Appendix 4 The EU Green Paper on Entrepreneurship
in Europe: Overview
The Green Paper aims at stimulating debate amongst
the widest possible audience of
stakeholders on the best entrepreneurship policy
for the future. It assesses the state of
entrepreneurship in Europe, available policy options
and asks a number of questions.
The Green Paper considers policy options with regard
to two issues for Europe.
Firstly, why do so few people start a business when
a relatively large number of individuals express their interest
in entrepreneurship? Secondly, why do so few European enterprises
grow and why do those that grow so much do so at such a modest
Besides these, it considers the role of society at
large in meeting these challenges.
Entrepreneurship is not only a driver for job creation,
competitiveness and growth, but can also be a vehicle for a personal
development and can help resolve social issues. Entrepreneurship
is a mindset, which can occur throughout society at large but
the green paper concentrates on creating new value in a business
context. Entrepreneurship is about blending risk-taking creativity
or innovation with sound management, within a new or an existing
organisation and can occur in any sector or type of business.
Compared to the US, people's inclination towards entrepreneurship
in the European Union could improved. Also, there is less involvement
in new entrepreneurial initiatives, less firm growth and more
adversity towards risk taking. Europe needs to encourage new entrepreneurial
initiative and help unlock the growth potential of the European
Union's existing firms, among which there is no lack of ambition;
some 30% of Europe's SME's 20 million express a desire for growth.
An individual's decision to start a business or have
an ambition, as an entrepreneur, to take risks or expand is conditioned
by a multitude of factors, including the existence of opportunity,
entry barriers, skills and preferences.
While running a business, entrepreneurs are faced
with many obstacles for business development and growth such as
complying with administration requirements and lack of finance
or skilled labour. To seize new opportunities in the changing
markets, business should be encouraged to innovate or expand beyond
national borders, or even, particularly larger firms, to allow
their own employers to exploit ideas that would other wise be
Building an entrepreneurial society involves everybody.
Positive attitudes towards entrepreneurial initiative and failure
can help develop entrepreneurial ventures. Further more, entrepreneurship
can be applied to achieving social and societal objectives.
The Green paper suggests adopting a co-coordinated
approach to entrepreneurship policy, involving all the relevant
policy-makers, to provide a coherent and comprehensive response
to the needs of entrepreneurs. It asks question sunder three pillars
- Bringing down barriers to business development
- Balancing the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship
- A society that values entrepreneurship
Questions for the European agenda on Entrepreneurship
1 What should be the key
objectives for an agenda for entrepreneurship in the European
Union and how should these relate to other political ambitions?
How can we build a model for entrepreneurship in an enlarged Europe?
2 How can we improve the
availability of finance (tax measures, public-private partnerships,
stronger balance sheets, guarantees) and what alternatives to
bank loans should be promoted (business angel finance, leasing,
factoring and micro-loans from non-bank lenders)? How can entrepreneurship
be supported in obtaining external finance?
3 Which factors most hinder
growth (lack of) mutual recognition and EU rules or their (non-)
implementation at national level, tax provisions or the situation
on the labour markets)? What actions are best suited to supporting
growth and internationalisation (trade missions, market analysis,
clustering and networking, information and consultancy services)?
4 To ensure high quality
businesses, what training and support should be offered for a
business start-up (basic trainingcompulsory or voluntary,
incubators, mentoring) and business development (networks, courses,
mentoring, distance learning, e.g. e-learning)? Should there be
services tailored to the needs of specific groups (women, ethnic
minorities) or businesses (knowledge based activities)? Should
the quality of delivery of support services be improved (using
ICTs, professional standards)?
5 Are the obstacles and
incentives for business development and growth in the European
Union similar for entrepreneurs in the Candidate Countries, and
does the forthcoming enlargement call for specific measures in
6 What can EU Member States
do to make the balance between risk and reward more favourable
to promoting entrepreneurship (reducing the negative effects of
bankruptcy, making more social benefits available for entrepreneurs
reducing the tax burden either in terms of administration or rates)?
7 How might more prospective
entrepreneurs be encouraged to consider taking over rather than
starting a new firm (buyers and sellers databases or market places,
special training for family-owned businesses, management or employees
8 How can spin offs be
made more attractive (management buy-outs showcasing, specialist
advice, tax or other provisions for employees and their employers
whilst starting a business)?
9 How can education support
the development of the awareness and skills necessary for developing
an entrepreneurial mindset and skills (entrepreneurship training
as part of a schools curriculum, getting entrepreneurs into the
classroom, apprenticeships for students to work with experienced
entrepreneurs, more entrepreneurial training in universities,
more MBA programmes, matching entrepreneurial training with public
10What could business
organisations, the media and public authorities do to promote
entrepreneurship (role models, media campaigns open door days
or firms, award schemes for entrepreneurs) and at what level (European,
national, regional or local)?
Introduction to Appendix 5
The following table is drawn from 'Creating an
entrepreneurial Europe: The Activities of the European Union for
SMEs' CEC Brussels 21.1.2003 SEC (2003) 58 COM(2003) 26 (page
11). It should be noted that the table provides an overview of
various types of actions (loans guarantees grants etc) occurring
over various periods. It cannot therefore be added up across the
various activities to give a global figure per year or common
period. In the section on financial guarantees data is given on
the amount actually guaranteed (estimated guarantee amount) as
well as the budget contribution to the cost of the guarantee and
the total estimated loan granted.
The following main acronyms are used in the Table;
EIB European Investment Bank
EIF European Investment Fund
ETF European Technology Facility
RTD Research and Technological Development.
The Leonardo da Vinci scheme supports vocational
training and mobility
Full details of these institutions and related programmes
and the others shown in the Table can be found in the report from
which the Table is drawn.