After 1000 days in business, the Enterprise Europe Network has helped more than 2.5 million companies to make the most of the Single Market. Europe’s largest business support network contributes to the competitiveness of SMEs by making it easier for them to internationalise, innovate and access EU finance and funding. Close to 600 major players in the business support community have linked up in the Network to offer a one-stop service to help companies reach their full potential.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said: ""The Enterprise Europe Network represents a milestone in our policy strategy for promoting entrepreneurship and the growth of enterprise. As SMEs have generated a multitude jobs over the past 10 years, the Network provides concrete European added value and will help them to grow further. This process will be bolstered by the Small Business Act which will provide efficient support for entrepreneurs to launch their personal success story.”
With over 3000 professionals participating, the Network is present in every region of the European Union and in 21 Third Country markets to serve the needs of European SMEs. It provides integrated support services designed to help small enterprises do business abroad and find European funding for their research and innovation projects.
In just three years, the Network has provided services to more than 2.5 million SMEs and held dedicated business events with more than 600 000 participants. It has also attracted around 35 000 small businesses to international brokerage events and company missions.
So far, the Network has helped around 4 500 SMEs acquire business cooperation, technology transfer or research partners abroad. Several examples are:
-a British company who used the Network to find a market application in the automotive safety sector for its chemicals detector;
-a Latvian language software developer who found a partner for a winning FP7 research funding proposal;
-a French family-owned sanitation firm that managed to navigate the labyrinth of tax legislation for cross-border services in Luxembourg with the help of a local Network partner.
Uniquely, the Enterprise Europe Network is also a way for SMEs to take part in European policy making. The Network consults companies on upcoming European legislation and gathers their opinions on existing regulation. Using the Network's mechanisms, more than 10 000 expert opinions have already been collected which has contributed to the legislative process.
The Enterprise Europe Network promotes entrepreneurship and is an important instrument in the implementation of Europe 2020 and the Small Business Act. It is embedded in business support organisations such as Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chambers of Craft, innovation development agencies, technology centres and research institutions, distinguished by their proximity to SMEs and their access to an EU-wide network of experts in European business affairs.
The Network was created by DG Enterprise & Industry and is a key part of the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, which aims to encourage competitiveness in European businesses. It is managed by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness & Innovation (EACI).
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