After a brief hiatus last week, we’re back for the weekly wrap-up of the fourth week of #EUCrowdShow. Now we’ve visited 19 countries, and have 10 left on our tour. We’ve met around 600 people, a mix of entrepreneurs and investors and people who are both!
This week we went to Lisbon, Portugal at Beta-I; Madrid, Spain at Smart Labs; Amsterdam, Netherlands at The Thinking Hut; and Luxembourg City, Luxembourg at Lux Future Lab. We traveled approximately 6,000 kilometers; the total journey for our 19 countries is approximately 23,000 kilometers!
Here's a quick summary of our four events in four countries, spread over five days:
Portugal is growing! We had record-breaking numbers for our event in Lisbon, the most registrations out of all cities! The appetite for entrepreneurship is strong, and the food and conversation were awesome! We learned that SMEs in Portugal are very important, accounting for 67% of total value added and 79% of employment, both higher than the EU average. Although public funds are available for SME financing, there is a lack of private investment and venture capital. That’s where crowdfunding and co-investing with professionals can be key!
We traveled to Madrid for our event, but could have also visited start-up hub Barcelona. In Spain, micro-enterprises of less than 10 people are particularly important, employing more than 40% of people. There are more than 2.3 Million SMEs! But although there is the entrepreneurial spirit, there are challenges to access finance. A cross-border approach can help!
Amsterdam is a start-up hub, with more than 1,100 startups listed on Angel List, and more than 800,000 SMEs! The Netherlands is a competitive business environment, with great conditions for starting a business, (comma not needed) or getting a second chance. There are also a lot of single-person businesses and self-employed people who have left careers to enjoy good conditions. We enjoyed our time with our neighbours to the north, with several rooms of lively conversation over food.
Once again we were surprised to have such a large crowd in a small country! In Luxembourg, SMEs generate 70% of both value added and employment. Productivity, measured as value added per head, is almost twice the EU average. And, there are lots of professional investors, including venture capitalists, who also attended our event.
Next week we’ll continue traveling, to Sofia, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Warsaw and Dublin.