Glossary of summaries

Help Export PDF Print this page 

Enterprise policy

EU enterprise policy seeks to provide an environment that is conducive to business creation and development, and especially of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The policy has received a new impetus in recent years with the recognition of the key role played by SMEs, particularly in terms of job creation.

The Small Business Act for Europe which is a set of 10 principles that seek to improve the business environment and reduce regulatory burdens on SMEs was adopted in 2008. It was reviewed in 2011. New actions were set up to respond to challenges resulting from the economic crisis focusing on 4 priority areas: reduced burdens on business, access to finance, access to markets and promotion of entrepreneurship.

The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan was adopted in 2013. It focuses on 6 areas:

  • Access to finance
  • Support for start-ups and development phases of SMEs
  • Encouraging businesses to embrace information and communications technologies
  • Easier transfer of business ownership
  • A second chance for honest entrepreneurs after bankruptcy
  • Reduced red tape.

The plan also emphasises the importance of education and training to nurture new generations of entrepreneurs. This links in with the Europe 2020 strategy flagship initiative ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’.