Small and medium companies are fragile, and it’s no wonder why the European Commission has ingrained the need to include them in large international research projects into its Funding Programme. Indeed, the more connexions and projects we get to be involved in the more stability we gain and the more we’re able to survive another year. Did you know SMEs generate more jobs than large companies? It’s easy to understand why their safety is priceless to drive economies in Europe and worldwide.
Unfortunately for us, Sparks & Co has fallen into bankruptcy in April 2018 and became one of those terrible stories you hear about successful SMEs that do not survive a rough patch. What happened to us is a fairly common but otherwise quite brutal phenomenon. Our agency grew suddenly in 2017, as we expanded our team from 3 to 12. This sudden growth was the result of our great success in communicating and dissemination European research since 2014. It was also what brought us down as such a quick expansion creates a risky situation for a young SME created from scratch.
I am genuinely heartbroken to see the product of my hard work burn down into flames. Sparks & Co was my impossible project in 2014 when I was only 25, and I never expected it would actually become anything. Every success was a big surprise: our Best Agency of the Year award, our 6 EU projects or our €1.4 million in funding. Every new team member to enter our closely held together group felt like I was adopting them myself as I trusted them with what I cherished the more in my life.
Life goes on whether I want it or not. I feel both proud that some members of my team have already been head-hunted thanks to their extraordinary expertise and skills, and torn apart to see them escape my world. Sparks & Co will be no more, but I remain confident that I proved a young team of driven individuals could disrupt this slow industry by offering high-quality standards in public relations and communications for European research. I hope my team will spread their knowledge further and share what we’ve learned, while I try myself to discover what lies ahead in my career.
Thank you to all of our brilliant partners, clients and providers, to whom we genuinely tried to give our best, who inspired us every day to make the world a better place using our own tools, and who I will truly miss. I wish I get to meet again with you in the next step.
Watch out for us, ashes can turn back into a phoenix!
Latest posts by Camille Cocaud (see all)
- Sparks can burn too hot sometimes - 24 April 2018
- Camille Cocaud, our CEO, is now an appointed expert evaluator to the European Commission! - 15 February 2018
- Two exclusive tips to win in the 2018-2020 Work Programme! - 29 November 2017