Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Workshop 6: tech entrepreneurs: the path to success


ICT and web entrepreneurs have an enormous, recognised yet untapped potential of boosting the digital economy and transforming today’s society. Top job creators, key in the economic recovery, they deserve a favourable environment to develop innovative ideas starting up and flourish in Europe.

This workshop will take us further into discussion, brainstorming, development and validation of concrete measures to support European entrepreneurs. The conclusions of the previous editions of the Digital Agenda Assembly served to identify the needs of the ICT and web entrepreneurs. This year’s event gains a new context aligned with the work done within the web entrepreneurs' action plan, as we are moving from identifying needs to celebrating entrepreneurship and validating concrete new actions, undertaken by both entrepreneurs and stakeholders supporting them, including actors from accelerators, venture capitalist and crowdfunding networks. The event will be organised in collaboration with the Irish National Development and Research Centre (NDRC).

Search in discussions

How can Europe grasp the 60 billion APPortunity? Check it out at the Mobile World Congress

Next wednesday 26th in Barcelona, the European Commission is organising two sessions ( 1 , 2 ) at the MWC "4 years from now" event: “ Startup Europe Manifesto: making it happen ”.

Tax policies for entrepreneurs: who is getting it right?

One of the actions recommended in Startup Manifesto within its pillar Access to Capital is Tax share options as capital gains, not income . In Europe, individuals who receive share options in a company often have to pay ordinary income tax on these options, reducing their attractiveness as a mechanism for both attracting talent and rewarding risk-taking. Startup Manifesto recommend that share options offered by companies in Europe should be taxed as capital gains, not ordinary income.

How to breed and foster ICT and web enterprises

During the Workshop 6 “Tech entrepreneurs: the path to success of the Digital Agenda Assembly, held last 19th June 2013 in Dublin, a number of proposals and suggestions were made for initiatives that could improve the situation for tech and web entrepreneurs within the EU.

Workshop 6 in pictures!

/digital-agenda/en/file/9510WS6 - Digital-Hub-Morning-Session4468.jpg /digital-agenda/en/file/9511WS6 - Digital-Hub-Morning-Session-4653_1.jpg /digital-agenda/en/file/9512WS6 - Mid-Moring-Session-Digital-Hub-4683-640x960.jpg /digital-agenda/en/file/9513WS6 - Mid-Moring-Session-Digital-Hub-4712.jpg /digital-agenda/en/file/9514WS6 - Mid-Moring-Session-Digital-Hub-4722.jpg Workshop 6: the day in snapshots - panels and group photos

The Workshop is taking place now in Dublin!

The workshop on tech and web entrepreneurs is taking place in Dublin. Great presentations from inspiring tech-startups: follow the workshop on live at and contribute online with your thoughts and ideas! You can also participate via Twitter using #da13entre . We look forward to hearing your voice!

How can the European Commission and the Member states help existing innovative start-ups and fast-growing enterprises to scale up and become bigger companies?

Fast-growing enterprises are generally associated with knowledge intensive and innovative sectors of the economy and they are key players in creating new, high added value jobs as well as in boosting EU growth. According to the 2011 “Innovation Union Report”, in all European countries providing this data, high-growth enterprises represent less than 10 % of all enterprises, and young high-growth enterprises (less than five years old, also called ‘gazelles’) less than 1 %.

Why do so few Europeans set out to start their own business? How can more European digitally-skilled young people be convinced to become web and ICT entrepreneurs?

Each of us at some stage needs to make a decision as to what career path he/she is to undertake. The Eurobarometer Survey on Entrepreneurship 2012 found that 58% of Europeans would rather be an employee than self employed; more than half of those who have never run a business say that it never crossed their minds to do so. The current prolonged downturn, difficulties in accessing finance and the impediments imposed by non-business friendly regulatory environments are one side of the story.

How crucial is networking to helping tech and web entrepreneurs to grow and develop their business? Does it work better when services, skills, ideas, and competition are concentrated in hubs?

As pointed out by the Commission Staff Working Document on “Strengthening the environment for Web entrepreneurs in the EU” , there are many hubs across Europe, but only few of them are primary (i.e. major EU startup clusters from a global perspective) or secondary hubs (i.e. notable according to the maturity and development of the ecosystem). Moreover, these hubs are concentrated in a handful of selected cities (mainly in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Northern Member States).

Access to funding is a top issue for entrepreneurs. Should the public sector help to fuel tech entrepreneurship? If so, how?

Financial constraints are deemed to represent one the highest barriers for businesses looking to start up and grow in all sectors, and tech entrepreneurs are no exception to this. Although tech entrepreneurs often only need a modest investment to get their ideas off the ground and to put themselves on the right path for growth, they are also faced with high risks and are increasingly hindered by limited access to funding. How might this challenge be overcome?

- What are the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs and in particular by webentrepreneurs during the current economic crisis?

Entrepreneurs have to face numerous challenges on the road to success, in particular with regard to access to finance. We have seen in our previous discussions in the past editions of Digital Agenda Assembly the different bottlenecks that entrepreneurs have to overcome.