The European Commisson is supporting mobility, connecting existing local ecosystems and web entrepreneurs across Europe, accelerating entrepreneurship by helping to create awareness about ICT services and careers, increasing access to ICT training, sharing and replicating best practices, and celebrating ICT and web entrepreneurship.
For this purpose, in 2013 we're launching a series of initiatives to improve the business and entrepreneurship landscape in Europe, notably strengthening the ICT sector, which is a driver of competitiveness and growth. These initiaves aim at joining forces with the public and private actors to help existing and new activities reach more people across the EU.
Filling the ICT jobs of today and tomorrow
The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is an EU wide multi-stakeholder partnership helping to address a shortfall in the number of European citizens with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professional skills and to exploit the employment creation potential of ICT. The European Commission seeks active collaboration in areas like industry-led training, assisting labour mobility, certifying skills, improving school and university curricula, and raising awareness among young people about ICT-related careers.
The European Commission wants also more to be done across Europe to inspire young women to get interested in pursuing ICT careers, since they are currently under-represented in the industry.
Our goal is to start to increase the supply of ICT practitioners by 2015, so as to ensure a sufficient number of them in Europe by 2020. The mandate of the Grand Coalition runs from 2013 to 2015 with a review foreseen at the end of this term.
Unleashing Europe's entrepreneurial potential
Running an online business is an increasingly attractive alternative to an office job, particularly for a new generation of young entrepreneurs.
These web entrepreneurs can have a major impact on the creation of high-quality jobs and growth throughout Europe - the "apps economy", for example, offers entrepreneurs completely new opportunities to start up their microenterprise. Supporting Europe's best web entrepreneurs to launch and grow sustainable businesses is therefore central to Europe's Digital Agenda.
Promoting ICT uptake by microenterprises and SMEs is one of the most important drivers for competitive business. ICT innovation voucher scheme is an initiative to be deployed by EU regions using structural funds. It will enable micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to buy ICT services to innovate their businesses.