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Small and medium sized companies are the engine of Europe's economy, accounting for 80% of European jobs created in the last five years. In Business Planet, we talk to those entrepreneurs who have succeeded and find out how they did it.
  • Today, around 6-7% of the EU economy is dependent on the availability of global navigation satellite signals. The market for satellite navigation services has been growing steadily and is expected to be worth EUR 250 billion per year by 2022.
  • The goal of the EU’s satellite navigation programmes Galileo and EGNOS is to achieve operational independence with respect to other global navigation satellite systems and mobilise the economic and strategic advantages this independence offers.
  • To encourage SMEs and regions to develop commercial applications using Galileo and EGNOS, the European Commission in partnership with the European Satellite Navigation Awards (ESNC) established the Galileo-EGNOS Prize Award Scheme (GEPAS).
  • The start-up Igeolise won the regional European Satellite Navigation Competition in 2012 in the UK. This competition was the breakthrough for the company and opened new business opportunities for them.

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    The e-bike industry in Europe

  • Schweinfurt: European home of electric bikes
    11/07 08:30 CET

    Schweinfurt: European home of electric bikes

    This week in Business Planet, we’re in Schweinfurt in Germany, the European home of the electric bike. How to make the most of the e-bike boom? What

  • - The manufacturing of electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, is an increasingly important industry sector in the EU. With over 70.000 employees, this sector is becoming one of the largest employer of the EU green industries.
  • - Many manufacturers are still SMEs producing a variety of powered bikes, with innovative design and technology.
  • - The EU has collaborated with these manufacturers to come up with cost effective approval measures, that allow the industry to develop safe, innovative and high quality e-bikes.

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  • - In the EU, 60% of total waste is currently not recycled, composted or reused. This represents an enormous leakage of valuable resources (Eurostat).
  • - 44% of large companies in the EU sell their scrap material to another company. However, only 24% of SMEs do so (Flash Eurobarometer on SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets, 341).
  • - In an industrial symbiosis, the waste of one enterprise can be used as a resource by another one. This local collaboration allows public and private enterprises to buy and sell residual products, which brings mutual economic and environmental benefits.
  • - Industrial symbiosis helps valorise by-products within the EU, replacing the need to import natural resources. For example, in the Kalundborg symbiosis, approximately 150,000 tonnes of gypsum is recycled from desulphurisation of flue gas (SO2), which replaces the need to import natural gypsum (CaSO4). The symbiosis also allows to:
  •   - reduce CO2 emission by 275.000 tons each year;
      - save 3 million m3 of water through recycling and reuse;
      - convert 30.000 tons of straw to 5,4 million litres of ethanol;
      - replace 150.000 tons of yeast by 70% of soy protein in traditional feed mix for more than 800.000 pigs.
  • - SMEs can benefit from their inclusion into industrial symbiosis by getting access to new materials at competitive prices, by reducing the consumption of resources through collaboration with other companies or by offering solutions to symbiotic systems.

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  • - Trade of goods in the Single Market represents over 20% of the European GDP - around a quarter of the 20 million European SMEs trade with other EU countries.
  • - The Enterprise Europe Network offers free services to European SMEs to make more out of the Single Market; finding distributors, licensing new technologies, getting advice on European funding or legislation.
  • - The network representatives advise and support individual SMEs according to their individual needs through their experience and their contacts. Their database contains thousands of company profiles. SMEs can meet potential business partners in person at matchmaking events.
  • - The Enterprise Europe Network is made up of over 600 business support organisations. Organisations cover every single country of the EU and more than 20 countries outside the EU.

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Previous editions

  1. Hong Kong hub: opening up Asian markets to European SMEs
  2. Riga at the heart of Europe's digital revolution
  3. Delve into digital: tapping into Europe's online start-up potential
  4. What is social innovation and why is it good for business?
  5. Inspired industry: Creative Wallonia's recipe for success
  6. The gentle art of branding
  7. Upgrade to the circular economy
  8. European SMEs' expertise fuelling growth in Malaysia
  9. How to get financing for a start up with no credit history
  10. Entrepreneurs find a helping hand through Erasmus
  11. Mum's the word: 'Mompreneurs' find the right balance
  12. Making the most of the net effect
  13. The business benefits of EU chemical regulation
  14. Help at hand: making the most of EU financial support tools
  15. Power to the people with renewable energy cooperation
  16. Spain's Lerida cluster entrepreneurs boost international sales
  17. How to get EU funds to grow your SME
  18. Italian Dolomites: not just for profit
  19. Educating entrepreneurs: university support for budding business leaders
  20. Sweet success in Dublin, the experience of being an entrepreneur
  21. Two's Company in Belgium
  22. Meet the EU's female ambassadors for business
  23. Micro-credit brings organic growth in Ireland
  24. EU grants for eco-innovation
  25. Wired to the world
  26. Venture capital, a risky business?
  27. Go green, get growing
  28. Cooperative and competitive
  29. Incubating Spanish business
  30. Boosting Women Entrepreneurs
  31. Meeting targets
  32. Business parties in Swedish countryside
  33. Greek business clusters together to find strength in numbers
  34. Women entrepreneurs could be answer to crisis
  35. Taking business into Welsh schools
  36. Inheriting a business: how to make it a success
  37. New 'business hotel' scheme revives French region
  38. Setting up business in Latvia
  39. Business Planet battles bankruptcies
  40. Protecting the environment can be profitable
  41. Helping minorities into the EU job market
  42. Financing for the future
  43. Green light for green clusters
  44. Rising to new challenges
  45. Promoting female entrepreneurs
  46. Eco-labels: a smart strategy
  47. Moving on smoothly as companies change hands
  48. Angel dust magic for SMEs
  49. The Great Call of China
  50. How to protect your IPR in China
  51. Giving and receiving: social enterprise in Europe
  52. Erasmus: a win-win deal
  53. Recycling tyres: road to success
  54. How JEREMIE helped a Maltese company take wing
  55. 1,2,3, GO! Coaching and business development for innovative start-ups
  56. New energy and new directions in Bulgaria
  57. Business networks provide strength through unity
  58. Greece: cooperatives wage war on recession and unemployment
  59. Clusters: powerful engines of economic development in Europe
  60. Finding the right leader
  61. KETS: transforming innovation into competitive product
  62. Get bigger, go public: SMEs launching on the stock exchange
  63. Cashing in on culture - how businesses make money from Europe's history
  64. Boosting exports through networking
  65. Lean and green: Ecostars inspires competitiveness and fuel efficiency
  66. Business Planet: Boom in Bilbao as entrepreneurs schooled
  67. Turning a troubled textile hub into a thriving business cluster
  68. The angels on entrepreneurs' shoulders
  69. Turning Japanese: European SMEs' eastern 'Gateway' to new markets
  70. Kick start Korea
  71. Micro-management: why small businesses are flourishing in Latvia