Challenge:

How might we support web entrepreneurs in launching and growing sustainable global businesses?

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Web entrepreneurship is emerging as a key building block for economies globally. Against a backdrop of challenging financial landscapes, increased adoption of technology is providing opportunities to connect, co-ordinate and catalyse. In this OpenIDEO challenge, the European Commission’s Digital Agenda Assembly is looking for help identifying ways to improve the environment for online start-ups.

Europe, with its cultural diversity and world class universities, boasts a thriving entrepreneurial community. In fact, it has a lot of great web entrepreneurial success stories, from Rovio to Spotify to Xing. In this challenge, OpenIDEO and the European Commission are eager to identify creative ways to support web start-ups as they launch and grow. How might we, for instance, help start-ups access funding across stages of development? Or help them find resources when working across countries? Or foster a culture of experimentation?
 
 

What is Web Entrepreneurship?

To help focus our efforts, we’ll be looking to create concepts for web start-ups and the entrepreneurs who run them. This means any start-up for which the web is a fundamental part of its offering (think Spotify, Facebook, Angry Birds and Xing).

 

Why Focus on Web Entrepreneurship?

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, web and digital technologies are making it possible for cultures, industries, and people to collaborate and partner in new ways. And entrepreneurship – with its emphasis on innovation and growth – can provide the spark that's needed to ignite new economic and societal vibrancy. Brought together, web entrepreneurship represents a timely and relevant opportunity area for our global economy.
 
 

The Potential for Impact

On the surface, this challenge is about supporting and enabling web-based entrepreneurship; yet the positive benefits of encouraging this kind of enterprise creation run much deeper. By finding ways to educate and encourage new entrepreneurs, and by designing a business and technology climate to support their start-ups, we’ll be working towards new job creation, providing fiscal support for local and state economies, designing new opportunities for technology innovation and developing a new generation of business leaders.

As Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, said in her introduction to the Advance Conference last autumn, the European Commission sees itself as an enabler for a better entrepreneurial environment. Now, in collaboration with OpenIDEO, the European Commission is looking to our diverse global community to help identify opportunities for evolution.
 
Through this challenge, we hope to learn about clever techniques currently fostering web start-ups worldwide – from Berlin and London to Silicon Valley and Shanghai – and come up with creative ideas for supporting web entrepreneurship across Europe, whether it be through education, awareness, new activities, new services or even regulatory change.
 
The results of this challenge will be presented at the Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels on June 21st and 22nd, and the European Commission is committed to implementing some of the top concepts thereafter.

Look back on the design tips and challenge Themes the community used to create ideas together.
 

About the European Commission

The mission of the European Commission is to promote the general interest of the European Union. Specifically the Directorate General of the Information Society and Media of the European Commission helps to harness information and communications technologies in order to create jobs and generate economic growth; to provide better goods and services for all; and to build on the greater empowerment which digital technologies can bring in order to create a better world, now and for future generations. Learn more.

 

Challenge Lead

 Amy Bonsall

Community & Social Media Manager

 Meena Kadri

Do you want to get involved in this challenge?

We follow a process with phases. Currently we are in the Realisation phase. You can participate by adding stories on the impact of this challenge.
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Photo of mitch

I know its late, but how did this project go? What measures did you use to assess the merits of each web-based business proposal (both qualitatively and quantitatively)? 

Thanks

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