On 24th of June, the European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have signed an agreement to promote jobs and growth, in which stated that social and micro-enterprises within the EU will have access to over 500 million euro of finance.
The EIF will not provide direct financial support to new small firms but will implement the initiative through local financial intermediaries, like microfinance institutions or banks across the countries, which participate in the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
Financial support will be made available through the EaSI programme, a financing instrument at EU level aimed at promoting sustainable employment. It provides 920 million euro in funding and it runs from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.
EaSI brings together three EU programmes, managed separately between 2007 and 2013: PROGRESS, EURES and Progress Microfinance. The aim of the programme is to help EU citizens who want to start or further develop their micro or social enterprises, especially those facing difficulties in entering the job market or in accessing finance. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility highlighted that “tens of thousands of jobs will be created” thanks to funding.
Given the employment crisis in many EU Member States, entrepreneurship should be seen as a career option, increasingly chosen by many Europeans. Thus, the EU Commission is trying to put forward measures through which potential entrepreneurs may be encouraged to set up firms. Developing an entrepreneurial culture, training young people at school and easing the administrative requirements are among the initiatives that should be taken to set up entrepreneurial activities.
Thus, it is pivotal to take action, developing ways to foster financial access and enhancing entrepreneurial culture.
Another important initiative to reach these goals is the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan. One of the key actions of the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan is the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, an exchange programme which aims to strengthen entrepreneurial spirit in the EU.
Promoting connection amongst EU Member States, the European single market is a milestone for ideas exchange and initiatives. Young people are the ideal target because they were born together with the EU single market and thus nobody better than them could take advantage from the single market’s benefits.
All these measures should promote geographical mobility and boost employment opportunities by developing an open labour market.
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