YOUR MAIN CONTACT FOR BUSINESS SUPPORT
Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) bringing together 600 member organisations (chambers of commerce, development agencies, technology organisations, etc.) in more than 60 countries. More than 3,000 experts provide their advice and support to help SMEs to scale-up, access funding and finances, understand EU legislation and find potential business partners across Europe and beyond.
What the Network has to offer:
• Innovation support to help SMEs achieve their strategic goals
• Access to business & technology partnerships (business-to-business events, database)
• Expert advice on EU rules and regulations and access to finance
Enterprise Europe Network is funded by COSME, EU‘s programme for Small and Medium-sized enterprises.
ONLINE SUPPORT ON DOING BUSINESS IN EUROPE
Your Europe Business, your online guide on doing business in Europe, can help you find the answers and advice you are looking for. It offers information about the rights and obligations for businesses in the EU‘s Single Market (how to start a business in another EU country, access to finance and funds, paying taxes, hiring staff in another EU country, etc.). Information is available in 23 languages.
SOLVIT is an online free of charge service that provides rapid and pragmatic solutions to businesses when their EU rights have been breached by public authorities in another EU country. For example, SOLVIT helps in cases of unlawful market restrictions for goods and services, delayed VAT refunds, posting of workers or getting professional qualifications recognized. When in need – submit your problem to SOLVIT or contact your local SOLVIT centre.
Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie
HOW TO FIND EU FINANCE SUPPORT?
EASIER ACCESS TO LOANS AND EQUITY FINANCING SUPPORTED BY THE EU
The EU supports businesses with co-financed loans, guarantees and venture capital. EU financing is channelled through local financial institutions in Germany (banks, business angels, venture capital investors).
COSME – the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized enterprises - aims to make it easier to access finance in all phases of the lifecycle – creation, expansion, or business transfer.
To find a financial institution in Germany or to search for other EU financial opportunities, visit the Access to Finance portal:
The EU has several funding programmes that you may be able to apply, depending on the nature of your business/project.
Direct funding on specific topics is announced as a call for proposals:
Indirect funding is available from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and is managed
by national and regional authorities:
IMPORTANT TO KNOW - LATE PAYMENT DIRECTIVE
To protect European businesses against late payment, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive (EU) 2011/7 on combating late payment in commercial transactions between public authorities and businesses or between businesses.
INTERESTED IN CONNECTING WITH INVESTORS?
With InvestHorizon business intermediaries can access coaching tools and broker deals, while entrepreneurs can find investors and benefit from online courses, coaching academies, business
support and trainings to increase knowledge and improve business proposals.
For EU wide matchmaking you can register your project to the European Investment Project Portal and boost its visibility to a large network of international investors!
European Investment Advisory Hub provides you targeted support to identify, prepare and develop investment projects across the European Union. The Hub is designed to act as a single access point to various types of advisory and technical assistance services. It supports the identification, preparation and development of investment projects across the European Union.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW – WHAT IS CROWDFUNDING?
Crowdfunding is a way of raising money to finance projects and businesses. It enables fundraisers to collect money from a large number of people via online platforms. To learn more about it and how to do it, follow the guide on:
LOOKING FOR PARTNERS TO INNOVATE?
Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) can help you in searching partners! Contact your nearest EEN partner:
The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) boosts collaboration and connects enterprises by using clusters as multipliers. The ECCP gathers nearly 1,000 European cluster organisations, reaching out to over 100,000 SMEs, some 8,000 large firms and 11,000 universities/research organisations. Specifically, the Platform offers a partner search tool, an information hub, international cluster matchmaking events, direct assistance and support for SMEs. It provides analysis of clusters, policy advice, advisory support services, organisation of partnering and coaching events in connection with European Observatory for Clusters and Industrial Change.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR INNOVATION?
Knowing how to manage and exploit Intellectual Property (IP) is your ticket to innovation and competitiveness in Europe. The European Intellectual Property Helpdesk offers you free
of charge, first‑hand advice and support on IP matters, informs you about the latest developments in the world of IP and innovation in Europe and offers training sessions on IP.
LOOKING FOR WAYS TO BOOST YOUR INNOVATION?
The European Innovation Council (EIC) SME Instrument is a public funding programme that funds risk innovation in small businesses. It funds market-creating innovation in disruptive small businesses that have significant growth potential and global ambitions. The EIC SME Instrument is part of Horizon 2020 – the EU‘s €80 billion funding programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.
Individual companies can receive up to €2,5 million to bring their innovation to the market, free coaching and support in commercialisation – like facilitated access to overseas trade fairs.
INTERESTED IN SPACE DATA AND SERVICES FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Get free EU space data and use it to develop new products and services with the help of Copernicus - European Union’s Earth observation and monitoring programme. Through the use of satellites
in combination with ground, air and sea-based measurement systems, it provides vast amounts of data on our planet and its environment. Copernicus data can be used in a variety of applications.
Copernicus data and services offer endless opportunities for entrepreneurs. The European Commission has thus developed the Copernicus Start-up Programme to accompany start-ups from the generation of a business idea to its full commercialisation. The programme consists of four components: the Copernicus Accelerator, the Copernicus Hackathons, the Copernicus Incubation Programme, the Copernicus Masters as well as specific calls under Horizon 2020.
For positioning data that can be used to improve car navigation, air transport, precision farming and much more you can use Galileo - Europe’s global satellite navigation system. It provides improved positioning and timing information.
WHERE TO FIND NECESSARY SKILLS?
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a pan-European mobility scheme that offers aspiring or newly established entrepreneurs to go abroad to develop their entrepreneurial competences in running a small business by getting on-the-job training with an experienced entrepreneur. Host entrepreneurs will benefit from innovative ideas from a motivated new entrepreneur.
Cooperation may also lead to other benefits such as internationalisation of the business, access to new markets and possibilities for collaboration with new business partners.
A two year pilot project to test the geographical extension of the programme outside Europe with three new destinations namely USA, Singapore and Israel is running since March 2018.
Find all kinds of skills in one place. EURES is European Job Mobility Programme that gives employers access to a broad pool of skilled workers and helps to recruit jobseekers from all over Europe.
EURES also organizes job days for employers and job seekers to meet, virtually or on site. Search for the next event in Germany:
As part of the Copernicus User Uptake Strategy, the creation of a Copernicus Academy Network contributes to ensure the guided development of training and networking initiatives allowing the
matching of university curricula and industry professional profiles, vocational and cross sectorial training, research knowledge transfer business (spin-offs), networks empowerments, etc.
Digital Opportunity Traineeships – an EU funded training initiative aims to help companies fill vacancies with digitally competent candidates. Companies will benefit from the presence of highly motivated and talented trainees and their fresh ideas!
EU SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES BEYOND 2020
SINGLE MARKET PROGRAMME
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the European Commission is proposing a new, dedicated €4 billion programme to empower and protect consumers, and enable Europe‘s many small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take full advantage of a well-functioning Single Market. It will keep on supporting businesses‘, in particular SMEs‘.
The InvestEU Programme will bring together the multitude of EU financial instruments under one roof. It will be based on a €38 billion guarantee from the EU budget and aims to mobilise around €650 billion of investment to keep the EU social, green and competitive. Businesses will be able to apply for loans and equity financing via local financial institutions.
On 7 June 2018, the Commission published its proposal for Horizon Europe, the next EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027). With a proposed budget of €100 billion from the next EU long-term budget, it would be the most ambitious EU research and innovation programme ever. The Horizon Europe proposal is based on the success of Horizon 2020, the current EU research and innovation programme. But it has been improved to maximise the programme’s impact, its relevance to society and its potential for breakthrough innovation.
One new feature includes the European Innovation Council (EIC), currently in its pilot phase under Horizon 2020, the EIC will become a full-fledged reality from 2021 under Horizon Europe. The EIC
is the Commission’s proposal to place the EU in the lead for breakthrough market-creating innovation. It will be a one-stop shop for innovative companies with 70% of its budget dedicated to SMEs, including start-ups. Its aim is to attract the best innovators in Europe, support them in bringing their ideas to market and help the most innovative start-ups and companies to scale up their ideas.