European Commission: European SME Week to Boost Entrepreneurship in Difficult Times

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(CC) kitty b wonderful/Flickr

(CC) kitty b wonderful/Flickr

Promoting entrepreneurship and raising awareness about business support are the main goals of the first European SME Week. More than 1000 events are taking place in 35 countries from 6 to 14 May. Today, more than ever, the contribution of European entrepreneurs to preserving jobs and creating new ones needs to be recognized and supported. The event will also allow entrepreneurs to access information, advice, support and ideas available at European, national, regional and local levels to help them develop their activities.

Policies to promote SMEs have been a primary concern of the European Commission since it took office in 2004. Its initiatives have included:

– Anchoring the “Think Small First” principle in the EU.

– Cutting the administrative burden: SMEs have and will benefit from simplified measures and administrative costs savings. The Commission’s objective is to reduce administrative burdens on businesses by 25% by 2012, and to engage the active supports of Member States in this task.

– Revised state aid rules make it easier for SMEs to benefit from public funding for training, research and development, environmental protection and other types of aid.

– A new statute for a European Private Company will allow SMEs to start up and operate according to harmonized company law provisions throughout Europe.

– To encourage new entrepreneurs and inspire those planning to set up a new business, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs European exchange program was launched at the beginning of 2009. The program helps young entrepreneurs acquire relevant skills for managing an SME by spending time working in another EU country under the tutelage of an experienced entrepreneur.

See the press release here

For more information about SME Week, click here.