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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.
  • - Europe is home to some of the greatest fashion designers in the world. It also has many manufacturers with unique skills and know-how. Surprisingly, these two communities do not work together very often.
  • - The objective of the EU-funded WORTH project is to improve the cross-EU cooperation between small businesses, designers and other creative professions in Europe.
  • - With a budget of 1 million EUR, the project aim is to tear down the existing barriers, support innovation and improve cross-border collaboration in the EU Internal Market.
  • - 35 cross-border partnerships have already been established thanks to the EU Worth project. They have proven successful in creating new products, bringing new solutions to the market and discovering new technologies.

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  • 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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Previous editions

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