Digital entrepreneurship

Digital entrepreneurship

The European Commission works to stimulate the smart use of digital technologies among European enterprises to create new business opportunities and accelerate the transformation of the European business landscape. This will increase economic growth and create jobs.

The Digital Entrepreneurship Scoreboard 2015

The 2015 Digital Entrepreneurship Scoreboard is now available.

The Scoreboard presents the degree of digitalisation of enterprises, the quality of the enabling factors in EU countries and the performance of ICT start-ups.

It supports the development of the knowledge-base on digital entrepreneurship.

Technological trends, such as mobile and social solutions, cloud computing and data analytics offer a range of opportunities for new business services in the knowledge economy, and drastically facilitate the entry into the market of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Since the economic crisis of 2008, many countries have struggled to create jobs and return to strong economic growth. The greater use of advanced digital technologies by SMEs can boost growth and employment. Analysis shows that businesses, and SMEs in particular, often struggle with digital developments, barriers to cross-border trade, regulatory and administrative burdens and insufficient access to finance.

The Commission recognises the strategic role of digital technologies in improving the business landscape in Europe. Based on policy analysis and intensive dialogue with stakeholders, key priority areas for policy intervention have been identified. These areas have been divided into 'five pillars' that describe the key factors influencing digital entrepreneurship.

The five areas of action are:

  • reinforcing the digital knowledge base;
  • catalysing a digital business-friendly environment;
  • easing access to finance;
  • promoting digital skills and talent;
  • reinforcing a digital entrepreneurial culture.

Policy to support digital entrepreneurship

Industrial policy for the globalisation era and the Small Business Act for Europe support the growth of information technology for the benefit of industry, enterprises and consumers.

The Digital Single Market was also highlighted as the second priority area in the political guidelines issued by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, for the 2014 - 2019 Commission. It is hoped that the Digital Single Market will generate up to EUR 250 billion of additional growth in Europe in the course of the mandate of this Commission, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, notably for younger job-seekers, and a vibrant knowledge-based society.

Despite these strong political initiatives, the development of a Digital Single Market is still hindered by a number of legal, technical and trust barriers in EU countries that prevent entrepreneurs from developing new businesses or growing their businesses in Europe.

The Commission works to create opportunities for European businesses who want to take advantage of digital technologies and to enhance the business landscape.

Actions to boost digital entrepreneurship in Europe

Study: Doing business in the digital age

This study identified the key technological trends and carried out a comparative analysis of national strategies and private initiatives to encourage digital entrepreneurship. It proposed a five-pillar strategy and 21 recommendations for actions cutting across policy areas such as boosting digital and entrepreneurial skills, leveraging the Single Market, innovation campaigns, awareness and mentoring, and access to finance.

Doing business in the digital age

Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship

The Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship was set up in 2014 to outline what should be the short and long-term strategy for digital entrepreneurship in Europe, to implement this strategy and to share experience and advise the European Commission on key priorities.

The Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship

Member States Board on Digital Entrepreneurship

The Member States Board on Digital Entrepreneurship was set up to reinforce the implementation of a strategy on digital entrepreneurship in Europe.

Member States Board on Digital Entrepreneurship

The Digital Entrepreneurship Monitor

The Digital Entrepreneurship Monitor is an online tool to monitor key technological and market trends, emerging business opportunities, new business paradigms and their impact on the European economy, and policy initiatives all over Europe. It includes statistics and initiatives to support digital entrepreneurs, and reports on business opportunities and digital technologies.

The Digital Entrepreneurship Monitor

Raising awareness: Watify and the Euromentors Association for Digital Entrepreneurs

A major pan-European awareness raising campaign (Watify) and an eMentoring ecosystem (Euromentors Association for Digital Entrepreneurs) have been set up to help European entrepreneurs catalyse and support new business opportunities offered by digital technologies.

The Euromentors Association for Digital Entrepreneurs will inspire and support new entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Activities will include training, advice and hands-on coaching on how to do business in the digital age and match-making events among stakeholders to explore new partnerships.

Raising awareness of digital entrepreneurship in Europe