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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
News article25 May 20214 min read

COSME: Since 2014 moving European entrepreneurship forward

For the last seven years, COSME, the EU programme for the competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs, has provided more than 70 million Euros in funding for projects aiming to promote entrepreneurship among European SMEs.


Fostering Europe’s entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture is a key policy objective of the EU and its Member States, and one that has become all the more urgent in today's fast-changing economy and society. In the face of great uncertainty, companies and individuals both need to develop new competencies that ensure their resilience.

Several COSME initiatives have played and are playing their part in this complex environment by focusing on entrepreneurial education, regional and sectoral support or paying extra attention to the needs of migrants and women entrepreneurs. Over the years, they have offered training, mentorship and advice to entrepreneurs and helped new businesses grow.

Meet them below, and learn more about how they are bringing about the entrepreneurial world of tomorrow!


EntreComp Europe 

Are you a practitioner or organisation seeking inspiration as to how EntreComp, the European entrepreneurship competence framework, can be implemented in practice? Have a look at EntreComp Europe, a project dedicated to building collaborative communities aiming to embed entrepreneurial learning into sectors such as education, lifelong learning, youth work and employment support – thus helping actual and future entrepreneurs build skills for life.


EntreComp Food 

The European agri-food industry faces important challenges to attract young talent, which hinders entrepreneurship and innovation. To address this issue, the EntreComp Food project focuses on building European collaborative communities of practice and developing novel learning activities to attract young students and entrepreneurs to careers in this sector.



Entrepreneurial teaching (and learning) should not be confined to business schools and economic faculties! This is the ethos of EntreTime, a new education service providing a comprehensive training package to upskill educators in higher education institutions and upgrade their pedagogical tools in the domain of entrepreneurship.


Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs 

The EYE programme is the European exchange programme for entrepreneurs. The programme helps provide aspiring European entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start and successfully run a small business in Europe.

How does it work? EYE allows new entrepreneurs to join and exchange knowledge and business ideas with an experienced entrepreneur, with whom they stay and collaborate for a period of one to six months.

The European Commission partly finances the stay and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. If you are interested in participating, apply today!


European Entrepreneurial Regions

An entrepreneurial region is one with an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy, irrespective of its size, wealth and competence. The EER project partnership promotes the development and implementation of concrete action plans to support practical collaboration on entrepreneurship between regions and aims to facilitate peer learning among entrepreneurial regions. The focus areas include innovative practices in start-up and scale-up support, the mapping of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the provision of networking opportunities for start-ups and scale-ups. 


Migrant Entrepreneurship Growth Agenda

The MEGA project supported migrant entrepreneurship at the local, regional, national and European level.

Partner networks in France, Germany, Italy and Spain mutually reviewed their practices to promote migrant entrepreneurship, learn from each other’s solutions and initiate concrete actions to improve their policies and measures. The project also sought to place the issue of migrant entrepreneurship firmly in the policy agenda, by drawing attention to the needs of migrant entrepreneurs and their potential to contribute to the economy.


Investing in women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship makes a clear business case and is at the centre of several COSME initiatives:


Women face specific issues when starting and running a business. WEgate is an online platform developed to provide continuing support to women entrepreneurs and make sure they have the best possible tools at their disposal to overcome those challenges.

The platform is a hub that connects women entrepreneurs with support organisations at local, regional, national and European level. It facilitates access to mentoring and business networks across Europe and supports the entrepreneurs' needs related to starting, financing and managing their businesses. 


EEN – women entrepreneurs

COSME's flagship project Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) has developed a women entrepreneurship group on Facebook that gathers 21 partner organisations in 14 countries. The group connects women entrepreneurs to the network's business and innovation support activities. It provides concrete services, such as business partnering, access to international markets, cooperation with local networks, as well as access to EU funding. 


Peer-Learning Activities in Entrepreneurship Education and Women Entrepreneurship initiative 

The Peer-Learning Activities initiative also focuses significantly on women entrepreneurs. Through peer-learning workshops targeted to ‘movers and shakers’ in the field, the project aims to contribute to the design and implementation of new European and national strategies for the support of women's entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond.


But this is not all. For a quick overview of other European Commission initiatives related to entrepreneurship, have a look at the resources below:


This support will continue under the SME pillar of the new Single Market Programme, for more information you can read the official press release and have a look at the factsheet.


Publication date
25 May 2021