Entrepreneurial change needs to be made on every level, from school to government. This needs to be the focus of Europe’s entrepreneurial pursuit. So said MEP Eva Paunova during policy roundtables that took place May 6th in Brussels as part of the launch of the EE-HUB.
Pushing for entrepreneurial change in Europe
The EE-HUB is the next step in reforming entrepreneurial thinking across Europe. “It’s very important to have these types of hubs, because we bring together the business, the government, the researchers. We bring all actors to play together. When our ideas are initiated together, we can bring much more added value and speed up the process,” said Paunova during an interview with New Europe.
Currently, there are only a handful of nations within the European Union that have entrepreneurial policy and national legislation in place, but Paunova is hopeful that this will change quickly. “In five years, we need to have all EU countries boarding on the same level playing field.”
Getting every EU member state to adopt national legislation when it comes to boosting entrepreneurship might be a big challenge, but initiatives such as the EE-HUB are paving the way.
“From a policy side we have done a number of initiatives already. But what is important is not only to pass a new law or to write a cheque for a company […] What is important is that we create the right environment for the companies to be able to blossom,” said Paunova.
This environment needs to be created all around, from primary education all the way through tertiary education and beyond. Many industry leaders agree that there is still a very negative stigma around the idea of being an entrepreneur, and without the establishment of a right environment, this attitude will not be able to change. Entrepreneurship needs to be fostered and stimulated from numerous sides, and a clear entrepreneurial policy needs to be made.
This stimulating environment should be in place so that “companies can realise their potential and their ideas or for the young people that just have one idea, to put their idea forward. We do not want to have administrative burdens,” said Paunova, who is supported in her views by the CEO of JA Europe, Caroline Jenner, who “wants to drive the process forward,”
“We need to make sure that the right education is in place, that the people we bring into our schools have the right incentives to start a business, to understand that they can start their own business,” said Paunova as she stressed the need for an overhaul of school systems across Europe when it comes to entrepreneurial teaching.
When speaking about entrepreneurship education, many policy makers attending the event echoed the call. “The entrepreneurs of tomorrow are in our schools today,” said Efka Heder, the Director of SEECEL.
Policy reforms come with a lot of requirements, such as financial means. “We need more funding, we need more investments in this area. These are two things we need to accellarate more,” says Paunova.
The EE-HUB is another step in the right direction. Helping startups and SME’s can help Europe when it comes to innovation, technology development and even biotech and healthcare.