Fabian Demicoli

Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan


Vince
Farrugia: Entrepreneurship not the last resort to unemployment – GRTU
Director General and EESC Employers Representative Vincent Farrugia has this
week attended the EESC Single Market, Production and Consumption Bureau and
Section meetings during which Stephanie Mitchell from DG Enterprise and
Industry presented the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.

In
his intervention Mr Farrugia reminded the European Commission that European
SMEs form 99.8% of total European enterprises. 
They provide two out of three of the private sector jobs and contribute
to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU. Yet
these, he said, get a very small percentage of direct aid when compared to the
large enterprise. He continued saying that the biggest obstacles remain Access
to Finance, especially as a result of the crises, Succession and Business
Transfers. These 3 problems still remain acute amongst businesses. He argued
that the Action Plan and other Commission documents are presenting
entrepreneurship as the last resort to the unemployed. ‘This is very bad.
Entrepreneurship is not a last resort and those who see it in this way will
fail at Entrepreneurship because Entrepreneurship is a determined and dedicated
commitment.' Mr Farrugia concluded by echoing what Ms Mitchell herself had said
If you cannot help small
businesses in a direct and specific manner, get out of the way!
'   

The
Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan will offer finance and support to
entrepreneurs in a bid to kick-start more businesses and revolutionise the
entrepreneurial culture in Europe. The plan of action stresses the importance
of education and training initiatives that will promote the growth and
development of new-generation entrepreneurs. It covers six focus areas,
addresses the need for the EU to create an environment in which entrepreneurs
can flourish and grow.

It
aims to facilitate access to finance. In addition to strengthening the EU's
existing financial instruments, the Commission proposes to simplify tax
structures and establish a European market for microfinance. It will support
businesses in critical periods. The European Commission argues that member
states ought to offer more resources that support new businesses to get through
critical periods. This includes management training, research and development
coaching, and networking with peers, potential suppliers and clients.

The
action plan will encourage businesses to take on new business opportunities of
the digital age. The Commission will also facilitate the transfer of ownership.
This initiative will expand the markets for enterprises and eliminate barriers
to cross-border business transfers. It will also give a second chance to honest
entrepreneurs after bankruptcy. The Commission has proposed a shift focus away
from liquidation to help businesses overcome financial difficulties.

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