in politics. In many cases these changes unfolded through dramatic events followed by tragic consequences and widespread turmoil.
As a result many people are scared and try to find comfort in turning their back to change, novelty, and diversity and in thinking that we could and should go back to the recipes that worked well in the good old days.
Unfortunately this is just an illusion: systems (and people) change all the time under the pressure of accumulated tensions and powerful external forces until a break up point is achieved.
To start with, we need to understand these tensions before the rupture takes place, then we need to do our best to try to govern change in the desired direction. As in the Apple “think Different” commercial, we can like change, we can hate it, we can vilify or glorify it, but the only thing we can’t do is to ignore it. Because a system that is pressured to change ultimately will.
Fear does not help either. Fear makes us blind to understanding the cause of change, pushes us to search for inadequate of plainly wrong solutions, and above all prevents us from recognizing learning and opportunity that come with change.
I am passionate about Ancient Roman history and literature and I have recently read “The metamorphoses” by the Roman poet Ovidius. It’s a poem about change, about the beauty and the pain of transformation. In the poem there are two types of changes. The changes that are mandated by the Gods upon human beings, usually as punishments, and the changes that are self-determined by free will and intention. Whichever the case, change happens no matter what, and it is always about the revelation and the pursuit of truth. It is also about an economy of form, as Italo Calvino noted: the new form actually contains part of the old one because the seeds of change were already there. The Ancient Greek tragedian Aeschilus wrote:
“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the hearth, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God”
But I hope and I wish us all that there must other ways to learn to spare the pain and govern change along a desired path of evolution.
Entrepreneurs are the agents of change. Most of the time they must adapt to the changes that the world imposes to them, but sometimes they change the world, and the best of them do so by learning and by opportunity.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge that our society is in need for is the quest for economic development based on social justice. Or we could just reverse this: the quest for social justice based on economic development. These two objectives are often considered as hard to reconcile and political and economic agenda has always been either on one side or on the other. If there is a lesson we can learn from what has been happening in the recent years is that this opposition does not hold true anymore; the reality is that economic growth must and can get along with human development. And it can do so through entrepreneurship. This is why ICSB is strongly committed towards the development of Sustainable Growth through initiatives such as the Humane Entrepreneurship project.
And here are some of things we did in this direction throughout the last year:
On April 7th in Seoul (South Korea), under the leadership of ICSB past president Ki-Chan Kim, the ICSB declaration on Human entrepreneurship is presented and signed by more than 200 policy makers, businessmen, and academic experts. This declaration will become the basis for the ICSB ministerial round table at the United Nations on June on Entrepreneurship and Sustainable growth, in conjunction with the 61th Global ICSB conference. In the same days an incredibly successful second edition of the ICSB academy takes place involving 141 students and a global faculty of 22 top experts. In September it’s the turn of the Asian Council for Small business conference, an event attended by 1000 delegates that gave an incredible momentum to ICSB activities in Asia, including the creation of two new chapters (Bangladesh and Myanmar). Similarly, the red Pymes conference in Argentina helped ICSB to consolidate its presence in South American, through the launch of a stronger Brazilian affiliate and the request of creations of new chapters in Uruguay and Colombia.
At the same time the conference was instrumental for the organization of the 2017 global conference in Buenos Aires. Not coincidentally it is Argentina the country that has stepped up to present a motion to the UN assembly for the institution of a UN SME day. I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Argentinean Government, thanks to the initiative led by SMEs Minister Mariano Meyer, as well as of the other countries that are considering to offer their support to the motion such as Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Malaysia, and United States. I wish to acknowledge the participation of Mrs. Contreras Sweet, SBA Administrator, to our ICSB-GW October conference and of Dr. Sarah Nasr, Egypt Minister of International Cooperation, to the Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit. In both occasion we received ample attention and support to our UN initiative.
Finally I want to acknowledge the hard and high profile work of our International Office, and specifically of our executive director Ayman El Tarabishy, in pursuing and ensuring the necessary actions and support for what will end up to be a historical achievement: the creation of a UN SMEs day. I also have the honor and above all the pleasure to work with an exceptional team of colleagues serving in the ICSB board in various positions. Our board does not only host high profile members, but also incredibly committed individuals and exceptional team workers.
My best wishes for a great new year: may everybody learn without suffering.
Dr. Luca Iandoli
President of ICSB (2016-17)
A Message from the ICSB International Office
On behalf of the ICSB International Office (IO), we’d like to extend our best wishes for a prosperous 2017! Thank you for your enduring support and partnership in our never ending pursuit to promote the growth and development of small businesses worldwide.
2016 was memorable year for us, especially at the IO, as we played a central role in helping the organization grow. The highlight of the year was the ICSB 2016 World Conference in partnership with the United Nations.
Starting in January 2016, with the annual USASBE Conference in San Diego, CA USA, our Board of Directors convened for the mid-year Board meeting and participated in other conference activities such as the ICSB Korea-USASBE research matching program, the ICSB Presidential Awards and a JSBM special issue which shares the theme of the conference- ‘Entrepreneurship everywhere.’
In February, the IO was present at the Kauffman Foundation State of Entrepreneurship address in Washington DC, and assisted in the distribution of the updated questionnaire for the white book on humane entrepreneurship. March brought us back to San Diego for the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (CEEC). An important development, was the engagement of Ambassador Oh Joon, and the Permanent Mission of Korea to the United Nations. Through the work of President KiChan Kim, and the many outstanding partners, Ambassador Oh Joon visited the The George Washington University as part of a lecture series.
Moving into April the ICSB 2016 World Conference was on the front of everyone’s agenda. The IO was fully committed to managing the event, and we worked extremely hard to ensure all the logistics were in place. President Kim welcomed ICSB members to Korea for an affiliate conference between April 3-8, to gain additional support, and where world leaders and CEOs committed to the Seoul Declaration of Humane Entrepreneurship. ICSB demonstrated its role in advocating for SME development worldwide.
In May, we confirmed officially the partnership of the United Nations for ICSB 2016. This was a tremendous achievement for the organization. For the past twenty years, officers and members have worked to engage with the UN at a higher level. ICSB was truly on it’s way to having a seat with the global players. Between May 11-13, in Leeds, United Kingdom, our European affiliates ECSB hosted their annual 3E Conference, and a week later, ICSB members travelled to Ontario, Canada for the 2016 CCSBE Conference at the University of Guelph.
At the 61st annual ICSB World Conference the week of June 13, 2016, ICSB convened a Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) Ministerial Roundtable at the United Nations Headquarters. Seven distinguished ministers were in attendance from the United States, South Korea, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, and Argentina. Under the theme of “The Role of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” ICSB brought global attention to the importance of SMEs in our global economy. In addition to working with the UN, ICSB enjoys close relationships with the OECD, the World Bank Group, and other major international stakeholders. The new ICSB Indonesia affiliate was officially confirmed by the Board of Directors.
The IO, alongside Stevens Institute of Technology, served as the host and managed conference and pre-conference events over 6 days, and 700 participants from over 40 different countries. The second cohort of the ICSB Academy, embedded in the ICSB World Conference, continued to blossom with nearly 150 students in attendance. Dr. Luca Iandoli, President of ICSB in 2016-17, has played a key role in developing this program and the modules within the curriculum.
Also in June, the Journal of Small Business Management (JSBM), which is housed in the ICSB International Office, received an increase in the 2-year and 5-year impact factors. The Journal, which is circulated in 60 countries around the world, is a leader in the field of small business research. JSBM receives over 750 manuscript submissions each year for double-blind peer review and the new impact factor is 1.937 (2-year), 2.868 (5-year). This places JSBM 65 out of 192 journals in Management and #8 in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. JSBM has an Editorial Board comprised of leading international scholars and educators. In 2015, 4,257 institutions purchased access to the latest content in JSBM via either a Wiley License or a traditional (title-by-title) subscription. At the end of 2015, 1,358 individuals were registered to receive automatic alerts when new content appears on Wiley Online Library.
In July, a team from ICSMEE Malaysia led by Mr. Mew Sang Yap opened Myanmar’s doors by visiting Myanmar-ICSB proponents on July 12th-17th, 2016. Mr. Mew and his team had their expectations far surpassed and a new ICSB Myanmar chapter was formed for Board approval.
The 29th Annual SEAANZ Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia, on 10-12 August 2016. This highly successful Conference focused on the elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the businesses that should be supported in the ecosystem.
September 2016 saw a focus on Latin America, with the XXI Annual Meeting of Red SMEs Mercosur in Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The program was very well attended and featured parallel sessions, keynotes sessions and social activities, similar to what the ICSB 2017 World Conference will bring to the city in June 2017.
ICSB Mexico hosted its 2nd international conference between October 12-14, 2016, in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. It was a very successful event, in any respect, thanks to the organizing team of Francisco Velez, Blanca Garcia Hernandez and others. Alex DeNoble, delivered the opening keynote to an audience of several hundred people as a representative of the ICSB Board, who are very optimistic about the future prospects for ICSB Mexico and in Central America.
Over 150 participants from 17 different countries attended the 7th GW October Annual Entrepreneurship Conference in Washington DC on October 13-14, 2016. Together with the World Bank, the event Live stream hosted over 4,500 visitors. Distinguished participants in attendance included The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet (Administrator of the US Small Business Administration (SBA)), Ms. Anabel González (Senior Director, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank Group), Dr. Luca Iandoli (President of the International Council for Small Business) and more. USASBE hosted the 7th cohort of the Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship in DC, with strong interest.
ICSB travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia at end of October for the 4th ACSB Asian SME Conference. The focus of the discussion was around issues in an economic context—factor-, efficiency-, and innovation-driven—and featuring relevant panelists from various Asian countries to share their insightful thoughts. Dr. Iandoli delivered a keynote address and was featured on Indonesian television.
In November, two ICSB affiliate signature events took place in Europe and the Middle East. The RENT conference hosted by our European Affiliate ECSB was held in Antwerp, Belgium (November 16-18) and the Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by our Middle East Affiliate MCSBE was held in El Gouna, Egypt (November 16-19). Congratulations to ECSB, our European Affiliate, who is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the RENT conference- definitely one of the best international entrepreneurship research conferences.
The Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit in El Gouna was a tremendous success as well. We were honored by the participation of the Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation, Her Excellency Dr. Sahar Nasr, and the organization of ICSB’s affiliate in the Middle East, MCSBE. At the end of November, ICSB participated in the World Bank Youth Summit in Washington DC.
On December 1, 2016, Dr. Winslow Sargeant, former Chief Counsel to President Obama on Small Business Administration and current ICSB Senior Vice President for Development, joined HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands/StartupDelta Envoy at Slush in Helsinki, Finland to discuss what governments can do to enable the ideal growing environment for startups. By December, also ICSB also welcomed two new chapters approved by the Board – ICSS Myanmar and ICSB Bangladesh.
We look forward to working with all our partners in the coming year to continue along our journey in an ever-changing global landscape. The importance of small businesses and entrepreneurship worldwide cannot be forgotten.
2017 is shaping to be a very busy year with work carrying over from 2016 and exciting new frontiers and opportunities being presented.
We added 30 of the best pictures of 2016. There were many more but we wanted to share the ones we took as a showcase. We hope you enjoy them and best wishes!
Upward and onward.
The ICSB International Office