At an award ceremony in Brussels, the jury, which consists of members from EU institutions and business associations, selected the regions’ strategies as being best in promoting entrepreneurship and spreading innovation among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Set up in partnership with the European Commission and supported by EU level stakeholders, the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) identifies and rewards EU regions which demonstrate an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy, irrespective of size and wealth. The regions with the most credible, forward-thinking and promising vision plan are granted the title of EER, commending their investment in entrepreneurial spirit.
Markku Markkula (President of the European Committee of the Regions) congratulated the winning regions that “have already shown us that they are ready to tackle the challenge of creating jobs and growth through their support to SMEs.” SMEs play a vital role in the European economy: making up 99 % of all European businesses and creating approximately half of new jobs. President Markkula singled out Glasgow’s “improved governance to steer innovation and entrepreneurship.“
Glasgow has laid out a six-point strategy to increase the number of businesses to 20,000 (an increase of 2,000) by 2017. Bailie Liz Cameron, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy, responded: “I am delighted that the Council has been given this award, due recognition from our European peers for all the work our officers have done to support new businesses in the city over the past few years. The fostering of an entrepreneurial culture is a key ambition of the Council as this is one of the best ways to create prosperity for future generations and we have ambitious targets for the number of new businesses to be created in Glasgow by 2017.”
Glasgow is the second city to take home the title of European Entrepreneurial Region, following the success of Lisbon last year. The award coincides with Glasgow winning Council of the Year 2015, securing a £1.13 billion City Deal and playing host to the inaugural Venturefest Scotland innovation summit.