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