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European crowdfunding service providers for business

29-05-2018

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, published on 8 March 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The strengthening of the capital markets to boost long-term investment in the EU is a priority EU goal. In this context, the Commission's 2017 mid-term review of the capital markets union (CMU) action plan noted that access to ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, published on 8 March 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The strengthening of the capital markets to boost long-term investment in the EU is a priority EU goal. In this context, the Commission's 2017 mid-term review of the capital markets union (CMU) action plan noted that access to finance for small, innovative businesses is a challenge in all EU countries, even those where access to bank finance has remained stable during the financial crisis. Start-ups and other unlisted firms lack risk finance to invest in innovation and growth, in particular in the early stages of their development (IA, p. 6, 8). In view of closing this gap and complementing bank financing, the Commission supports alternative sources of financing, including technology-enabled financial services, the largest part of which consists in crowdfunding. In this context, crowdfunding is defined as an 'open call for the collecting of resources ... from the wider public through an internet-based platform for a specific project' (IA, p. 8). A 2016 Commission staff working document noted that crowdfunding has been developing rapidly since 2013, but remained concentrated in a few EU countries, with 81 % market share in the United Kingdom (UK) (IA, p. 16). Some Member States introduced national rules to regulate their online platforms and/or apply elements of existing EU legislation on financial services to specific types of crowdfunding, while others leave some aspects of the activity unregulated. This regulatory patchwork hinders cross-border crowdfunding and creates considerable market fragmentation (IA, pp. 26-30).

EU support for social entrepreneurs

16-03-2017

Social enterprises combine social goals with entrepreneurial activity. They represent a business model focused on having a positive social or environmental impact rather than simply making profit for shareholders. Social enterprises make a valuable contribution to the economy and society, operating mainly in local communities and covering areas such as education, healthcare, social services, work integration and environmental protection. They are also an increasingly popular choice for outsourcing ...

Social enterprises combine social goals with entrepreneurial activity. They represent a business model focused on having a positive social or environmental impact rather than simply making profit for shareholders. Social enterprises make a valuable contribution to the economy and society, operating mainly in local communities and covering areas such as education, healthcare, social services, work integration and environmental protection. They are also an increasingly popular choice for outsourcing certain public services of general economic interest. Social enterprises encounter challenges in their operations, mostly related to regulatory obstacles and difficulties in accessing funding. At EU level the momentum gained by the Social Business Initiative of 2011 is currently being supplemented by regulatory changes such as the review of the regulation on the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds, improving access to public procurement and developing methodologies for measuring social impact. The EU is also making efforts to improve funding opportunities, for instance via the Social Impact Accelerator and the 'microfinance and social entrepreneurship' axis of the Employment and Social Innovation programme. Additional funding is made available under the European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as programmes tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises. Expansion of the social economy, however, requires further development of a supportive regulatory environment, a tailored financial ecosystem, and also increased visibility and recognition.

European venture capital and social entrepreneurship funds

07-12-2016

This initial appraisal concludes that the Commission's impact assessment is based on sound knowledge and on relevant data relating to the investment funds industry. However, the evidence regarding specifically the two fund frameworks under review - European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds - is, by the IA's own admission, limited. The IA and the review attached to it do not cover all the points listed in the review clauses of the two regulations, for instance the geographical ...

This initial appraisal concludes that the Commission's impact assessment is based on sound knowledge and on relevant data relating to the investment funds industry. However, the evidence regarding specifically the two fund frameworks under review - European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds - is, by the IA's own admission, limited. The IA and the review attached to it do not cover all the points listed in the review clauses of the two regulations, for instance the geographical and sectoral distribution of investments undertaken specifically by EuVECA and EuSEF funds. At first sight, it appears that different conclusions could be drawn using the same data provided in the IA, for instance regarding the low take-up and lower than expected performance of the funds. The range of options analysed in depth seems rather narrow. Finally, the purpose of the existing regulations is to enhance the growth of small and medium-size enterprises and of social businesses. The IA states that it is too early to judge whether these objectives have been achieved and excludes this issue from the scope of the analysis. Even so, an initial analysis of the public consultations undertaken shows that, despite the absence of more concrete evidence, a greater effort could have been made to integrate the voice of non-financial businesses, including SMEs and social enterprises, within the IA.  

Diverging views on the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the US and Europe

22-04-2015

Infrastructure investments are an important element in international economic cooperation. Besides bilateral agreements, European donor countries often use the institutional platform given by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to negotiate the terms of financial assistance with recipient countries. However, the dominance of these Western development and investment institutions is challenged by China, which has launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). While the ...

Infrastructure investments are an important element in international economic cooperation. Besides bilateral agreements, European donor countries often use the institutional platform given by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to negotiate the terms of financial assistance with recipient countries. However, the dominance of these Western development and investment institutions is challenged by China, which has launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). While the US has taken a critical stance on this Chinese influenced infrastructure bank, some EU Member States have announced that they will support the AIIB.

Women's entrepreneurship in the EU

30-04-2013

Female entrepreneurship is important to the European Union for both gender equality and economic growth. Yet, while women are catching up on labour markets, the gender gap in entrepreneurship is still wide.

Female entrepreneurship is important to the European Union for both gender equality and economic growth. Yet, while women are catching up on labour markets, the gender gap in entrepreneurship is still wide.

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