[caption id="attachment_6456" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Source: Strategic Policy Forum Digital Entrepreneurship web page"][/caption]
2014 could be named the “year of the entrepreneur” or the year of “digital business”. The European institutions are well aware that the whole economy is digital and that the internet is a game changer as the printing press was in the 15th Century or the stem machine was in the 18th.
The European institutions are well concerned about this fact and particularly the European Commission. So, in the last few weeks we have seen several initiatives aiming to tackle the issue of “digital entrepreneurship”. The European Commission President, Mr. Juncker, endorsed the idea of a more Digital Europe in response to a letter from the European Digital Forum asking him and the other Spitzenkandidaten, Mr. Schultz, to become the European Commission Digital President.
Following the efforts of the different European stakeholders, on July the 2nd the EC (DG Entr) and Ersnt&Young organized the 2nd Strategic Policy Forum on digital entrepreneurship. The meeting gathered more than 30 professionals representing corporations, entrepreneurs, education professionals, associations and policy makers. The main objective of the session was to draft a policy recommendation paper for the next commission to take forward the key aspects Europe urgently needs to foster growth and job creation. The session –divided into 2 working groups- established the key priorities:
- Creating new business opportunities for growth and jobs
- Removing the existing barriers between the European economies
In line with the topics discussed in the first part of the session, Francis Hintermann, from Accenture Research, presented the main conclusions of the report Digital Opportunities for Competitiveness and Growth. In that report it was highlighted the need for more scale-ups in Europe, as that is the natural way for the economy to grow. Getting more scale-ups in Europe is one of the key issues Europe needs to face as soon as possible in order to get the desired economic growth that will boost job creation and wealth.
The scale-up issue was highly discussed in the working group “Creating new business opportunities for growth and jobs”. This workshop focused on the existing best practices of the digital ecosystems in Europe. Several public initiatives – most of them related to smart cities – were highlighted. Telefonica Open Future strategy towards the creation of an integrated ecosystem attracted the attention of the participants in this workshop. Development agencies, educational institutions and other relevant actors across the European startup ecosystem asked how to integrate the existing (in some cases declining) industrial fabric with the new opportunities that the digital world provides to the industry. Telefónica Open Future, through a complete set of instruments, initiatives and a local-global model, aims to help the whole startup ecosystem in Europe to grow.
The meeting ended up with the presentation of the road map and milestones to be achieved in the coming months. End of October was established as the deadline for Policy Recommendations; and 1Q 2015, for the release of the complete document and the beginning of the communications campaign.
Eduardo Salido Cornejo, Public Affairs and Policy Manager of Telefónica Europe plc.