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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.

    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.

Useful links

    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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    Enterprise Europe Network

  • Making the most of the net effect
    19/09 15:30 CET

    Making the most of the net effect

    In this edition of Business Planet we visit London and the Czech Republic to discover how to make the most of the Enterprise Europe Network, a contact group for thousands of SMEs linked through…

  • - Trade of goods in the Single Market represents over 20% of the European GDP. ¼ of Europe's 20 million SMEs trade with other EU countries.
  • - The Enterprise Europe Network offers free services and support to European SMEs to help them make the most of the Single Market. These include finding distributors, licensing new technologies, and getting advice on European funding or legislation.
  • - The network representatives advise and support individual SMES according to their specific 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 EU country and more than 20 countries outside the EU.

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Previous editions

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