EU launches huge start-up scheme; €1.6bn funding boost potential

By Louis Gore-Langton

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Venture capital Startup company European union

Food based start-ups in Europe will soon have access to venture capital funds, simplified tax filings and liberalised insolvency laws as part of the EU commission’s new ‘Start-up Scale–up’ initiative

Aimed at driving small business growth, the ‘Scale-up manifesto’ reads: “European start-ups face a difficult maze of problems – restricted national markets, a shortage of capital, and a regulatory framework built for 19th century capitalism.”

The commission has introduced three central projects to address these issues:

  • a ‘Pan-European Venture Capital Fund of Funds’ will aim to raise €1.6bn of EU and private investment to boost Europe’s €6bn venture capital pool; 
  • liberalised insolvency laws will give a ‘second chance’ to failing entrepreneurs by offering the opportunity to restructure early and avoid bankruptcy, layoffs, penalties or debts; 
  • taxation simplifications will make working across European borders easier for ‘small and innovative businesses’.

These schemes largely exist in proposals – tax simplifications and reform to insolvency laws are on the table but not yet beyond planning.    

The EC investments will bolster some existing projects under the EU's Horizon2020​ funding umbrella and help drive plans for a new European Innovation Council ​which would provide more continuous support to start-ups in the EU.

Various start-up incubators are currently supporting small, food based businesses; notably Food Startup bootcamp​ based out of Rome and other European cities, which gives hundreds of food industry innovators the chance to win mentoring and finance for their ideas.

The Start-Up Scale-Up scheme should spread significant capital for such projects in the near future.

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