Entrepreneurship and SMEs

  • economy

This working group will focus on supporting business creation and development and skills development in cities, supporting our objective of long-term economic development


Cities are the engines of growth in Europe. They will also be the engines of recovery. Entrepreneurship flourishes in cities, where the majority of SMEs are created and grow. City authorities, in partnership with local organisations, are well-placed to define the most appropriate strategies to create a favourable environment for the development of entrepreneurship and creation of new jobs. Cities offer not only the business opportunities but also the combination of services, support and infrastructure that entrepreneurs need.


  • Exchanging between member cities with the aim of developing new policies and instruments to support entrepreneurs and SMEs on the following issues:

  • development of local strategies to support SMEs and entrepreneurs

  • internationalisation of companies, particularly in view of how they can take advantage of the COSME funding programme for competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs

  • financial support and access to finance, by municipalities and private capital, for instance venture capital

  • development of latent entrepreneurs including those aged 50+, young people (addressing high youth unemployment), from ethnic and migrant communities and disabled entrepreneurs

  • improved rates of entrepreneurship among women

Lobbying the European institutions to ensure cities’ support to entrepreneurs and SMEs is recognised and reinforced. This includes:

  • funding programmes: the proposed COSME programme 2014 – 2020; Horizon 2020

  • other initiatives including: European Small Business Act, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, European Enterprise Awards


  • contributing to economic development forum meetings

  • cooperating with other EUROCITIES working groups

Proposed actions:

  • helping the forum to achieve the goals outlined in the 2012 EUROCITIES response to both COSME and Enterprise 2020 consultations

  • holding three working group meetings alongside economic development forums in 2013: in April (Turin), June (Tampere) and October (Glasgow)

  • disseminating conclusions of the economic development forum in Glasgow focusing on youth entrepreneurship and on digital businesses to EU institutions

  • improving collaborative working and exchanges of information between working group members

  • analysing the main obstacles to company internationalisation 



Antonio Barroso

vice chair

Cristina Gil Adelantado
Head of International projects and European funds

EUROCITIES staff contact

Aleksandra Olejnik
EUROCITIES Brussels office
Policy advisor