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Those Who Dare: inspiring and reinvigorating SMEs for the future

11 May 2021

Vinod Kumar

CEO, Vodafone Business

What can a small business leader learn from the world’s most famous referee, an international boxing promoter and a professional racing driver? The connection might not spring immediately to mind, but each can tell a story in resilience, adaptation, growth, and nurturing talent.  

The past 12 months have been some of the most testing times for businesses of all sizes, but small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been some of the hardest hit. Many business leaders have put their long-term goals on hold while they steadied the ship. So now is the time to inspire this community for the future and help them reimagine what the next 12 months could look like. 

Digital skills and solutions have been a lifeline in a world transformed by COVID-19. And while there is reason for optimism, many are still facing a difficult road ahead. Which is why we’ve created an event with a purpose.

Dare to be different

This month, we’re hosting a one-of-its kind virtual event for small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe and South Africa.

Designed around the unique needs of SMEs, the five-day extravaganza is set to re-energise, empower, and make leaders feel positive about the future of their business. 


Centred around themes of resilience, customer behaviours, sustainability, data and talent retention, we’ve brought together bold stories from over 30 pioneers, across a range of sectors and backgrounds, to help SMEs to tackle some of their biggest challenges.

Key speakers include Dhiraj Mukherjee, co-Founder of Shazam, Pierluigi Collina, FIFA's "Best Referee of the Year" six consecutive times and currently Chairman of FIFA referees committee and Sharmadean Reid MBE, the founder and CEO of Beautystack and The Stack World as well as a leading advocate for women's economic empowerment.

Bold thinking for business growth

We also want to celebrate the inspirational stories from our own customers too.

Like Blue Banana, a small start-up selling t-shirts and sweatshirts. At only 23 years old, the co-founders have made the leap from selling on Instagram to having a physical retail store. And Officina Milano, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Italy who wanted to streamline its customer service with the help of digital technology, in order to make the business grow after this difficult year.

As the cornerstone of communities and economies, some small businesses have done amazing things during the pandemic – and transformed in incredible ways. But others haven’t had the tools and support they needed. Now, more than ever, they need support from their larger enterprise counterparts as they look towards the future.

We want to play our part in closing that digital divide and intend to build a pan-European SME community to encourage and facilitate small and medium-sized enterprises to learn from each other. ThoseWhoDare is just the beginning.

We promise to:

  • Use our global scale to champion the needs of all SME businesses, with governments, partners, and influencers alike
  • Offer trusted, reliable, and impartial technology advice and support
  • Provide integrated solutions from across the ICT spectrum, that deliver real world business outcomes
  • Help SMEs to connect with one another, to solve their challenges peer to peer
  • Make the experience of partnering with Vodafone intuitive, frictionless, inclusive, and simple, for all of our customers

The event takes place on 17th May - 21st May, 11am-12pm CET Daily. Sign up for free in English, Spanish, Italian and German.

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