Europe needs more entrepreneurs
The EIT powers entrepreneurs and innovators to turn their best ideas into products, services and jobs for Europe. Indeed, creating more innovation and more jobs through fast-growing, innovative firms is one of the EU's key innovation objectives. As such, a cornerstone of the EIT’s activities is to support innovation in existing companies and also the creation of new business opportunities. The vital ingredients in fostering entrepreneurial activities are ensuring access to finance, access to new customers and new markets as well as support for enhancing business skills.
One of the challenges is to achieve a shift in the perception and recognition of entrepreneurs in Europe. This is why boosting and encouraging entrepreneurs and companies to embrace innovation and take it to the market are among the EIT’s top priorities. To this end, the EIT facilitates cross-learning meetings on entrepreneurship and acts as a gate-opener as Europe's largest innovation network with more than a thousand partners. It has initiated a number of activities in support of the Innovation Communities' and innovation hubs' entrepreneurship activities, notably the EIT Awards.
Across the EIT Community, innovation and entrepreneurship are strong vectors to overcome global societal challenges from climate change and sustainble energy to food and healthy living. Together with our Innovation Communities, the EIT places a strong emphasis on developing the next generation of entrepreneurs, encouraging and supporting innovators and companies to develop innovative ideas and take them to the market, thus contributing to a more innovative and competitive Europe.
All EIT Innovation Communities offer, through their business creation and acceleration programmes, a range of business support services that help entrepreneurs and innovators translate their ideas into successful thriving ventures. These services focus on areas such as support for technology, market assessment, access to human resources, access to new markets and customers, mentoring and, last but not least, seed and venture capital through specific EIT Innovation Communities innovation funds.
The EIT Community's added value stems from supporting entrepreneurs in one Member States to enter, through the network of EIT innovation hubs and contacts, into several Member States and develop a clear strategy towards the penetration of the European market, breaking the existing fragmentation around national markets and overcoming the entrepreneurs’ fear of going European at an early stage.
Key Features of EIT Community Business Development
- Powering the development of new businesses
- Organising European-wide specialised business support committed to finding the first customer for young ventures
- Accelerating time to market of innovations through demonstration actions, facilitating experience labs and demand-side measures
All Innovation Communities have the objective of decreasing the average time to market of innovations and they have established specific activities to fulfill this objective such as:
- EIT Climate-KIC Market Accelerator
- EIT Digital Business Development Accelerator
- EIT Food RisingFoodStars
- EIT Health Accelerator
- EIT InnoEnergy Highway
- EIT RawMaterials Star-Up Booster