Start-Ups in the EU: New SMEs Help Europe Grow
Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Every EU citizen can open a a new company in any Member State of the Union. Many citizens actively use this right, facilitated by the access to the Single Market and the European Commission’s attempt to ease the bureaucratic procedures to open a company. In this way, thousands of companies are opened every year in Europe and some of these companies, if not most of them, are start-up companies. A new company is usually defined as a start-up if it fulfils three conditions: it is younger than 10 years, it either provides or it is based upon highly innovative products, services or business models and it aims to grow in size in a short amount of time.
According to the 2015 Europe Startup Monitor Annual Report, almost all start-ups are SMEs: they employ an average of 13 employees and have raised about 2.5 millions euros of external capital after 2 half years of existence. Moreover more than 50% of Europe’s start-up immediately trade beyond their country of origin, taking full advantage of the European Union Single Market. Another 30% does so within the first year of existence. Looking at these data, it is clear that start-ups in Europe have the real chance to become engines of growth for the continent, as they create new jobs and quickly expand their activities.
The European Commission supports the creation and growth of start-ups via its initiative Startup Europe Club. This service provides informations about the different financing programs for SMEs in the EU and the current European policies in their sectors of relevance and and supports the creations of network of companies, business supporters and technical experts. The networking service is the most valued, as the philosophy behind the initiative emphasizes that interconnections between different business actors is what really leads to the biggest opportunities for growth.
Start-ups, like all other SMEs, have to develop their international networks to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the European Union. By creating new contacts and strengthening the existing ones, these companies can realise their ambition to scale up and provide their services and goods to wider markets. MobiliseSME’s pilot scheme for the exchange of staff is one perfect tool they can use to engage with new companies or build up new relationships with firms with which they have already connected.