Uutiset

More funding for entrepreneurs will help me create jobs

Lars Ole Løcke
28.11.2013 - 13:10
Antonis Karatzis

We believe in people that are dynamic, entrepreneurial, talented, self-motivated and dedicated. People who have bright ideas and are motivated to follow their dream.

Success can be found anywhere - even in countries that face difficulties. Take for instance the example of Karatzis from Greece - a family company that has become hugely successful producing the colourful nets used for wrapping fruits and vegetables that we all know from the greengrocer and the supermarket.  

Karatzis is now a market leader in netting with 95 percent of the sales on export markets. But despite its success, the attitude of its owners is not laid back. On the contrary, the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and kicking within founder Antonis Karatzis, who runs the family business.

As an entrepreneur you face difficulties in accessing financing for your investments and the borrowing costs are high. If we can improve these conditions, it would certainly give a boost to companies and generate jobs Antonis Karatzis

New start-up businesses from Karatzis in the renewable energy and tourism industries are well underway, but the road to success for entrepreneurs is not paved with new and even tarmac. In fact, the road is uneven and full of potholes stresses Antonis Karatzis.

"As an entrepreneur you face difficulties in accessing financing for your investments and the borrowing costs are high. If we can improve these conditions, it would certainly give a boost to companies and generate jobs," says Karatzis.

Easier access to European funds for SMEs

Even if many Greek companies - due to the very severe crisis that hit Greece - currently face even more difficulties in finding funds for investments at attractive terms than in the rest of Europe, the future might look brighter.

Why?

Because, when it comes to funding, the EU's newly-adopted COSME programme, which is exclusively dedicated to helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will come to the rescue of many entrepreneurs - as MEP Bendt Bendtsen, who drafted the EPP Group's position on COSME, points out.

60 percent of the total COSME funds of 2.03 billion euro are earmarked for the financing needs of SMEs

"This programme will provide a very welcome funding injection to small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe, thereby helping them to grow and create jobs," says Bendtsen. He adds that it has been a priority for the EPP Group to help those companies faced with financing issues: "It has been a priority to ensure that most of the funds are used for alleviating financing constraints. We succeeded in achieving this."

It has been a priority to ensure that most of the funds are used for alleviating financing constraints Bendt Bendtsen

As it is, 60 percent of the total COSME funds of 2.03 billion euro are earmarked for the financing needs of SMEs.

Reducing red tape for smoother functioning of businesses

Back in Greece, Antonis Karatzis also observes how specific Greek issues create difficulties for entrepreneurs and business in general:

  • the lack of stability in tax, labour and insurance structures;
  • the delay in combatting tax evasion;
  • delays in privatization and the opening up of protected professions.

But some challenges are shared with entrepreneurs across the EU Member States.

"Extensive bureaucracy and red tape is crushing entrepreneurship and poses a serious obstacle to the smooth functioning of businesses," says Karatzis.

11 percent of COSME funds are used for getting rid of administrative and regulatory burdens

The EPP Group focused strongly on reducing these burdens in negotiations on the COSME programme and, in the end, it was agreed that 11 percent of the funds will be used for - amongst other things - getting rid of these burdens.

"Activities that will reduce administrative and regulatory burdens will get more attention, in addition to activities like Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and the promotion of entrepreneurship,” concludes Bendt Bendtsen.

Encouraging innovative SMEs and industry for more competitiveness

In addition to the COSME programme, Horizon 2020, a €70 billion budget framework programme for all European R&D projects, has been launched to accelerate the bringing to market of the results of innovation, to push Europe to the frontline of global competitiveness.

As Horizon 2020 is particularly interested in increasing the participation of SMEs and industry in the innovation loop, this new framework programme focuses on the simplification of the programme architecture, on less bureaucracy and on easier, faster and more efficient access to funding.

We believe in people. #believeinpeople

Give young farmers a better chance to fight desertification
19.10.2017 - 17:00

Give young farmers a better chance to fight desertification

With a dramatically ageing farming population, Europe needs to provide more help for young farmers to become the future of agriculture. At the...
Young agricultural worker posing in a cowshed
19.10.2017 - 16:36

EPP Group supports young farmers

The 4th edition of the European Congress of Young Farmers took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on October 18 and 19, in the context of a...
Security concept
19.10.2017 - 11:09

ePrivacy and digital innovation must be in balance

ePrivacy is crucial in the digital era we live in. Any regulation in this area needs to be pro-innovation and future-proof. The compromise package on...
International Travel
19.10.2017 - 9:07

ETIAS: closing the information gap on arrivals in the EU

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which assesses possible security risks of visa-free travellers to the EU, was...

Viikon kohokohdat

16.10.2017. - 20.10.2017.
Group portrait of industry workers

Towards better protection for posted workers

Members of the Employment Committee on Monday will vote on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive spearheaded by Elisabeth Morin-Chartier...
Syrian Refugees

Solidarity and flexibility should be core in granting asylum

The reform of the Dublin System which sets the rules for granting asylum in Member States will be voted on by the Civil Liberties Committee on...
Travel

New system to strengthen Europe's border security

The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on Thursday on 'Establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation System' (ETIAS),...