To encourage young people to become entrepreneurs and to support small and medium-sized enterprises, the European Commission's mission is to support the education of entrepreneurship, co-finance a program for the exchange of young European entrepreneurs and the development of networks. Beyond the competitions and awards that we have reviewed previously, what are the help given to young entrepreneurs in Europe?
The European Commission is aware of the importance of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and it is for this purpose that COSME was created. How does Europe support young entrepreneurs and what tools can they use to grow their businesses? This is what we will see here.
COSME is a program set up by the European Union for Competitiveness of Enterprises of Small and Medium Enterprises. With a budget of 2.3 billion euros over six years from 2014 to 2020, the program supports European entrepreneurship. COSME's primary goal is to facilitate access to finance for SMEs, make SMEs more visible on their respective markets and improve growth and business creation conditions in Europe. The action plan aims to focus on three main categories: Improving entrepreneurship education, creating a growth-friendly working environment where SMEs can flourish and connect European youth with entrepreneurship. One of the most relevant examples of what COSME has successfully implemented since its inception are the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs.
The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a European international exchange program which gives young entrepreneurial candidates the chance to benefit from the experiences of professionals who manage small and medium-sized businesses that thrive in the participating European countries. The program offers a series of undeniable benefits for the young entrepreneurs who participate as well as for the companies that welcome them. In addition to the disorientation that visiting another European country brings, new entrepreneurs have the chance to learn how to create and lead a business to success. Their visit gives them the opportunity to gain access to new markets, to cooperate internationally and get to know potential partners.
The SMEs that welcome the new talents also have something to take from the exchange program. They can benefit from a fresh external opinion on their businesses and take advantage of the creativity and innovative energy of the ambitious young European entrepreneurs that they invite in their companies. The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an exchange program where all participating actors have some benefit to take advantage from.
One of the most significant achievements of COSME are the tools and networks available to European women of all ages who wish to start, run and grow their own businesses. The efforts of the European Commission's program in the field are remarkable, and women have never had more opportunities to lead their private companies to success than in Europe today. Amongst the tools available to female entrepreneurs, the most useful are:
WEgate is an online platform where women who want to create, lead and grow their businesses can find a wealth of information, training programs, mentorships, tips and partnership opportunities. The site covers all aspects of entrepreneurship and will guide you step by step, from the idea to the concretization of your company, through all the steps that will lead you to success -> https://wegate.eu/.
European Community of Women Business Angels for Women Entrepreneurs is a consortium created to increase the number of businesswomen and to facilitate the financing of female entrepreneurs by women angel investors. The European Community of Women Business Angels for Women Entrepreneurs is a consortium created to increase the number of businesswomen and to facilitate the financing of female entrepreneurs by women angel investors. The 100% feminine community defends 4 projects that help stimulate European women and recognize their role in their sectors of activity -> http://www.leanin-wba.eu/.
The European Union, where women make up 52% of the total population but only 34.4% of self-employed professionals and 30% of European entrepreneurs, continues to put many measures in place to give as many tools as possible to women who the ambition to start, run and grow new businesses.
Youth Business Europe is an assistance program for young people who wish to create and develop their business throughout Europe. As a community of established companies, the organisation welcomes European youth entrepreneurship within its network. Thanks to the cooperation of the participating members, young entrepreneurs entering the Youth Business Europe program can rely on the business network to have access to solid training, access to capital, mentorship from successful businessmen and women, and can eventually become self-reliant and lead flourishing and job-creating businesses.