Regional Policy Makers in Europe Call for More Entrepreneurship

As with their colleagues across the globe, European Union leaders are keenly interested in entrepreneurial ecosystems and see the regional level as a good approach.

A recent release from the European Committee of the Regions:

With its new start-up and scale-up initiative the European Commission (EC) wants to give Europe’s innovative entrepreneurs every opportunity to grow and become successful worldwide, paying attention to the need for regionally interconnected EU-wide clusters and ecosystems.

” We have to work together and be even more ambitious and proactive if we want to build strong entrepreneurial ecosystems in our cities and regions. If companies find the right framework locally they can be successful globally. That’s why we need to create the right circumstances to allow the next generation of success stories to grow in Europe, stimulating growth and development across the entire Union “, said rapporteur Tadeusz Truskolaski (PL/EA), Mayor of Białystok.

Later, they offer a laundry list of policies:

Suggests to create new opportunities through:

  • Creating a start-up visa and a catalogue of conditions enabling a safe use of qualified intellectual and financial capital from third countries
  • Additional funding for start-ups to develop and protect intellectual property rights
  • Expanding the Enterprise Europe Network’s (EEN) range of services including advice on scaling up and cooperating more with local business incubators, science and technology parks
  • Creating a separate instrument dedicated to networking projects in less-developed regions
  • Encouraging new public procurement procedures exploiting the potential of start-ups and scale-ups

Welcomes the EC’s suggestions to facilitate access to finance through:

  • Establishing a European venture capital fund of funds
  • Creating innovation brokers linking buyers interested in innovative public procurement with innovative companies and helping them to access venture capital
  • Increasing the budget for COSME, the EU’s main instrument supporting the competitiveness of SMEs
  • Looking into the opportunities of and a regulatory framework for crowdfunding platforms

The piece goes on to mention three regions in Europe that have been recognized for their work building their entrepreneurial ecosystems.

To support regional entrepreneurship the CoR has created the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award that yearly identifies and rewards three EU regions which show an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy, irrespective of their size, wealth and competences. For this edition Central Macedonia, Ile de France and the Northern and Western Region of Ireland convinced the EER jury with their credible, forward-thinking and promising plan for the year 2018.

Entrepreneurship policy is the holy grail that all are searching for. The challenge, in my humble opinion, is that policy generally follows entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Not the other way around.

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