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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.

    Circular economy

  • Upgrade to the circular economy
    28/11 11:14 CET

    Upgrade to the circular economy

    In Dublin, Ireland, like everywhere else in the world, electronics consumption is growing rapidly, as is the associated waste. But one small business, MicroPro, has turned this into a business…

  • Last summer, the European Commission published a series of proposals aiming to increase recycling rates in the EU. Some measures will be mandatory in order to boost the transition towards the circular economy.
  • The environmental impact of conventional computer manufacture is unacceptably high:
  • - Global warming: the manufacture of ICT equipment, its use and disposal accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions which is equivalent to the aviation industry (Gartner 2007).
  • - Fossil fuel dependency: 75% of PC fossil fuel consumption has already happened before the computer is even switched on for the first time.
  • - Resource Scarcity – manufacture of one PC requires about 1.7 tonnes of raw materials and water, and consumes over ten times the computer's weight in fossil fuels.
  • - Electronic Equipment Waste - worldwide disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has increased exponentially (Ongondo et al 2011), with an estimated 40-50 million tonnes of WEEE generated annually worldwide (Guan et al 2007; Schluep et al 2009).

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    SMEs: Seizing Global opportunities

  • European SMEs' expertise fuelling growth in Malaysia
    14/11 11:43 CET

    European SMEs' expertise fuelling growth in Malaysia

    Malaysia, at the heart of the ASEAN group of nations, is ranked among the world's top 15 most competitive countries. It has become a ==magnet for European SMEs== from a wide range of sectors keen…

  • - Entering third country markets is proportionally more difficult for SMEs than for large companies. At present, only about 9.7 % of the manufacturing SMEs export goods to countries outside the EU.
  • - SMEs exploring global markets are more competitive, since they also tend to be more productive, more innovative and more skill intensive.
  • - The European Commission proposes to explore the need for policy measures specifically targeted to these companies which have the potential to operate in the markets outside the EU.

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    EU Financial instruments

  • How to get financing for a start up with no credit history
    31/10 11:11 CET

    How to get financing for a start up with no credit history

    Business Planet looks at what EU Financial Instruments for small and medium sized enterprises are, and how they work. 3Top is a tiny enterprise founded by two colleagues in July 2011 with just…

  • - The European Union supports entrepreneurs and businesses with a wide range of EU programmes facilitating access to loans, lease finance, guarantees and equity financing through financial institutions.
  • - By facilitating access to leasing by SMEs, EU programmes stimulates key investments and thus growth of enterprises.
  • - The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013) helped to mobilise more than €16 billion of loans and lease finance as well as €2.8 billion of venture capital to over 311,000 SMEs in Europe.
  • - From 2014 to 2020, the COSME programme will help up to 330 000 European SMEs by mobilising up to €25 billion of finance.

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    Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs

  • Entrepreneurs find a helping hand through Erasmus
    17/10 12:02 CET

    Entrepreneurs find a helping hand through Erasmus

    The Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs programme has been going for five years. During this time it has enabled nearly 3,000 participants to learn from the experience of others who have set up their…

  • - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a simple but powerful concept. A new or aspiring entrepreneur is hosted by an experienced entrepreneur in another country for up to six months. They collaborate, exchange ideas and contribute to each other's ventures.
  • - Launched in 2009 the programme has a proven track record in creating new businesses and jobs. At least 5,000 entrepreneurs have already benefitted and the scheme as received almost 9,000 applications.
  • - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs – where 'young' refers to amount of experience and not to age - contributes directly to the creation of new companies. More than a third of the aspiring entrepreneurs have actually taken the step towards the realisation of their business idea.
  • - Experienced entrepreneurs say that the programme helped them boost their businesses: 60% declare benefitting from new ideas or technical know-how, tapping into new markets and increasing turnover.
  • - By 2020 its estimated the funding of COSME programme will allow for as much as 0,000 placements. The programme is being implemented by around 180 local business support organisations, across all sectors.

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Previous editions

  1. Mum's the word: 'Mompreneurs' find the right balance
  2. Making the most of the net effect
  3. The business benefits of EU chemical regulation
  4. Help at hand: making the most of EU financial support tools
  5. Power to the people with renewable energy cooperation
  6. Spain's Lerida cluster entrepreneurs boost international sales
  7. How to get EU funds to grow your SME
  8. Italian Dolomites: not just for profit
  9. Educating entrepreneurs: university support for budding business leaders
  10. Sweet success in Dublin, the experience of being an entrepreneur
  11. Micro-management: why small businesses are flourishing in Latvia
  12. Kick start Korea
  13. Turning Japanese: European SMEs' eastern 'Gateway' to new markets
  14. The angels on entrepreneurs' shoulders
  15. Turning a troubled textile hub into a thriving business cluster
  16. Business Planet: Boom in Bilbao as entrepreneurs schooled
  17. Lean and green: Ecostars inspires competitiveness and fuel efficiency
  18. Boosting exports through networking
  19. Cashing in on culture - how businesses make money from Europe's history
  20. Get bigger, go public: SMEs launching on the stock exchange
  21. KETS: transforming innovation into competitive product
  22. Finding the right leader
  23. Clusters: powerful engines of economic development in Europe
  24. Greece: cooperatives wage war on recession and unemployment
  25. Two's Company in Belgium
  26. Meet the EU's female ambassadors for business
  27. Micro-credit brings organic growth in Ireland
  28. EU grants for eco-innovation
  29. Wired to the world
  30. Venture capital, a risky business?
  31. Go green, get growing
  32. Cooperative and competitive
  33. Incubating Spanish business
  34. Boosting Women Entrepreneurs
  35. Meeting targets
  36. Business parties in Swedish countryside
  37. Greek business clusters together to find strength in numbers
  38. Women entrepreneurs could be answer to crisis
  39. Taking business into Welsh schools
  40. Inheriting a business: how to make it a success
  41. New 'business hotel' scheme revives French region
  42. Setting up business in Latvia
  43. Business Planet battles bankruptcies
  44. Protecting the environment can be profitable
  45. Helping minorities into the EU job market
  46. Financing for the future
  47. Green light for green clusters
  48. Rising to new challenges
  49. Promoting female entrepreneurs
  50. Eco-labels: a smart strategy
  51. Moving on smoothly as companies change hands
  52. Angel dust magic for SMEs
  53. The Great Call of China
  54. How to protect your IPR in China
  55. Giving and receiving: social enterprise in Europe
  56. Erasmus: a win-win deal
  57. Recycling tyres: road to success
  58. How JEREMIE helped a Maltese company take wing
  59. 1,2,3, GO! Coaching and business development for innovative start-ups
  60. New energy and new directions in Bulgaria
  61. Business networks provide strength through unity