What's fun about having your own company? Is it all rock & roll or are there things that prevent you from taking those first steps on the entrepreneurial dance floor? To find out we had a chat with Antje Rötger from Germany.
Antje is Co-Founder of Carpegen, an innovative life science company that specialises in developing molecular diagnostic procedures and products. Their main sales come from a diagnostic test, a laboratory service for European dentists. Their latest invention is an automated miniature laboratory that allows molecular biology analytical processing right at the doctor's office. So the doctor's typical ‘And when the lab results come in, we will make another appointment’ statement will soon be a thing of the past, according to Carpegen leaders.
It seemed attractive to build something on my own. Being an entrepreneur is very versatile and interesting. I really like it, and it is fun! Antje Rötger
“I kind of rolled into it,” Antje told us about how it all started. “It seemed attractive to build something on my own. I started the company related to the subject of my PhD, molecular diagnostics.”
For Antje, being an entrepreneur mostly has positive sides. “For example, you can create a business according to your own vision. You can look at things and if you think that is not good for you or your company, you can just say l don't want to do that. Being an entrepreneur is very versatile and interesting. I really like it, and it is fun!”
maximising access to finance
Of course life is not only rock & roll for SMEs. There are still barriers and gaps to ‘dancing the dance’ to its full potential.
One of the challenges Antje’s business is facing is related to financing: “It is the main difficulty, especially in a biotechnology company where you need a lot of money for laboratory equipment that costs a lot.”
To ease SME access to capital is one of the goals the EPP Group wants to achieve. SME financing must be one of the priorities of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan, which the EPP Group fully supports.
Another one of the obstacles to the success of many SMEs is the bureaucracy they still face when doing business. “It is very important in general to minimise bureaucracy, to make everything less complicated,” says Antje from her own experience.
It is very important in general to minimise bureaucracy, to make everything less complicated
Because of this, the EPP Group has set up the SME Circle, a working group to check every EU law for excessive regulation and its impact on SMEs. When a new law is made, it should be involve as little administration as possible.
On the initiative of the EPP Group, the European Parliament has adopted a report calling for a lightening of the burden of EU regulation on SMEs.
Because SMEs are started by people like you and me. And Antje. And we believe in the power of people to innovate and create jobs.