The President of the European Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula welcomes the Startup Europe Week (SEW) initiative by the European Commission. The initiative aims at raising awareness of the available resources and support for startups in Europe's cities and regions and at the European level.
"I am convinced that the Startup Europe Week - and especially the numerous grass roots events in over 250 regions - can make a very important contribution to a locally led process of driving innovation, growth and job creation", President Markkula stated at the launch event on the premises of the European Committee of the Regions.
New companies create over 4 million new jobs in the EU each year, which makes startups the most important source of new employment in Europe. Regional diversity and local policymaking play a big role in shaping European startups: from helping entrepreneurs to incorporate a company, to providing grants or taxes breaks, European cities and regions are key players.
"That's why we think it is critical to include the regions in this conversation," said Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market. The event was the starting point of numerous meetups organised by over 400 local supporters in more than 250 regions during 1-5 February.
The initiation of a bottom-up process of boosting the entrepreneurial spirit is also a key objective of the Committee of the Regions for 2015-2020. One of the main contributions is fostering entrepreneurship through the European Entrepreneurial Region scheme. Each year, three award-winning EU territories commit themselves to implementing cutting-edge, future-oriented strategies to promote SMEs and businesses. The EER 2017 edition is open for applications until 18 March 2016.
The good practices developed by the EER winners can provide a very useful toolkit to other EU territories and our study " Fostering innovation at regional level: lessons from the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) experience " formulates concrete policy recommendations that can help EU regions and cities strengthen the innovation capacity of their SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Tel. +32 2 282 23 66