Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan
The Entrepreneurship Action Plan is a blueprint for decisive action to unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles and to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe. Investments in changing the public perception of entrepreneurs, in entrepreneurship education and to support groups that are underrepresented among entrepreneurs are indispensable if we want to create enduring change.
Only if a large number of Europeans recognise an entrepreneurial career as a rewarding and attractive option will entrepreneurial activity in Europe thrive in the long term.
The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan is built on three main pillars:
- Entrepreneurial education and training
- Creation of an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish and grow, and
- Developing role models and reaching out to specific groups whose entrepreneurial potential is not being tapped to its fullest extent or who are not reached by traditional outreach for business support.
The Action Plan and its key actions will be followed up by the Commission through the competitiveness and industrial policy and the Small Business Act governance mechanisms.
The European Commission is ready to help the Member States administrations implement the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan by providing its own know-how and foster peer learning and exchange of good practices with other Member States.
On a national level, it is the SME envoy, appointed by the respective national government, who is responsible for driving the implementation of the Action Plan.
The Communication on the Action Plan was preceded by a public consultation. The consultation did not target any specific group as all citizens and organisations were welcome to participate. However, contributions from public administrations, private sector organizations and individuals who support entrepreneurs in starting up businesses as well as individual entrepreneurs and businesses were of particular interest.
Final report [181 KB]
Citizens' summary [16 KB]
Boosting the Business of Liberal professions
Liberal professions are defined as occupations requiring special training in the arts or sciences, such as lawyers, notaries, engineers, architects, doctors, and accountants. Some of these professions are closely regulated by national governments and professional bodies, with varying restrictions on: number of entrants, rates, organisational structure, exclusive rights enjoyed by practitioners and ability to advertise.
The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan has set up a working group to assess the specific needs of liberal profession entrepreneurs in relation to issues such as entrepreneurship education, access to markets / internationalisation or access to finance.
The working group "Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions" was established in 2013 and met four times in 2013-2014, with the goal of identifying gaps in the support for liberal professions and ways to overcome them as well as to strengthen their representation and participation in the for a and conferences for SMEs at European level. The objective of the Working Group is to strengthen the business capabilities of liberal professionals to run their activities in a successful and sustainable way, to develop, expand and grow them, in Europe and beyond. Notably, the Commission aims to explore how to facilitate access to finance and enable liberal professionals to enter new markets outside their home country. Furthermore, the group intends to facilitate the exchange of good practices, disseminate impactful methods and tools across Europe as well as to formulate recommendations for European and Member State actions in this area.
As a result of the work during its four sessions in 2013-14 the Working Group has produced a draft document on "Action Lines for Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions" that was presented and discussed at the Conference on Liberal Professions on 9/04/2014. The final document will be published by Mid-May 2014.