entrepreneurship

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.  

  •  economy

Cities in action: The Rotterdam Business Case

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.

case study

publication date: 06-09-2016

  •  economy

How can we make the EU a better place for start-ups?

EUROCITIES response to the European Commission's public consultation on the Start-up Initiative.

publication

publication date: 29-07-2016

  •  economy

How cities can support start-ups – response to Commission consultation

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.

news

publication date: 29-07-2016

  •  economy

Local economic activities to foster integration of migrants

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').

news

publication date: 20-07-2016

  •  cooperation
  •  culture
  •  economy
  •  environment
  •  knowledge society
  •  mobility

Who is in the running for a EUROCITIES award 2016?

Discover more about the nine projects shortlisted for our 2016 awards.

news

publication date: 19-07-2016

publication

publication date: 04-07-2016

  •  economy

Read our case studies on cities supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs

Our working group entrepreneurship and SMEs has collected 15 case studies, which highlight practical issues, impact and transferability.

news

publication date: 25-05-2016

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Birmingham - Entrepreneurs for the Future

Entrepreneurs for the Future provides incubator space for tech start-ups. It helps create new businesses by offering integrated business support and providing favourable conditions for business growth, including fit-for-purpose premises and access to a complete business support package.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Bologna - Incredibol

Incredibol supports young entrepreneurs with developing their own businesses and networks in the Emilia Romagna region’s cultural and creative industries sector. It is based around a network of partners made up of public and private institutions that helps establish new creative enterprises.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016