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News article25 July 2023European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency2 min read

Horizon Europe ExcellEnt project to strengthen European entrepreneurial ecosystems

First transnational project meeting of the Horizon Europe-funded ExcellEnt project
© iED, 2023

The ExcellEnt project, funded by the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) programme – a part of the Horizon Europe programme, is set to revolutionise the European business landscape with its innovative approach to strengthening and homogenising business practices across the continent. ExcellEnt is a collaborative project connecting six entrepreneurial ecosystems across Europe. It aims to build bridges between ecosystems, creating equal opportunities for entrepreneurs in less developed regions and linking the European ecosystem with the international landscape. With a focus on sharing unstructured entrepreneurial experiences, stories and narratives, the ExcellEnt project will provide valuable resources for younger audiences facing the challenge of (self-) employability.

Joining forces for the European entrepreneurship: who is involved in the ExcellEnt Project?

The ExcellEnt consortium is formed by a total of seven partners, including one from a country known for its strong innovation capacity (France), as well as four partners from moderate innovator countries in Southern and Eastern Europe (Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Türkiye). In addition, the consortium is complemented by two innovation enablers with expertise in technology transfer (International Development Ireland Limited, Ireland and Booster Labs S.A.S., France), scale-up, innovation management, and start-up and talent scouting.

The core target group of the project is peer entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, specifically entrepreneurship support organisations, who play a critical role in providing support to entrepreneurs and start-ups. The main objective of the project is to strengthen the links among various key stakeholders, including

  • Investors (Business Angels, Venture Capital investors, and other financial institutions)
  • Industry representatives (start-ups, SMEs, midcaps, and corporates)
  • Academia representatives
  • Policy makers/public authorities

The ExcellEnt project methodology and beyond: building entrepreneurial skills through powerful narratives

The ExcellEnt project methodology is guided by the development and showcasing of business ideas rooted in powerful "entrepreneurial narratives" as the main learning setup to build entrepreneurial skills. The project aims to create a lasting legacy through the use and dissemination of innovative methodologies and real entrepreneurship narratives across the six project partner ecosystems and beyond. This will create a valuable resource that future entrepreneurs and support organisations can tap into, thus fuelling the evolution of the entrepreneurship ecosystems beyond the project.

Secondly, the project seeks to maintain and promote connectivity among partner ecosystems and with other ecosystems in the wider European context. The formation of cross-ecosystem partnerships and collaborations will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise, ultimately leading to the creation of a larger, more cohesive business ecosystem.

For more information on the project, please visit ExcellEnt Project’s website.


Publication date
25 July 2023
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency