From August 26th-28th, CEED gathered 35 members of its global team to Vienna, Austria where representatives from every CEED Center gathered to exchange best practices, lessons learned, and to develop strategies for the coming year.  Topics of the annual staff retreat included:



1.     CEED Center Updates

The first day of the meet-up began with a rapid-fire update from each of the 10 Centers on their activities over the past year. We learned that CEED Morocco has implemented a successful corporate partnership in which entrepreneurs aimed to address unmet needs for one of the largest banks in the region. CEED Romania highlighted their success in changing the entrepreneurial mindset of youth by partnering with local schools throughout Romania. CEED Tanzania described how the CEED Taster was able to catalyze their community in both Dar es Salaam and Dodoma.

One attendee said, “Hearing what our colleagues around the globe are doing inspires and motivates me. I left with more than a few ideas to implement in our upcoming Grow program.”

CEED is aiming to continue this cross-center learning through ‘CEED Around the Globe,’ an internal newsletter designed to keep all CEED staffers in the know about events and milestones in other centers.


2.    Why Segmenting Matters

At the Global Meet-up, CEED Global Director, Barbara Bregar-Mrzlikar and entrepreneur, Elio Iori discussed the importance of why segmenting entrepreneurs matters.  When serving a community of entrepreneurs, it is important to understand where they are in their stage of growth and to know what challenges come with each stage. Based on these challenges the team can develop content and strategies for gathering experts to share their experiences and how they overcame similar challenges.  Barbara and Elio then introduced the CEED taster approach which is an event in which efficiently allows CEED to market, recruit and enroll entrepreneurs to the network.


3.    How to run a peer-to-peer group

Peer groups are regular facilitated meet ups where entrepreneurs are able to share their challenges and hear experiences from others who have had and overcome those challenges.  Facilitating the peer group is critical to creating an environment of trust and professionalism to allow entrepreneurs to get the most out of the get together. CEED staffers received a bottle of CEED’s ‘secret sauce’ from Andrej Šolinc, CEO of CEED Slovenia and Alja Gajsek, Program Manager, two of the masterminds who helped craft CEED’s peer-to-peer groups in Slovenia. Andrej and Alja did not hold back any tips or tricks for how to create, curate, and facilitate CEED peer-to-peer groups. Much of what makes the discussions successful happens before the meet up begins by setting agreed upon ground rules and knowing how to manage potentially difficult situations before they arise.


4.    CEED by the Numbers

The final day of the meet-up started with an overview of CEED by the numbers, in which CEED’s Global Impact and Learning Manger, Brianna Losoya-Evora presented the results of CEED’s 2018 Global Entrepreneur Survey. In the survey we learned that:

    • At a minimum, CEED entrepreneurs added 1,400 full-time, high-quality jobs in 2018.
    • CEED boasts a net promoter score of 78, with CEED Slovenia, CEED Kosovo, and CEED Tunisia leading the pack.
    • 68% of CEED Global enterprises saw increased revenues in 2018 compared to 2017, with 23% of entrepreneurs meeting the OECD definition of high-growth enterprises.
    • Two-thirds of respondents said CEED helped them grow as a leader.
    • On average 33% of CEED enterprises have women on the founding team.

CEED hopes to build on this success in the next year by presenting each center with a detailed report analyzing what factors may have contributed to satisfied CEEDers and which aspects could be improved.


5.    Connecting with colleagues

It would not be a CEED meet-up without a scavenger hunt, bonding over team dinner, and karaoke. The scavenger hunt began at Impact Hub Vienna, ventured into Naschmarkt, where CEED staffers were instructed to find an entrepreneur and identify a CEED program for them, and ended with a foot race to historical landmark, Café Pruckell.  Just as we see community building among the entrepreneurs as an important part of making CEED’s network a special one, we aim to create a similar community with our staff to ensure that we share best practices and lessons learned amongst a trusted group throughout the year.



You can follow CEED’s journey in Vienna on social media using #CEEDinWien and following @ceedglobal on Twitter.