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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.
  • - Social innovation designates new solutions (products, services, models) that meet social needs or societal challenges more effectively than alternatives.
  • - Systemic change is sought in the long term with progressive shifts in the way our economies and societies operate and interact.
  • - There is no strict definition, since the field is expanding and touches upon various sectors (e.g. education, healthcare, inclusion, urban regeneration, transport or energy).
  • - It is about taking advantage of challenges to create new jobs or new types of jobs. It offers growth potential and positive externalities for societies and public budgets.
  • - This means to prove that social innovation is worth investing and to encourage more entrepreneurs, businesses, intermediaries, financial institutions to enter the field.

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  • - Two regions, Tuscany and Wallonia, were selected to set up European Creative Districts.
  • - The European Creative Districts aim to demonstrate the role that innovation in services and creative and cultural industries (CCI) can play in transforming a traditional industrial region by adding value to its economy through design, creativity and the contribution of cross-sectoral collaboration, in order to strengthen its position in global value chains.
  • - The Wallonia European Creative District is complementary to the Creative Wallonia programme set up by the Walloon government to stimulate the creative industries as a driver of the regional economy.
  • - The Wallonia European Creative District is testing and implementing actions aiming at supporting the CCIs and their spill-overs into the wider economy. The foreseen impacts are, on the one hand, the large-scale transformation of the regional economy into a modern, creative economy and, on the other hand, to bring creativity into companies' business development strategies.

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    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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Previous editions

  1. European SMEs' expertise fuelling growth in Malaysia
  2. How to get financing for a start up with no credit history
  3. Entrepreneurs find a helping hand through Erasmus
  4. Mum's the word: 'Mompreneurs' find the right balance
  5. Making the most of the net effect
  6. The business benefits of EU chemical regulation
  7. Help at hand: making the most of EU financial support tools
  8. Power to the people with renewable energy cooperation
  9. Spain's Lerida cluster entrepreneurs boost international sales
  10. How to get EU funds to grow your SME
  11. Italian Dolomites: not just for profit
  12. Educating entrepreneurs: university support for budding business leaders
  13. Sweet success in Dublin, the experience of being an entrepreneur
  14. Micro-management: why small businesses are flourishing in Latvia
  15. Kick start Korea
  16. Turning Japanese: European SMEs' eastern 'Gateway' to new markets
  17. The angels on entrepreneurs' shoulders
  18. Turning a troubled textile hub into a thriving business cluster
  19. Business Planet: Boom in Bilbao as entrepreneurs schooled
  20. Lean and green: Ecostars inspires competitiveness and fuel efficiency
  21. Boosting exports through networking
  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