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European SME Week 2010 – promoting and supporting entrepreneurship
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28/05/2010 00:00:00

A pan-European campaign designed to promote and support entrepreneurship was launched in Brussels today by the European Commission's Vice-President Antonio Tajani. During the European SME weekit is estimated about three million people will participate in more than 260 events and activities being organised in 37 countries across Europe.  

The events will enable SMEs and micro-firms to share experiences and develop their businesses. A special focus is on promoting entrepreneurship as a career option, especially for younger people. Some events include company open days which will provide entrepreneurs with a first-hand look at some of the challenges and rewards of running a business.

From 25 May to 1 June, the European Commission will showcase support available to business at European, national, regional and local levels and the important role the Enterprise Europe Network plays in each country.  The network, with its 600 partner organisations, provides information and advisory services to SMEs and helps them find business partners.

EC Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, said: " Small and medium sized enterprises run by dynamic entrepreneurs are the job generators of Europe. In rough times we need them more than ever to get the European economy going. Against the backdrop of today’s precarious trends, decisive and comprehensive policy support is vital.”


    Some 99 per cent of all European companies are small businesses, with fewer than 250 employees. As major employers and the main source of new jobs, they hold the key to getting the European economy back on a strong growth track.

    With the onset of the economic crisis in 2008, a very positive development of small and medium enterprises (SME) came to a halt. Between 2002 and 2008, SMEs in the EU turned out to be the most important European Economy job engine. With 9.4 million jobs created between 2002 and 2008 SMEs outperformed large firms. This is in sharp contrast to an estimated loss of 3.25 million jobs in the SME sector over 2009 and 2010 further to the annual SME report 2010. In light of the rather testing times ahead, an effective policy response is crucial in helping SMEs to be successful. The European SME week launched today is an important step in this respect.

    The European Commission's Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), adopted in 2008, is the key policy instrument which sets out an ambitious agenda for action both in the member states and at the EU level in favour of entrepreneurship and SMEs. It aims at developing an environment within which entrepreneurship is rewarded, such as:

    • introducing entrepreneurship education an integral part of the curriculum at all stages of education in Member States;
    • stimulating exchange of skills and mutual learning among young; entrepreneurs through the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs scheme
    • promoting female entrepreneurship through the network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors.

    The swift implementation of the actions of the SBA is important to help SMEs resume their role as job engines of our economies as quickly as possible. European SME Week 2010 will offer the possibility to highlight the actions that each country has taken to implement the SBA and make life easier for SMEs.

    Events in the UK

    European Small Business portal

    European Entrepreneurship Video Award 2010


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top