When politicians voluntarily forgo photo opportunities, there must be a special reason. In this case, Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Robert Habeck wanted to have as much time as possible for discussions with the members of his new advisory council for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). For two hours, he spoke with company representatives. Afterwards, they were able to spend another two hours exchanging their views with State Secretaries and Members of the German Bundestag, whose focus lies on small and medium-sized businesses. Right in the middle of the talks: Lucas Fuhrmann, CEO of Revoltech GmbH, the startup which developed the vegan leather alternative LOVR and which participated in the third batch of the Accelerator program in Circular Valley®.
Fuhrmann had received news during summer that he had been appointed to the SME Advisory Board. At first, he was unsure whether the news was genuine or not. A little later, however, the official letter and the invitation to the first meeting with other members and the minister arrived.
The first meeting in October revolved around two main questions: How are medium-sized companies affected by the current crises, inflation and high energy prices? And how is Germany perceived as a location for business? On the second point in particular, Fuhrmann was able to share the issues that are particularly important to him from a startup perspective: Bureaucracy paralyzes companies and especially founders, approval processes take too long, and digitalization has not yet reached the level required to speed up administrative processes.
In this context, the SMEs also discussed sustainability with The Greens Minister for Economic Affairs. Specifically, how to provide sustainable companies with the right starting conditions so that they are able to compete with conventional providers.
The members of the SME Advisory Council are now meeting in subject groups to work out how to tackle the named challenges in more detailed terms. The next discussion with Robert Habeck could then also be about Fuhrmann's initiative for a triad: He wants startups, established SMEs and science to come together more closely and for marketable solutions to emerge from research ideas. Joint photos will therefore probably continue to be a lower priority in the SME Advisory Council.