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A More Entrepreneurial Europe Should Drive the Global Agenda

07 May 2019
by smeunited -- last modified 07 May 2019

The European Union should set the global agenda in innovation, digitalisation and sustainability.


Ahead of the Sibiu Summit, SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller calls for defining a long-term, holistic EU SME policy, accompanied by a comprehensive action plan and monitoring mechanism, to be implemented at the beginning of the new European institutional cycle. This was also put forward in the Declaration of Bucharest at the occasion of the European Entrepreneurship Forum. Recognising the entrepreneurs' contribution to both the economy and society is fundamental for boosting the entrepreneurial spirit. Simply applying the 'Think Small First' principle in law-making would already contribute a lot to an SME-friendly legislation.

"Entrepreneurs with their innovations can radically change the way we live and work. Not only do they improve our living conditions, in addition to creating welfare with their entrepreneurial ventures, they also create the majority of jobs and the conditions for a prosperous society. It is time to facilitate entrepreneurship in Europe and reward their entrepreneurial endeavours," stated SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller. This will only be possible when SMEs are allowed to reach their full potential in an entrepreneurial-friendly environment. Promoting an entrepreneurial mindset and the advantages of creating an enterprise needs to be a priority for policy-makers and directly translated into economic, education and innovation policies.

Boundless possibilities to express creativity, test ideas and take decisions are just a few advantages of being an entrepreneur. However, these do not speak to Europeans: as a majority of them has never considered setting up a business as a career option. "Being an entrepreneur means writing your own future, but the low motivation for entrepreneurship is a missed opportunity for Europe as a whole. This might be the natural consequence of not addressing issues such as administrative burdens, stigmatising failure, insufficient development of entrepreneurial skills in education, difficulties in transferring business and ignoring the 'Think Small First' principle in legislation," she explained.

"SMEunited as an SME representative organisation is eager to share with European and national institutions its experience to create an entrepreneurial society," concluded Ms Rabmer-Koller.

SMEunited is the association of Crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral Craft and SME federations, European SME branch organisations and associate members. Combined, it represents more than 12 million enterprises with around 55 million employees across Europe. SMEunited is also a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner. SMEunited was formally known as UEAPME.

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