Minister Karanikolov launches a Conference on Youth Entrepreneurship in Europe

Minister Karanikolov launches a Conference on Youth Entrepreneurship in Europe

A major challenge for Europe is creating conditions, enabling more entrepreneurs, as they create new businesses, create new jobs, develop new skills and markets. Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov announced at the launch of Youth Entrepreneurship Conference “Follow Your Ideas – Become an Entrepreneur”, realized with the support of the Ministry of Economy and the Directorate General for Growth with the European Commission.

The conference was dedicated to youth entrepreneurship, education and studies in entrepreneurship, and the opportunities and prospects for generating new ideas and realization of young people in Europe. The Conference presented the most successful European programs, the tools and best practices for promotion and support, as well as the challenges for young entrepreneurs in the European Union.

During the three working sessions, the participants discussed the administrative and informational support for the new companies, the need to facilitate the transfer and consolidation of businesses at risk of bankruptcy, as well as the supportive role of entrepreneur organisations, of the “business angels” and of venture capital funds as an integral part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Minister of Economy also emphasised that one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency is the development of entrepreneurship among young people, as it would have a decisive role in maintaining innovative and competitive economies. He also considered a number of key directions, in which it would be necessary to continue working on the future policies to support youth entrepreneurship. One of them is “Failure” as a way of gaining experience. “More than 40% of the young population in the European Union prefer to be self-employed rather than hired as employees. However, only 4.1% of them succeeded to be self-employed in 2016, and this was one third of the proportion of all self-employed aged 15-64,” said Minister Karanikolov.

In turn, Deputy Economy Minister Lachezar Borissov added that over the past five years, about 2,000 “start-up” businesses have been created in Bulgaria. This figure is expected to be doubled in 2018, thanks to the measures taken by the state. Of all the companies, in which investment funds have been invested, more than half still exist and around 40% have received further funding. “At present, there are about 10 active investment funds in Bulgaria and another 5 are expected to be created in 2018 to invest in companies in different stages of development,” said Borisov. He pointed out that the promotion of start-up businesses in the European Union helps young talents, and support for them guarantees high levels of added value.

The conference was also attended by Eva Maydell, MEP and Member of EU’s Commission on the Internal market and Consumer Protection, as well as Slavomir Tokarsky, Director of Innovations and Industry, EU Commission’s Directorate General on Domestic market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs . The Agenda includes over 27 Bulgarian and foreign lecturers with presentations on the most up-to-date data, programmes and initiatives.