The Enterprise Europe Network is a key instrument in the EU's strategy to boost growth and jobs. Bringing together close to 600 business support organisations from more than 50 countries, it helps small business to make the most of the European marketplace. The Network members are linked up through powerful databases, sharing their knowledge and sourcing technologies and business partners across all Network countries. The Enterprise Europe Network is a true one-stop shop for small businesses. With more than 3 000 experienced staff it provides practical answers to specific questions.
How does the Network help SMEs?
In 2012, a survey was carried out among 1 345 Network clients who had received partnership services between 1 July 2010 and 31 December 2011:
- Some 55 % of clients surveyed reported a positive impact on turnover.
- A quarter of respondents who had found new business partners through the Network said that working with it had created or maintained jobs.
- Almost three-quarters of commercial company respondents said the Network had helped them to access new markets.
- Close to 60 % of technology company respondents said the Network had helped them to develop new products and services or improve their technologies.
2012 was the fifth year since the Enterprise Europe Network's set up. The Network has further matured. In 2012 the Network expanded to new non-EU countries: Albania, Canada and India.
Facts and figures
Enterprise Europe Network helps small businesses make the most of the European market. The Network is made up of close to 600 partner organisations in 54 countries, and informs and serves more than 2 million European small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) each year.
advises SMEs on EU legislation and programmes, including on EU funding and financing opportunities (300 000 SMEs helped per year, on average);
helps SMEs establish business cooperation with partners in Europe and beyond through technology and research partnerships (13 000 partnership proposals per year, on average);
stimulates the SMEs' capacity to innovate through technology and knowledge transfer services, including facilitating SMEs' participation in FP7 (150 000 SMEs helped per year, on average);
supports better policy-making through targeted feedback to the Commission on existing EU-legislation and organises panel consultations on forthcoming EU legislation (8 000 SMEs consulted per year).
The 2013 priorities include:
- increasing the visibility of the Network and its services;
- more focus on helping SMEs to expand to non-EU markets;
- better informing SMEs about Access to Finance possibilities;
- preparing the Network to work under the new COSME and Horizon 2020 programmes;
- further improving the Network's performance and demonstrating its added value.