Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Commission launches drive for new entrepreneurs

The Industry Commissioner, Antonio Tajani has announced new plans to boost business start-ups and support entrepreneurship.

In his statement on 9 January 2013 he said, "more entrepreneurs mean more jobs, more innovation and more competitiveness".

The Entrepreneurship Action Plan is the culmination of a consultation that closed in October 2012 on attempts to boost the role and strength of small businesses (SMEs) across the EU.

There are around 20.7 million SMEs in the EU, with over 92% having fewer than 10 employees.

Small businesses have been badly hit by the economic crisis, partly due to a drop in the amount of credit being made available.

Only three countries - Austria, Germany and Malta - have seen signs of recovery amongst SMEs.

A recent survey found that 37% of Europeans would like to be their own boss but feel the current economic crisis is hindering their opportunities.

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