Last updated May 7th 2012
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Business Link is the UK government's online ressource for businesses. It contains essential information, support and services and is the place to go to find guidance on regulations and to access government services. Outstanding site extremely well designed and easy to use. What I liked best was the way it has separated services into services for start up and services for growth and improvement. Do not miss the section on IT and open source software.
European Small Businesss Portal
This portal gathers together all the information provided by the EU on and for SMEs, ranging from practical advice to policy issues, from local contact points to networking links. Excellent site which attempt to provide helpful navigational aid in the myriad of programs and networks related SME development. Do not miss the definition of SMEs, the Good Practices in SME Policy, the EU Market Rules and the Commission initiatives in developing microcredit.
This site from the European Commission is a practical guide to doing business in Europe. Divided into eight sections : Starting Up, Managing, Expanding, EU Market, Research & Innovation, Responsible Business, Finance & Support, Exit Strategy, it provides multilingual practical information and online government services for companies looking for business in another country. Excellent site.
EUbusiness is a publishing venture independent of European Union institutions which informs and alerts people who want to do business in Europe - about changes to the business environment, new opportunities in the EU and networking possibilities. The site includes sections on News, Analysis of key issues, EU Agenda, Business guides, Summaries of legislation, Official texts, Market research reports (for purchase). Excellent site.
European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
The European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) is the employer's organisation representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs at EU level. The UEAPME incorporates 82 member organisations and represents over 12 million enterprises with nearly 55 million employees.. Its objectives include monitoring EU policy and legislative process while ensuring that the interest of its members are taken into consideration. Excellent and very interesting site with numerous position papers. Do not miss the Craft and SME Barometer and the report « The Role and the Main Developments of SMEs in the European Economy ».
Europa, the European Union's server, provides basic information on institutional structures, legislative instruments, policies, priorities and operational activities of the European community. A "must".
European Capital Markets Institute
In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, the G20 has committed to leave no area of the financial markets unregulated. As a result, a sweeping wave of regulatory initiatives has made policy research on European capital markets even more important. The European Capital Markets Institute (ECMI) is an independent think tank that undertakes and disseminates research on capital markets and contributes to ongoing policy debates in Europe. Very rich and interesting site. Do not miss the extremely interesting document : « The Eurozone Debt Crisis : From its origin to a way forward ».
Through its 41 member federations, BUSINESSEUROPE , the Confederation of European Business, represents 20 million companies from 35 countries. Its main task is to ensure that companies' interests are represented and defended vis-à-vis the European institutions with the principal aim of preserving and strengthening corporate competitiveness. The site is divided in 9 themes : Better Regulation, Economy and Finance, Employment and Social Affairs, Environment and Climate Change, Industrial Development and Energy, Global Trade, Legal Affairs, Single Market, SMEs. Excellent and very rich site particularly with regards to publications. Do not miss the Library and the main policy paper « Go for Growth ».
Agence Pour la Création d'Entreprises (APCE)
As part of the french government national policy for enterprise creation, the Agence Pour la Création d'Entreprises (APCE)'s mandate is to ensure entrepreneurship development through the promotion of new enterprises. Excellent site for those interested in enterprise creation. Do not miss the Toolbox which unfortunately is not directly available from the main entry page.
Europages, the European Business Directory, provides information on 500,000 enterprises in 30 european countries. Excellent and very useful site if you want to find a company.
European Union Internet Resources
From the Library of the University of California at Berkeley, this compendium of Internet Resources related to the European Union (EU) leads to EU institutions, EU documents on the web, EU documentation centers, etc. A very good site, very well structured.
The Startup Café, an online platform offering information and tools required to start a business was launched by Google France in association with French business schools and institutions. It provides online information and testimonies made available via educational videos concerning a variety of subjects (amongst others, finding an idea, marketing of a product, difficulties encountered by a creator); online tools that will facilitate the implementation of the project ; and a directory of the organisations and networks that help new entrepreneurs.
Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris
Although mostly directed to the members of CCIP, this very good site provides a lot of useful information for entrepreneurs: training, positions on Euro, forums, useful governemental sites and even some practical information on Paris
EU Enterprise Policy
This site of the European Commission presents an overview of the Enterprise policy which aims to keep up with competition while also creating jobs and paying particular attention to the needs of the manufacturing industry and small firms. The site includes information on EU legislation on Enterprise and Industry. Very good site. Do not miss the section on «more information» which can be used as a first window of information for those interested in SME within the European Union.
Belgian Knowledge Centre for SME Financing
The Belgian Knowledge Centre for SME Financing (BeCeFi) is a national reference centre for the financing of small and medium sized enterprises. The site is divided in three sections : BeCeFi Expertise which focuses on the supply / demand side of financing ; The Entrepreneur which focuses on the financing possibilities ; and the Publications section. Interesting site. Do not miss the subsection on the impact of Basel II.
Secrétariat d'Etat aux PME, au Commerce et à l'Artisanat
The Direction Générale de la Compétitivité, de l'Industrie et des Services (DGCIS) was created in 2009. It is the result of the combination of three previously separate Divisions: the Direction Générale des Entreprises (DGE), the Direction du Tourisme (DT) and the Direction du Commerce, de l'Artisanat, des Services et des Professions Libérales (DCASPL). This section on SMEs presents in terms of legislation, programmes, statistics everything which relate to SMEs and to the entrepreneur. Interesting site but rather difficult to navigate due to its scope and associated structure.
Enterprise Europe Network
The Enterprise Europe Network brings together business support organisations from across 49 countries. Its mission is to help small companies make the most of the business opportunities in the European Union. The network provides a wide range of free advice through contact points located in each european country. Do not miss the publication section and the brochure «Your Business is Our Business».
European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
The European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB) is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to advance the understanding of entrepreneurship and to improve the competitiveness of SMEs in Europe. Interesting site but limited in terms of free information available. The books on « Frontiers in European Entrepreneurshp Research » appear very interesting but have to be purchased. However the Inter-RENT research publications (one per year) can be downloaded. Do not miss the interesting list of weblinks.
British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
This public section of the BCC site provides useful information on news and policies, international trade, quaterly economic survey as well as interesting outside links.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
The Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) is the forum at which the countries of North America, western, central and eastern Europe and central Asia come together to forge the tools of their economic cooperation. Forget the "blah blah" and go to the two most interesting sections; "the data base on SME development" (in operational activities) and the "Statistics" section.
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