Deadline: September 26, 2021

Entries are invited for the European SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2021. The SME Week Youth Essay Competition is launching for the sixth time with a brand new question for the youth of Europe to answer:

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.

The Youth Essay competition is organised by the European Commission Directorate-General for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. It is an opportunity for 18-25-year-olds to share ideas and viewpoints with key figures and stakeholders in the spheres of enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs.


  • An opportunity to attend and present at the SME Assembly for the three finalists, to present their essays to 500+ Assembly delegates.
  • Presentation training before delivering essay live at the SME Assembly 2021.
  • Promotion of essays across communication channels.
  • A trip to the 2021 SME Assembly in Slovenia.


  • Open to all 18 to 25-year-olds from European Member States or COSME partners countries;
  • Essays should not exceed 2,500 words in length;
  • All essays must be in English;
  • Only one entry per applicant.


  • The deadline for submissions isĀ September 26, 2021.
  • The three finalists will be announced in October ahead of SME Week and will compete at a grand finale as part of the SME Assembly, where they will present their essays.

Submit your entry here

For more information, visit European SME Week.

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