Over a hundred participants from all over Europe attended the iEER kick-off on 28 June 2016 in Brussels. The EU-funded project aims to boost the collaboration of European actors in order to support young entrepreneurship.
President of the European Committee of the Regions Mr. Markku Markkula opened the conference and expressed his strong support to the iEER project.
European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska emphasized Europe's need for more entrepreneurs and more supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems. Ms. Bieńkowska underlined the importance of the iEER Project in the promotion and creation of more support to entrepreneurs.
”The European parliament considers entrepreneurship, particularly young entrepreneurship, very important, so from the Parliament’s viewpoint, the iEER is a pearl among European projects.” affirmed Mr. Lambert Van Nistelrooij, Member of the European Parliament.
These encouraging words from the highest EU level provided an inspiring kick-off to the iEER project, which is coordinated by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council as the lead partner. The Interreg-funded project aims to boost the collaboration of European and regional actors to better support young entrepreneurship. Another objective is to improve the quality of services and structural fund support designed for young entrepreneurs.
The European parliament considers entrepreneurship, particularly young entrepreneurship, very important, so from the Parliament’s viewpoint, the iEER is a pearl among European projects
The best regional practices for supporting entrepreneurship were presented and exchanged during the day. The discussion on the potential of EU policies to support young entrepreneurship was lively. In order to ensure grassroot level insight, the floor was also given to six start-up entrepreneurs, who shared their story with the audience
The conference demonstrated a variety of good practices regarding entrepreneurial support, which the Regional Mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa Mr. Ossi Savolainen, also brought up in his opening words:
“A smart entrepreneurial region is not about building everything from scratch, but enabling an ecosystem and a platform where people, business, public and research sectors lean to a collaborative culture. We see the cities and the region as driving forces, and we should also be a testbed for innovations, thus creating market access for business start-ups and SMEs.”
The kick-off conference was organized in cooperation with the European Union Committee of the Regions and the European Commission DG GROW.