Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Mirela Alpeza, I come from Croatia.
What do you do regarding sales & acquisitions of SMEs?
I am a Director of CEPOR – SMEs & Entrepreneurship Policy Centre in Zagreb. CEPOR initiated many projects and activities aiming to raise awareness on the complexity and duration of business transfer process among entrepreneurs. Additionally, we aim to raise awareness among SME-supporting institutions and policy makers on the importance of building quality business transfer ecosystem.
Some of our latest activities include the preparation of a publication called: „Sleeping with One Eye Opened“, which includes research results on the challenges of growth through acquisitions of SMEs in Croatia; and a series of awareness raising workshops for entrepreneurs and business support organizations and consultants about business transfer.
I am also Full Professor at the UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship Education at Faculty of Economics in Osijek, J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek, Croatia.
I teach two courses: Family Business and Business Transfer of SMEs. Besides family business succession, the courses promote exit through sale of the business, becoming entrepreneur through business takeover and growth through acquisition.
What role do you play in the Transeo Board of Directors?
I have been actively involved in Transeo since 2014 and I have been a member of the Board of Directors since 2021. My role as a Board Member is to support advocacy activities of Transeo and coordinate the network of academic institutions which are Transeo members.
Where do you see Transeo in 5 years?
Transeo members come from a wide range of backgrounds and get to be involved in business transfer from different perspectives: consultants, bank representatives, policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics, business support organizations. Values shared among Transeo members include knowledge exchange and networking but also respectfulness, tolerance and kindness. I believe that more and more people appreciate those community values and would be interested in joining us. Therefore, I expect that Transeo will continue growing and will launch an increasing number of initiatives that will support the development of the European business transfer ecosystem.
What is the #1 challenge for business transfer in the future?
#1 challenge for business transfer is becoming a more appealing option for entrepreneurs when it comes to: starting a business (starting a business ‘from scratch’ is currently the preferred option among entrepreneurs and policy makers); growing a business (organic growth is currently the preferred option); and exiting a business (family succession is currently the preferred option, at least in Croatia). Our goal is to raise awareness about business transfer as an alternative and in many cases more suitable option.
Tell us about a fun fact or fun moment in Transeo.
The moments when we got the opportunity to host some of the Transeo members in Croatia are among my favourites. I also enjoyed being able to visit some of the Transeo member organisations and learn first-hand from their experiences.
Transeo enables one to have colleagues in almost all EU country, which is a great feeling.