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Ljubljana, 16 January 2013 – CEED Slovenia – Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development as a part of the Conference »Leadership & Entrepreneurship Days«, held in Slovenia, invited Jeff Hoffman, the founder and manager of several U.S. companies (Priceline, u-Bid, etc.). During the all-day Conference, held on Tuesday, Jeff Hoffman addressed the Slovenian entrepreneurs and managers on how to build breakthrough companies. Since Hoffman is also a counselor to the »President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship«, he was invited by CEED, American Chamber of Commerce – Amcham Slovenia and the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia to address the Slovenian business public, the representatives of state institutions and the entrepreneurial supportive environment on how to promote entrepreneurial mentality and how to build a better breakthrough environment. The key partners of CEED leadership and entrepreneurial days were Studio Moderna and BCSocial.

To Achieve a Breakthrough with Passion, Dedication and Hard Work

Jeff Hoffman addressed more than 200 entrepreneurs and managers on how to make a breakthrough. »Over 70 % of all the jobs in the world according to ILO are enabled by small and medium – sized enterprises for which the development and promotion of entrepreneurship is of key significance also in Slovenia. There are lots of excellent business ideas and individuals in Slovenia, but only a few manage to make a breakthrough success!« were the introductory words in the speech by Barbara Bregar-Mrzlikar, Director of CEED Slovenia, announcing the visit of Jeff Hoffman to Slovenia. In Hoffman` s opinion, a breakthrough can happen only if someone really wishes to change something. However, only a wish, an excellent idea or big dreams are not enough. The key is also in the realization which brings hard work, dedication, sacrifices and failures. Successes and failures stimulate one` s own purpose and passion for carrying out goals even more. The purpose is more important than money as one also when not creating money persists in searching new solutions. In order to survive many ups and downs, it is important to be surrounded with the right people, including the mentors. »Without mentors, I would not be where I am today«, explained Hoffman. Simon Devonshire nicely added to the thought by saying that he believes that the best mentors are for the most part one` s coevals dealing with similar challenges and issues. »The entrepreneurs will definitely learn most from them«, pointed out the Director of Wayra Europe, the largest accelerator for start-up companies in the world, currently opening its center in Prague. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that such enterprise networks as CEED, where entrepreneurs are encouraged to share their experience and help, exist.

With Open Communication and Cooperation to a Breakthrough Society

On Wednesday, Jeff Hoffman discussed the topic with successful Slovenian entrepreneurs, managers and representatives of state institutions and entrepreneurial supporting environment. As a counselor to the »President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship«, he led a discussion in which 25 countries were involved on the importance of entrepreneurship and prepared a proposal of activities in this field, which was also introduced by the White House on the G8 Summit. He therefore excelled as a great partner in the question on how to develop breakthrough entrepreneurial mentality and how to encourage breakthrough potential in the Slovenian society. »We, at the AmCham Slovenia, are proud to have supported the visit by Jeff Hoffman, because we believe that it is crucial in these times to gain motivation and awaken the entrepreneurial mentality in the wider environment. A breakthrough needs stories of success and Jeff Hoffman experienced them himself as an entrepreneur. He is furthermore willing to help to co-create them in the American environment and is therefore aware of challenges and the need for a supportive environment for entrepreneurship. His views and advices on how to restart Slovenia as a success story, is certainly precious and I wish that we would all learn how to listen to well-intentioned advices«, said mag. Ajša Vodnik, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce – Amcham Slovenia.

»For obtaining a breakthrough society you must ensure that the breakthrough power you have already had is exposed as a winner. At the same time, the global perspective, open communication and cooperation of all sharers of the society are significant, since they all need to set up a vision of what kind of Slovenia they wish to have in the future. I can see that there is enough power in your society. It is important that it cumulates and in a focused manner begins to strive towards a common goal. The state must ensure a competitive environment, adjusted also to small-sized enterprises, whereas more experienced entrepreneurs and managers in large companies should pay attention to mentoring. At the same time it is necessary to have an education system that will develop confident individuals who dare to dream and with actions lead their dreams to realization«, is convinced Hoffman.

Jeff Hoffman also addressed the media representatives as he believes that they also have to contribute to the creation of a breakthrough entrepreneurial environment and with their writing and stories have to create atmosphere of hope and belief that it is possible to succeed.