SMEs

Economy & Jobs 12-12-2017

Stockholm mayor: Cohesion policy is strongest form of EU solidarity

Stockholm produces more billion dollar companies than any other place outside Silicon Valley and the European Commission recently proclaimed it Europe's most innovative region. Mayor Karin Wanngård explained how her city hangs onto its talent and why it is such a popular breeding ground for 'unicorns'.
Cybersecurity 22-05-2017

EU cybersecurity agency seeks funds and power to police attacks

The EU cybersecurity agency ENISA will get a makeover in September when the European Commission renews its mandate and presents a batch of new cybersecurity measures. The director of the Athens-based agency has been asking for a bigger budget to deal with the rise in attacks on internet-connected devices.

Moedas: ‘Countries that increased spending in R+D better weathered the crisis’

Innovation was a top priority for the world's most powerful nations at the G20 meeting last September, in Hangzhou. However, Europe still has some “negative trends” to address, says Commissioner Carlos Moedas.

Fabien de Castilla: Business waste recycling has enormous potential

Only around ten companies currently collect waste from SMEs in France. New laws oblige businesses to separate their waste paper, but big change will not come without bigger incentives, Fabien de Castilla told EURACTIV’s partner La Tribune.

Universal basic income paid by a ‘robot tax’ is a bad idea

Although the digitalisation of industry is a top priority among EU decision makers, Europe should not be concerned about job losses caused by growing automation. Instead, member states should teach the new generations the skills required for a digital future, believes the VDMA chief, Thilo Brodtman.

Norwegian minister: ‘We have the same rights and duties as EU member states’

Although Norway is not an EU member, it has agreed on a voluntary contribution of €2.8 billion to promote economic and social cohesion in poorer Eastern European countries. “It’s a win-win situation,” explains Elisabeth Aspaker who adds: “It’s not a rule that we should get something back."
Digital 11-12-2015

More needs to be done to ‘sell’ Juncker Plan, confesses Katainen

The European Commission's investment plan has been one of its biggest priorities this year. Now that the legal skeleton is in place, its political pilot, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, recognised that he has to redouble efforts to ‘sell’ the package.
Transport 18-11-2015

Award-winning entrepreneur: Small start-ups need monthly VAT refunds

Being a small start-up with limited funds, a monthly VAT refund could make a big difference to cash flow, said award-winning young entrepreneur.
Languages & Culture 05-05-2015

Language technologist: Europe needs a language infrastructure, not just Google Translate

Europe's language industry has lost ground to American technology companies. But it still has a chance to offer better services, says Jochen Hummel.

Fund chief: Public finance changes role in crisis

Worsening finance conditions for smaller companies have highlighted a growing need for strategic pan-European efforts. This is why the European Investment Fund is now expanding its role as investor, says Richard Pelly, EIF chief executive.
Brexit 03-10-2011

Boston Group head: Bridge gap in internet economy with policy for growth

New data shows that Europe's most crisis-riven countries are suffering from a deficit of internet connectedness. There is no simple solution, but governments need to encourage better infrastructure and engagement, says David Dean, because without the web, growth will not come easily. 
Brexit 28-09-2011

Envoy: SME funds will not be sector specific

The EU executive and member states should be forced to consider the impact that their laws will have on SMEs before they introduce them, according to Daniel Calleja Crespo, the EU's SME envoy. He also confirmed that extra financing with the EU's new budget will be targeted at any type of SME which has a growth potential and will not only be reserved for innovative or research-led companies focusing on EU priorities.
Brexit 18-11-2010

Microsoft: Cloud computing heralds ‘technology revolution’

Europe's biggest competitive challenges for the future are "the two Ds" – debt levels in many countries and demographics or ageing populations, according to Jan Muehlfeit, Microsoft's chairman for Europe, who believes part of the solution lies in cloud computing.
Brexit 31-05-2010

Icelandic exporter: Crisis has restored competitiveness

When Kolbrún Eydís Ottósdóttir's employer left Iceland in 2006, she teamed up with colleagues to start her own health technology business. Despite the economic meltdown, their company continues to thrive and has seen export growth thanks to Iceland's improved competitiveness.
Brexit 28-05-2010

Business incubator: ‘Start-ups need protection’

Around 80% of start-ups at a business incubator in the south of Ireland are thriving five years after launch – a success rate far greater than is typical for new ventures. In an interview with EURACTIV, Josette O'Mullane, coordinator of the Genesis Enterprise Programme - shortlisted for the European Enterprise Awards - says the on-campus business centre provides new companies with a safety net while they find their feet.
Brexit 24-03-2010

Skills expert: Crisis hits job security and investment in training

The economic crisis is exacerbating Europe's skills crisis as some companies move away from secure employment and become less inclined to invest in skills, Olga Strietska-Ilina, a skills policy specialist at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), told EURACTIV in an interview.
Brexit 23-03-2010

VP: EIB likely to overshoot target on SME funding

The EU has stepped up its investment in the venture capital industry and will make a €1 billion fund available by the end of 2012, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen told EURACTIV in an interview.
Brexit 25-02-2010

Italian entrepreneur: ‘Erasmus scheme key to my new business’

Italian plastic surgeon Luca Poli, who benefited from the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, said the three months the spent shadowing a businesswoman in Spain were key to the success of his new clinic in Milan.
Brexit 24-02-2010

EU SME centre: India turning into green growth hub

A burgeoning middle class and expanding green industries make India an attractive proposition for expanding European firms. However, understanding local business culture and laws is the difference between success and failure, Poul Jensen, director of the European Business and Technology Centre, India, told EURACTIV in an interview.
Brexit 08-02-2010

Business group: EU’s new ’embassies’ could bat for SMEs

Europe's new External Action Service could serve as a first port-of-call for small businesses looking to gain a foothold in foreign markets, according to Adrian van den Hoven, director of international relations at BusinessEurope. In an interview with EURACTIV, he said SMEs face particular challenges in emerging markets like China, where protectionism and intellectual property rights pose major problems.
Brexit 02-02-2010

Eurochambres: Conclude Doha trade talks to boost recovery

A breakthrough in deadlocked world trade talks would be a major boon to European businesses and help companies to expand into emerging markets, according to Alessandro Barberis, president of Eurochambres, which represents EU chambers of commerce.
Brexit 15-12-2009

Business group: Action needed to prevent ‘W-shaped’ recession

Governments across Europe must do more to address late payments and access to credit, according to Andrea Benassi, secretary-general of UEAPME, a business lobby. He said SMEs fear a W-shaped recession as public deficits grow and nervy consumers choose to save rather than spend.
Brexit 12-10-2009

Businesswoman: Funding, brand awareness key for start-ups

Securing funds to produce and promote new products are essential to the survival of new businesses, says Helen Wooldridge, founder of Cuddledry Limited, who believes having her own business makes it easier to juggle work and family life.
Brexit 09-10-2009

EU business group: ‘Regulation must focus on access to finance’

Policymakers and financial actors in Europe have been at loggerheads about pending regulations to ensure that a financial crisis of this magnitude does not happen again and that taxpayers do not bear the costs. But regulation must be careful not to disconnect Europe's nascent recovery from sources of credit, BusinessEurope's chief economist Marc Stocker told EURACTIV in an interview.