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23 February 2011

Europe's Small Business Act strengthens small businesses and drives growth
Europe's Small Business Act strengthens small businesses and drives growth

Europe's 2020 strategy and Europe�s economy heavily rely on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) achieving their potential. In the EU, some 23 million SMEs employ 67% of the private sector workforce. The Small Business Act (SBA) is the EU policy framework aimed at strengthening SMEs so that they can grow and create employment. Between 2008 and 2010, the Commission and EU Member States implemented actions set out in the SBA to alleviate administrative burden, facilitate SMEs� access to finance and support their access to new markets. Although most initiatives foreseen by the SBA have been initiated, a review of implementation so far reveals that more must be done to help SMEs.

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Vice-President

Antonio Tajani

Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship

"SMEs represent more than 99% of all businesses and employ more than 90 million in Europe. They are the engine behind our economy and must be kept strong, competitive and innovative. Member States must act quickly to ensure that the Small Business Act is fully implemented."

Vice-President A. Tajani website

Vice-President Antonio Tajani - Commissioner for Enterprise & Industry
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Chemicals/REACH: six dangerous substances to be phased out by the EU

 
Chemicals/REACH: six dangerous substances to be phased out by the EU

Six substances of very high concern will be banned within the next three to five years unless an authorisation has been granted to individual companies for their use. These substances are carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction or persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms. Operators wishing to sell or use these substances will need to demonstrate that the required safety measures have been taken to adequately control the risks, or that the benefits for the economy and society outweigh the risks.

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Promoting Entrepreneurship

 
Promoting Entrepreneurship

Small firms depend on entrepreneurs - the individuals who have the ideas and are willing to take the risks necessary to get a firm off the ground. Europe needs more entrepreneurs and the Commission is looking at ways in which potential entrepreneurs may be encouraged to set up firms. First, there are cultural factors which discourage too many people from starting a business. We need to develop a more entrepreneurial culture, starting with young people and from school education. Also there is too often a stigma attached to failure. Second, the administrative requirements - are often a major factor in putting entrepreneurs off. Third, entrepreneurs need to find it easier to attract investors.

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Commission consults on radical changes to EU research and innovation funding

 
Commission consults on radical changes to EU research and innovation funding

At the beginning of February the European Commission launched a consultation on major improvements to EU research and innovation funding to make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact and improve value for money. The Commission's Green Paper also provides the basis for far-reaching simplification of procedures and rules. Stakeholders have until 20 May 2011 to respond.

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