Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Europe: Creating Sustainable Employment and Growth

Brussels, Belgium

Finding a sustainable way of creating jobs and growth represents a priority in today’s European economic eco-system, given the extended period of crisis. According to the European Commission, 85% of the new jobs created during the last five years are due to small and medium sized businesses. What’s more, they represent 99% of EU enterprises and therefore play a pivotal role in the transition towards growth, competitiveness and development. A significant role in this process is played by entrepreneurs, as they are the ones behind these businesses.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur and having a prosperous business entails acquiring the right skills, either through formal education or informal learning. In this regard, there is a need to foster an entrepreneurial spirit at an early stage by introducing access to these skills in the school curriculum as well as by helping educators become facilitators of entrepreneurial aptitudes.

Specific groups such as young people, women and migrants should particularly be encouraged in their entrepreneurial journey. Youth unemployment currently rates at 23.2% and fostering young entrepreneurs could help reduce this figure as well as ensure sustainable growth. Furthermore, women are considered as one of the biggest sources of potential growth and new jobs in the European Union. They represent 52% of the population of Europe but only account for 34.4% of those self-employed in Europe. Last but not least, migrants also represent an important pool of potential entrepreneurs as they are often more likely to start businesses  compared to natives. However, migrants must frequently face numerous difficulties such as legal, structural and cultural barriers which significantly diminish their chances of success.

Another budding creator of jobs and innovations is represented by web businesses, as they account for 30% of new start-ups at the moment. Digital Start-ups and tech-entrepreneurs have a substantial potential to increase economic growth. In this sense, measures should be taken to help entrepreneurs develop their start-ups and have access to the latest digital products and services.

This International Symposium aims to examine current entrepreneurship practices across Europe. It sets out to monitor the impact of partnership working, exchange best practice at local, national and international levels and ensure that current measures are both inclusive and transposable on a supranational level. The symposium also seeks to integrate European knowledge in order to help shape sustainable EU-wide inclusive entrepreneurship strategies.

The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate with local and regional practitioners and policymakers at EU level.

Delegates will:                                                                                

  • Explore EU initiatives and developments to promote entrepreneurship in Europe
  • Discuss and support solutions to introduce entrepreneurship into Education Systems
  • Explore the potential of women and migrant entrepreneurship
  • Assess entrepreneurship practices and stimulate partnership working at all levels


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:10 The Current Landscape for Entrepreneurship at EU Level

  • Following Up on the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan
  • Assessing the Importance of Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • Future Recommendations for Policy Action

10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:30 Working towards Successful Entrepreneurship: Promoting Access to the Right Skills-set at an Early Stage

  • Incorporating Entrepreneurship into Education Systems
  • Exploring the Role of Educators:  Presenting the Perspective Project
  • Enhancing Entrepreneurial Skills through Informal Learning
  • Increasing the Attractiveness of Entrepreneurship among Young People

12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:30 Realising the Potential of Minority Groups: Women and Migrant Entrepreneurs

  • Empowering Female Entrepreneurs: Tackling Ingrained Gender Bias
  • Successful Women in Business: The Importance of Role Models
  • Combating Preconceptions about Migrant Entrepreneurs
  • Future Recommendations

14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:50 Endorsing Web Entrepreneurship in Europe: Current Developments and Ways Forward

  • Fostering an Entrepreneurial Culture to Attract Digital Start-ups in Europe
  • Providing Tailored Support Measures for Web Businesses
  • Supporting Tech- entrepreneurs: Current Projects

15:20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16:00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:30 Symposium Close