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#44 Digitalization will be the make-or-break factor for small and midsize enterprises – Marc Dönges

Marc Dönges is deputy head of the Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center Berlin, Gemeinsam digital, a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy that supports small and mid-size enterprises in digitalization. He works for BVMW, the German association of small and mid-size enterprises, in the department of publicly funded projects and is additionally managing several EU-projects with a variety of international partners in the context of digitalization. Before joining BVMW, Marc studied Social Sciences with a European focus in Marburg, Madrid and Berlin and gathered first professional experiences in international development in Brussels.

Insights:

• Getting to know Marc
• The background of the German Association of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW)
• How Gemeinsam digital supports companies
• The most Effective things to digitalize in a company
• The biggest obstacle that Marc and the scientific partners experience when digitizing companies
• How is Germany fairing when it comes to digitalization?
• The most common requests raised by companies
• Effects of Covid_19 on digitalization
• Mistakes to avoid when it comes to digitalization

Key Discussion Points:

[00:13] Getting to know Marc

[01:09] What does BVMW do?

[03:03] BVMW’s background

[03:55] How Gemeinsam digital supports companies?

[08:24] How do Marc and his team choose a project to work with?

[10:31] What are the most effective things to digitalize?

[13:13] The biggest obstacles for Gemeinsam digital when digitizing companies

[14:37] How is Germany fairing in digitalization compared to the US?

[19:29] The most common requests that Marc gets from SMEs

[21:25] Effects of Covid-19 on digitalization

[24:48] Mistakes to avoid when it comes to digitalization

[29:25] Marc’s Favorite books

[32:27] Marc’s advice to his 18 year’s old self

Interesting Quotes:

“Digitalization means finding a new strategy that is absolutely necessary to stay competitive in the future.”

“Get out of your comfort zone. With that experience you will grow personally and professionally.”

“I doubt that the Coronavirus is the best consultant for SMEs when it comes to going digital.”

“A study shows that about 51% of small and midsize companies now understand that digitalization has to be a high priority strategic project for them.”

“When you go into a company and you want to digitize a process, in the end, it is not so much about the technology itself. It comes down to the human factor.”

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