CEEMAN Research Partners Visit Bled for Joint Work on Hidden Champion Project
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Following the open call for cooperation in February, IEDC-Bled School of Management and CEEMAN have gathered a diverse group of research partners from numerous universities and other institutions from 22 countries to research the Hidden Champions phenomenon in their nations’ economies. On 21 and 22 May, our partners from 11 countries visited us in Bled to take part in the first research meeting and thus marked the successful start of the second discussion on this fascinating topic: Hidden Champions in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe.

Hidden Champions are highly successful, but not very well-known innovative small and medium-sized companies. They are among the global top-three in terms of market share in their respective niche or the leader on their continent. Furthermore, the survival rate of Hidden Champions is often significantly higher than the average in their respective sector. Hidden Champions also boast the tendency to be very competitive in their markets and exhibit a consistent growth trajectory as well as an above-average innovation rate. It is because of these fascinating and compelling traits that academia strives to determine why these businesses in particular are thriving.

At the start of their two days at the premises of IEDC-Bled School of Management, our research partners were cordially welcomed by CEEMAN President Prof. Danica Purg. The leading researcher, CEEMAN IQA Director Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić, presented the project background to the participants. This was followed by teambuilding and a welcome dinner with a view of beautiful Lake Bled. The second day was devoted to discussions of the project’s research protocol led by Dr. Braček Lalić. Representatives of our funding partner, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, also took the floor to share their wishes and ideas for the upcoming months of diligent work, and business experts joined the meeting via conference call to share their insights about Hidden Champions. The research meeting concluded with a speech by CEEMAN Director Olga Veligurska and a reception at the premises of IEDC-Bled School of Management.

We are looking forward to the results of these joint research efforts and sharing their useful insights with the entire CEEMAN community! Interim findings will be presented at a specially dedicated session on 19 September in Prague, before the 26th CEEMAN Annual Conference

Should you have any inquiries regarding the project, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić at and Ms. Livija Marko at

First Meeting of Hidden Champions Researchers

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