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O-0113/2008 (B6-0485/2008)

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PV 03/12/2008 - 16
CRE 03/12/2008 - 16

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Debates
Wednesday, 3 December 2008 - Brussels OJ edition

16. Steps towards improving the environment for SMEs in Europe - Small Business Act (debate)
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PV
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  Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE-DE ). - (NL) First of all, I should like to pay tribute to the French Presidency for their haste in drawing the right conclusions from this Small Business Act, so that things can actually start moving. We in this Parliament have immediately responded to this by amending our procedure. After all, in this economic crisis, we really have to go all out for the SMEs in Europe as they are the Small Business Act’s very raison d’être .

We have to make far better use of the potential of entrepreneurs in Europe. I should particularly like to draw your attention today to female entrepreneurship, for it is a strange paradox. Women are a lot better at it. It is far less likely, or so the figures suggest, for women entrepreneurs to go bankrupt.

Despite this, it is still much more difficult for women entrepreneurs to get their hands on credit in order to start a business. This needs to be made easier, as it is desperately needed. This means that women entrepreneurs need to be given better access to funding and existing funds.

Micro-credit is also a very important means of improving the economic status and independence of women, not least for women from minority groups. In the current credit crunch, when banks are less inclined to grant credit, this has become far more difficult, and this is another reason why it is important for the guarantees of the European Investment Bank to be available, precisely for micro-credit and for women entrepreneurs.

It is important for women to be able to start their own small businesses, so that they can juggle work and family effectively. This is also very important to the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats. I welcome the fact that the Council’s conclusions already specifically mention female entrepreneurship. Keep up the good work, I would say.

 
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