On 09 January 2012, European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani published a Communication on the “Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan: Reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe”
The action plan sets out a number of actions that should be taken both at EU and Member State level in order to ensure a return to growth in Europe and higher levels of employment.
The Action plan has 3 overarching pillars:
Under pillar I,the European Commission will aim to increase the exposure of young people and students to businesses and encourage entrepreneurial spirit. This will be done, inter alia, through endorsements of successful mechanisms of spin-offs, and promote in each Member States the idea of specific “entrepreneurship” training in schools, universities and other programmes.
The European Commission in this spirit is to “Endorse successful mechanisms of university-driven business creation (spin-offs etc.) and university-business ecosystems supporting such creations” (Annex 1, page 29)
Under pillar II,the European Commission will promote and adopt policies designed to: remove barriers to access to finance, reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, support entrepreneurs in the crucial phases of the businesses lifecycle, unleash new businesses opportunities in the digital age.
Most importantly for VPH under this pillar is the goal of “Unleashing new businesses in a digital age”. The Commission will aim to foster the build-up of a knowledge base on major trends and innovative business models in the digital sector.” The Commission will also aim to strengthen competences and skills i.e.intensify the creation and acquisition of E-skills, scientific and creative skills and managerial and entrepreneurial skills to address new markets.
Member States are particularly encouraged to reinforce national and regional support for digital and web-start ups and foster alternative financing for early-stage technology start-ups, such as ICT innovation voucher schemes.
Under pillar III,similar to pillar I, the goal will be to promote entrepreneurship through greater publication of success stories and holding up successful entrepreneurs as role models. The Commission will be in particular, targeting women, young people and the elderly with these strategies. To facilitate this, the Commission will launch in 2014 a mirco-finance facility which will help those who have difficulty re-entering the job market.
Finally the Commission announced that they intend to present a legislative proposal in the course of 2013 to increase the protection of businesses which fall victim to misleading market practices.
The full action plancan be found here.