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1,5m more jobs through digital entrepreneurship in Europe are possible, if …

The main challenge entrepreneurs are facing in Europe is not the lack of great ideas but the fear of turning ideas into reality. Many people with great ideas refrain from entrepreneurship because of their doubts. There are as many people wanting to start a business in Europe as there are in the US, yet we see a significantly lower level of involvement in start-ups on this side of the Atlantic. Only 6% of the adult population of Europe is engaged in a new business, compared with 13% in the US. That’s why the European Commission is launching the Watify platform together with ICT stakeholders. Its ambition? Promoting digital entrepreneurship by taking away these doubts, it’s estimated that 1, 5 million additional jobs would be created in the EU Internet Economy, if the entire EU mirrors the entrepreneurship performance of the US or Sweden.

Watify aims to help those entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs to overcome the barriers that prevent them from starting their own business. This initiative will help them to understand that every successful entrepreneur has had moments of doubt and that success begins to materialise the moment you start making your idea happen. The platform also aims to help established companies in all industry sectors by showing them there are a lot of opportunities to transform their business using digital technologies, taking away any doubts they might have and stimulate them into taking action. The Watify initiative will be run throughout Europe for two years.

The Watify platform is an interactive, responsive website that is appealing to European entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Concretely, the website features:

  • Watify Awareness events going on across Europe

  • Answers to the doubts raised by (potential) entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs

  • A tool that provides guidelines to entrepreneurs that are starting up their online business or expanding across border.

  • Videos and inspiring quotes of successful entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs

In addition, yesterday a Member States Board on Digital Entrepreneurship was set up, composed of policy makers from the Member States knowledgeable in this field, with a view to exchange views and experiences, coordinate policies and forge the implementation of a pan-European Digital Entrepreneurship strategy.

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