Centre pour l'entrepreneuriat, les PME, les régions et les villes

Conference on SMEs and the Urban Fabric


Second international conference on SMEs and the Urban Fabric | REGISTER NOW

 28-29 April 2022 Trento, Italy     

Organised by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities together with the ILO Small and Medium Enterprises Unit and the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation at the OECD’s Trento Centre for Local Development



Alexander Lembcke:

Sena Segbedzi:







What makes a city a thriving hub for entrepreneurship and growth? How do SMEs and entrepreneurs contribute to the attractiveness of cities?

These two questions underpin the conference series on SMEs and the Urban Fabric. SMEs and entrepreneurs can benefit from well-functioning, well‑designed and well‑planned cities, the same way these cities and their neighbourhoods can benefit from local entrepreneurs and SMEs that create jobs, but also authenticity, charm, social integration and social connectionsHowever, not all environments are conducive for a dynamic business community. It is therefore crucial to understand how economic policies, business regulation, land‑use and urban planning can help SMEs and entrepreneurs thrive and integrate into the community, promote healthy business dynamics while also create attractive and liveable places.

The 2022 two-day international conference on SMEs and the Urban Fabric takes a look forward on the challenges and opportunities in the coming months and years, building on the lessons learned during the current crisis.

The first day revisits the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs and entrepreneurs, and the support they received. The aim is to look ahead to what needs to be addressed next and discuss what measures implemented during the crisis might be beneficial to retain post‑crisis. The second day is dedicated to the changes in the way we live and work that cities undergo or have to anticipate. What do they mean for urban planning and the policies cities use to support their SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Find out more about the 2022 edition


Register by 22 April 2022 


Past conferences



First Conference on SMEs and the Urban Fabric

 15-16 April 2019 Trento, Italy 

‌‌‌Our everyday life takes place at different scales. We care about the quality of life in our local neighbourhood, the ability to shop and experience life locally, but also how quickly we can get to work in another part of the city or how easily we can get the inputs and services required for our daily work. To understand what improves well-being and the economic prospects of a place, it is therefore necessary to think and define policy-action at different scales: from international agreements, to national frameworks, urban plans and down to the design of neighbourhoods and streets. Such an integrated view is rare and thinking often limited to one scale or one policy “silo”. This two-day conference took a look at cities and their SMEs and entrepreneurs from different angels, bringing planners together with economists who considered the interplay between cities and SMEs at different scales.


Download the summary of the conference outcomes 

Watch or download the presentation of the first conference




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