Hidden Champions Meetings in Slovenia and China
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With the meeting of Hidden Champions research partners in Bled successfully concluded, October continues to be a key month for the Hidden Champions projects CEEMAN is involved in. Today, the symposium “Hidden Champions in the Connected World” is opening at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

Following the first meeting of Hidden Champions researchers in May 2018, 27 participants of the ambitious research project spanning 24 countries gathered in Bled, Slovenia on 15-16 October to report on their progress in the past months. The main aim of the meeting was to compare data and discuss the findings they have come to so far in order to proceed with the research and cross-country analysis that will be published next year. We thank all participants for a fruitful and inspiring meeting!

Moving away from Bled and Europe, another important Hidden Champions activity will take place in China. The joint symposium of CEEMAN and the National Institute for Innovation Management, “Hidden Champions in the Connected World“ is opening today and will focus on the factors that lead companies around the world to a very particular kind of success. The event is chaired by Prof. Xiaobo Wu, Director of the National Institute for Innovation Management and Prof. Danica Purg, CEEMAN President and Dean of IEDC-Bled School of Management, and we are delighted that seven research partners from the Hidden Champions research project will be attending this event thanks to a scholarship granted by NIIM.

Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić, Prof. Danica Purg and Prof. Hermann Simon at the Hidden Champions symposium in Hangzhou

Hidden Champions are highly successful and innovative but not very well-known 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. The term of "Hidden Champions" was developed by Prof. Hermann Simon, German author, business leader and one of the keynote speakers at the Symposium in China.

Prof. Simon’s methodology was used in the 2011 publication on Hidden Champions in CEE, SEE and Turkey in which 15 research teams identified 130 countries to be such Hidden Champions. 

For further information concerning the Hidden Champions research project, please contact Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić at and Mr. Artyom Ushnichkov at

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