* Promising projects to kick-start new businesses in Europe
Some outstanding initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and generate interest in new businesses and jobs recently competed in national competitions for a chance to represent their country in the 2013 European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Out of several hundred candidates, 19 projects were shortlisted from among 53 applicants in six categories, including the new category: "Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency", where the Cypriot public joint venture GreenDot was shortlisted for its national recycling programme.
The Awards scheme received entries from 26 EU countries – including new member state Croatia – as well as Turkey and Serbia. Winners for each of the six categories will be announced by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani at the SME Assembly on November 25 in Vilnius, Lithuania. One project will also receive the prestigious Grand Jury Prize.
Since 2006, over 2,500 projects have entered the Awards scheme and have supported the creation of well over 10,000 new companies.
Boost Your Talent (BYT) (Belgium) promotes entrepreneurial spirit, focusing on schools and other youth organisations in central Brussels having trained 8,316 students between late 2008 and April 2013.
The Student Enterprise Awards Programme (Ireland) provides students with an opportunity to gain business and entrepreneurial skills in a practical real-life scenario.
An initiative undertaken by the Municipality of Wroclaw Economic Development Office (Poland) involved the production and performance of a play entitled “The fairy-tale about Janek, the entrepreneur and his foolish brothers.”
The MyCity learning entity is a miniature city in Finland, built from mobile wall elements, which includes 15 different local and regional enterprises and public services.
Women-owned businesses are still a minority in Serbia, representing only 26% of all SMEs, which is why many women turn to the Association of Business Women in Serbia (ABW).
The Premier League Charitable Fund (U.K.) was set up to help teach 11-19 year olds the basic principles of business and self-employment through 20 football clubs. In all, 135,000 pupils took part in its first two years, with more than 1,500 securing university entry-level qualifications.
INVESTING IN SKILLS
Vokstfabrikkerne (The Growth Factories, Denmark) is a business incubation programme launched in January 2010, with ten incubators spread throughout the region of Zealand, in cooperation with a regional university.
Senior Enterprise (Ireland) is designed to encourage a greater involvement with enterprise by those aged 50 and over.
The purpose of Junior Achievement (JA) Serbia is to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise and understand business and economics.
The Belgium Starters Agreement helps both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs enter into a starter’s agreement with the City of Ghent to draft a business plan, appeal for professional advice and specialist guidance, follow training and development courses and to continue an independent business activity for at least three years.
Incredibol!, Bologna’s Creative Innovation project, supports creative professions in Emilia-Romagna through cash contributions, workspaces and a network of public and private partners that provide services to its award winners.
Think Small First was developed by the Latvian Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to help micro-enterprises by promoting the creation of a special tax rate and simplified tax accounting system, and introducing a micro-credit programme.
Investment and Business Guarantees (INVEGA Lithuania), provides guarantees to credit institutions for loans taken by representatives of SMEs for business start-up or expansion and compensates SMEs with 50% of interest paid.
International Relays employs country experts to develop companies in Champagne-Ardenne for exportation (France), enabling them to implement a long-term commercial development strategy.
The Portuguese footwear industry exports more than 95% of its output and APICCAPS, a national business association has taken various measures to promote Portuguese footwear and 120 SMEs at professional events globally, including a campaign with the slogan Portuguese Shoes: Designed by the Future.
GREEN MARKETS AND EFFICIENCY
Green Dot (Cyprus) Public Co Ltd www.greendot.com.cy is an initiative formed by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry to cater for the management of packaging under the Producer Responsibility principles. Green Dot Cyprus began national household recycling collection in 2007 and it has grown to cover 85% of the population within five years. Cypriots have responded positively to the service and the overall recycling rate has doubled in 2006 - 2012. The organisation created more than 200 new green jobs and has allowed the local recycling companies to grow and enhance their long term sustainability.
In the Town of Gürsu (Turkey), four innovative applications have been configured, tested and applied. A photovoltaic solar energy plant was developed and Gürsu is now known for using clean solar energy in all of its service areas. Since the project began, Gürsu has obtained 40% of its electricity needs from the sun in the five months of winter and 100% in the seven summer months.
Entrepreneurship in Denmark aims to improve the creation, survival and growth of companies owned by people of different ethnic origins.
AV mobilita s.r.o. (Slovakia): is a sheltered workshop specialising in integrating disabled people into all areas of life.
Get all the latest news and videos in your inbox. Register FREE