GEN Launches Effort to Stimulate Entrepreneurial Growth Throughout Europe

GEN Europe to strengthen global connections, cultivate evidence-based solutions to entrepreneurial challenges in the region

Originally published by GEN.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network unveiled its latest effort aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. The formation of GEN Europe will serve as a regional hub to strengthen global connections among a diverse collection of stakeholders and provide a sustained focus on empowering entrepreneurs throughout the continent.

GEN Europe is a European-led initiative focused on advancing the continent’s entrepreneurial capacity through enhanced entrepreneurship support programs and policy instruments.

“As a European organization we will work with other Europe-wide entrepreneurship and SME organizations to increase collective knowledge sharing and improve cross-border cooperation to support entrepreneurship initiatives,” said Freddy Nurski, managing director of GEN Belgium, who will serve as the initial chair of the Executive Committee.

At the global level, GEN operates in more than 170 countries. It fuels healthier start and scale ecosystems by fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives that engage entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurship support organizations. The announcement coincided with the appearance of Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, at an initial meeting in Berlin, Germany, of the GEN Europe members and Executive Committee.

GEN Europe helps inform and educate European entrepreneurial ecosystem leaders and provides an open platform for discussion about specific challenges affecting European entrepreneurs and those that support them – including policymakers. GEN Europe’s initial objectives are as follows:

  1. Align GEN research, policy initiatives and programs throughout Europe by opening new opportunities for research collaborations with European organizations, and increasing European policymakers’ contributions to the Startup Nations Atlas of Policies – a policy portal of public sector levers and programs that support entrepreneurship around the world. GEN Europe also aims to expand awareness of tested support and education programs, and increase engagement of non-Europeans in supporting European entrepreneurship initiatives.
  2. Collaborate with the European Commission by exchanging global information with EU decision makers about proven methodologies and programs relevant to Europe, improving the quality and reducing the cost of EU supported entrepreneurship projects through greater collective knowledge sharing and quality control, and supporting and engaging in each other’s research and policy events.
  3. Explore partnerships with other continent-wide entrepreneurship and SME organizations and work with other entrepreneurship support organizations to maximize global methodologies and knowledge, as well as minimize duplication.
  4. Expand GEN’s support of national governments throughout Europe, through the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, Startup Nations and other GEN programs, and connect government leaders to relevant counterparts outside Europe for both recognition and new solutions.

In addition to Nurski, the initial members of the GEN Europe Executive Committee are as follows (in alphabetical order):

  1. Sonja Alt, Managing Director, GEN Germany
  2. Anna Amati, Managing Director, GEN Italy
  3. Ana Barjasic, Acting Managing Director, GEN Portugal
  4. Albert Colomer Espinet, Acting Managing Director, GEN Spain
  5. Olesea Fortuna, Founding President, GEN Moldova
  6. Ewan Gaffney, Acting Managing Director, GEN UK
  7. Marcel Gasser, Managing Director, GEN Switzerland
  8. Patrik Kovacs, President, JEUNE
  9. Johannes Lindner, Founder, Initiative for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Austria
  10. Hein Roelfsema, Managing Director, GEN Netherlands
  11. Karim Sy, Acting Managing Director, GEN France
  12. Carla Tanas, Co-founder, Future Agro Challenge