Cities offer not only the business opportunities, but the combination of services, support and infrastructure entrepreneurs and small businesses need to thrive. City governments develop policies and programmes tailored to the specific needs of local entrepreneurs and small businesses.
With the right support, we believe that entrepreneurs and SMEs will play a significant role in achieving the Europe 2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Some 99% of European businesses are SMEs, and 90% of those employ fewer than ten people. Two out of every three private sector jobs in Europe are provided by SMEs.
Previous recessions have shown that new growth and jobs often come from smaller businesses. Supporting entrepreneurship is therefore crucial to improve Europe’s employment rates..
Entrepreneurship also fosters social and economic cohesion - especially in cities where development is lagging behind - by stimulating economic activity and job creation and helping integrate the unemployed or other disadvantaged groups into work.
The needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs vary widely, as do the environments in which they operate.
The European Small Business Act calls for policies relating to SMEs ‘to fully recognise this diversity and fully respect the principle of subsidiarity’. Cities are therefore ideally-placed to identify the most appropriate strategies and create favourable environments for entrepreneurs and small business to flourish. They do so by facilitating networking opportunities, managing business incubators and developing synergies between companies and research institutes, amongst other approaches.
Our working group on entrepreneurship focuses on finding ways to improve city services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is a platform for cities to share expertise and experience and the group closely follows European initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, and provides input to ensure that they are closely aligned with cities’ needs.
In October 2012, we published 'Helping cities foster entrepreneurship', our response to the European Commission consultation on its future Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan.
Zaragoza has responded to the economic crisis by transforming the way the city supports and strengthens entrepreneurialism. Fuelled by shared talent and values, La Colaboradora is revitalising creativity, community, innovation and job creation.
From 22-23 September, Utrecht hosted the EUROCITIES working group on smart social inclusion and presented the city’s strategies and experiences in supporting the social economy and social entrepreneurship.
publication date: 29-09-2016
For the fifth consecutive year, Nantes Métropole and the City of Nantes open up for debate the question of local public action and public services in Europe, allowing the stakeholders and citizens of the local area to have their say in a democratic debate.
start date: 01-12-2016 end date: 02-12-2016
The working group will meet alongside the Social Affairs Forum in Athens.
start date: 18-10-2016 end date: 19-10-2016
- knowledge society
Join us in Milan on 16-18 November for discussions on the sharing economy and the chance to meet your peers from around Europe.
publication date: 09-09-2016
Business students and experienced entrepreneurs join forces to equip self-employed citizens with the business skills they need to succeed.
publication date: 07-09-2016
Rotterdam is taking a novel approach to welfare support for its 3,500 self-employed citizens living below the poverty line. Instead of receiving a payment to meet today’s emergency needs, they are learning business skills that will help them rise of out poverty forever.
EUROCITIES response to the European Commission's public consultation on the Start-up Initiative.
We explain why cities have a crucial role to play in creating local ecosystems that support the creation and development of start-ups in our response to the European Commission’s consultation on start-ups.
publication date: 29-07-2016
The next EUROCITIES Economic Development Forum (EDF) on 26-28 October will look at how cities help people with a migrant background to find a job, develop skills needed for the local labour market, and set up their own business ('migrant entrepreneurship').
publication date: 20-07-2016