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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.

    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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    European Enterprise Promotion Awards

  • Mum's the word: 'Mompreneurs' find the right balance
    03/10 15:06 CET

    Mum's the word: 'Mompreneurs' find the right balance

    Combining parenting with developing a fledgling business can be a daunting challenge. But help is at hand with the 'Mompreneur' phenomenon that originated in Hungary. Gazdagmami is a support…

  • - The 2014 Grand Jury Prize winner came from Hungary. The other six winners came from Lithuania, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Germany. Projects from the United Kingdom, Austria and Portugal also received Special Mentions from the EEPA jury.
  • - A record number of countries from across Europe, including all 28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Serbia and Turkey competed for the 2014 European Enterprise Promotion Awards in six categories and the Grand Jury Prize.
  • - Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded the most imaginative and successful initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships which support entrepreneurship, and small and medium sized enterprises at a national, regional and local level.
  • - Hundreds of projects take part in national competitions for a chance to represent their country in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards each year. Over 2,800 projects have entered since the awards were launched and together they have supported the creation of thousands of new companies.

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Previous editions

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