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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.

    Investing in entrepreneurship education

  • The gentle art of branding
    12/12 11:10 CET

    The gentle art of branding

    One of the challenges facing Europe is developing education for entrepreneurs. And in Bulgaria, for some years now they have been training young people to create and protect their brands at European level. It's a real success story. For example, for the past year…

  • - Investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return investments Europe can make and key for a job-rich recovery.
  • - Research shows that pupils and students that participated in entrepreneurship education are 3 to 6 times more likely to start a business at some point later in life than those who do not receive entrepreneurship education.
  • - Promoting entrepreneurial education and training to support growth and business creation is one of the European Union priorities.
  • - The winner of the 2014 European Enterprise Promotion Awards in 'Investing in skills' category - the Brandiko project - comes from Bulgaria.
  • - Brandiko targets students, training them to create and protect brands, an essential task for a business which wants to establish customer recognition and avoid being crowded out of the market by imitators.

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    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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Previous editions

  1. Entrepreneurs find a helping hand through Erasmus
  2. Mum's the word: 'Mompreneurs' find the right balance
  3. Making the most of the net effect
  4. The business benefits of EU chemical regulation
  5. Help at hand: making the most of EU financial support tools
  6. Power to the people with renewable energy cooperation
  7. Spain's Lerida cluster entrepreneurs boost international sales
  8. How to get EU funds to grow your SME
  9. Italian Dolomites: not just for profit
  10. Educating entrepreneurs: university support for budding business leaders
  11. Sweet success in Dublin, the experience of being an entrepreneur
  12. Micro-management: why small businesses are flourishing in Latvia
  13. Kick start Korea
  14. Turning Japanese: European SMEs' eastern 'Gateway' to new markets
  15. The angels on entrepreneurs' shoulders
  16. Turning a troubled textile hub into a thriving business cluster
  17. Business Planet: Boom in Bilbao as entrepreneurs schooled
  18. Lean and green: Ecostars inspires competitiveness and fuel efficiency
  19. Boosting exports through networking
  20. Cashing in on culture - how businesses make money from Europe's history
  21. Get bigger, go public: SMEs launching on the stock exchange
  22. KETS: transforming innovation into competitive product
  23. Finding the right leader
  24. Clusters: powerful engines of economic development in Europe
  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
  62. Greece: cooperatives wage war on recession and unemployment