In the current tough economic environment, business model innovation can be the key to becoming or staying competitive. To boost European competitiveness and job creation, the ENVISION, Empowering SME business model Innovation, project will activate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Europe to re-think and transform their business models with the help of an easy-to-use, open-access, self-service web platform. The project gathers nine partners and their wide networks across Europe to build the tools, study the impact of such tools and activate the SMEs for using the tools. The project is funded under the Horizon 2020 funding frame.
Why SMEs are vital for Europe?
Europe has more than 20 million SMEs representing over 99% of all European businesses. Moreover, 85% of net new jobs created in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were in fact created by SMEs. As such, SMEs clearly represent the backbone of the European economy driving economic growth and employment. “All small businesses should now really think what they could do in order to grow their business and hire new people. ENVISION is an excellent effort to bring in the necessary tools for this business makeover”, says the ENVISION project coordinator, Professor Harry Bouwman from the Delft University of Technology.
A committed team with a vision
One of the project’s concrete objectives is to increase awareness of business model innovation and reach out to at least 15% of European SMEs (that is a whopping 3 million SMEs) while ensuring that the most prominent companies for new job creation are involved. The ambitious goal of the ENVISION project is pursued by a consortium of nine partners from seven countries. In addition, there are over 20 SME stakeholder networks participating across Europe. “There is a lot of talk about business model innovation in small businesses. Our aim is to find out how significant the impact is for the European economy. One of the most important aims of the project is that we’ll build and make easy-to-use tools available for small companies looking for improving their business”, continues Professor Bouwman.
The project will study how, and to what degree business model tools contribute to the competitiveness of the European SMEs. By participating in the project, the participating universities will strengthen its position as one of the leading SME research organization in Europe.
First release of the ENVISION platform in late 2015
The kick-off meeting of the ENVISION project took place from 18th to 20th February 2015 in Delft, The Netherlands. It was agreed in the kick-off meeting that the first version of the ENVISION platform will be made available at the end of 2015. However, as we have already started working on it, new content will be appearing at the project’s website and updates will be frequently posted on our Facebook and Twitter profiles over the next months.
Stay tuned, as we’d love to have you on-board in this exciting journey!
Dr Marikka Heikkilä
University of Turku, Turku School of Economics
FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland
+358 50 440 2882