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.  

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

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Dortmund - NordHand

City authorities in Dortmund created NordHand credit union in 2006 as a way to help establish or expand small businesses. It provides microloans; assisting entrepreneurs overcome short-term financial problems. This microfinance can help revitalise disadvantaged areas.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Dublin - Start and grow your own business

In 1996 Dublin City Libraries submitted a proposal to the Dublin Enterprise Board to disseminate enterprise start-up information to the public via the library network. The objective is to enable potential entrepreneurs to set up a viable business and help existing entrepreneurs to expand their business and create employment.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Glasgow - Ethnic Entrepreneurship programme

Facing multiple challenges entering the labour market, self-employment is sometimes the best or only option for refugees to improve their quality of life. The Ethnic Entrepreneurship Programme (EEP) launched in 2005 by Scottish Enterprise, identifies barriers to self-employment and how to overcome these.Its primary aim is to boost business creation but more established entrepreneurs can also get advice.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Gothenburg - Turn international

Launched in early 2012, ‘Turn International’ supports female entrepreneurs in developing the export side of their business.The project was created by Business Region Gothenburg (BRG), a non-profit organisation representing 13 municipalities. Its goal is to contribute to sustainable economic growth, higher employment and a diversified economy in the region.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016

Cities supporting inclusive entrepreneurship: Leipzig - OstWerkStadt

Policies to support businesses in Leipzig East were integrated into the wider urban development and local development agenda in 2008. OstWerkStadt is one of these, running from January 2009 to October 2012. It targets entrepreneurs, microbusiness owners and jobseekers with advice and coaching services, giving disadvantaged groups the opportunity to enter the labour market.

case study

publication date: 07-04-2016