Over a hundred participants from all over Europe attended the iEER kick-off conference on June 28th, 2016 in Brussels. The EU-funded project aims to boost the collaboration of European actors in order to support young entrepreneurship.
The European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska opened the conference and emphasized Europe's need for more entrepreneurs and for more supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems. Ms. Bieńkowska underlined the importance of the iEER Project in the promotion and creation of more support to entrepreneurs.
”The European parliament considers entrepreneurship, particularly young entrepreneurship, very important, so from the Parliament’s viewpoint, the iEER is a pearl among European projects!” affirmed Mr. Lambert Van Nistelrooij, Member of the European Parliament.
These encouraging words from the highest EU level provided an inspiring kick-off to the iEER Project, which is coordinated by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council as the lead partner. The Interreg-funded project aims to boost the collaboration of European and regional actors to better support young entrepreneurship. Another objective is to improve the quality of services and structural fund support designed for young entrepreneurs.
The European parliament considers entrepreneurship, particularly young entrepreneurship, very important, so from the Parliament’s viewpoint, the iEER is a pearl among European projects.
Best regional practices for supporting entrepreneurship were presented and exchanged during the day. The discussion on the potential of EU policies to support young entrepreneurship was lively. In order to ensure grassroots level insight, the floor was also given to six start-up entrepreneurs, who shared their story with the audience.
The kick-off conference was organized in cooperation with the European Union Committee of the Regions and the European Commission DG GROW.
“It was great to testify such a high level commitment to the project, which will guarantee a true impact of the project’s results”, iEER Project Coordinator, Ms. Christine Chang from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, commented.
In addition to the Regional Council, Laurea University of Applied Sciences is the other partner from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region. Other project partners represent regions of Westpomerania, West Region Romania, Brandenburg, Southern Denmark, Marche, Hauts-de-France, Valencia, Northern Ireland, and Kerry. The total budget of the project is 2,3 million euros partly financed by the EU Interreg Europe Programme.