EU funding has enabled the Oona initiative to offer free training and networking opportunities to about 200 female entrepreneurs in Uusimaa, Finland. This makes it possible for them to develop their businesses, increase sales and form partnerships with other entrepreneurs.
In 2015, 11 young graduate agronomists in France’s Haute-Vienne department came up with the idea of creating a communal farm and selling local, organic products. Two years on, the gamble has paid off and La Tournerie is producing fruit, vegetables, meat and even organic beer. The farmers’ responsible ecological approach has been backed by EU funding.
The Initiative France network helps entrepreneurs throughout France to create and develop businesses with the support of its local associations. The EU facilitates access to financing for these projects by providing guarantees for the “Remarkable Initiative” loans offered by Initiative France to innovative entrepreneurs.
Quadrivium 1 is a €56.1 million seed fund launched in 2013 by French venture capital firm Seventure Partners. It supports high-potential start-ups in the life science – including bio, health and clean technology – and digital and robotic technology sectors.
With EU support, Bulgarian company MClimate has developed the Melissa smart device, which manages air conditioning through a smartphone and Wi-Fi app. Melissa studies things like the temperature users prefer when they come home and how long it takes the air conditioning to reach it. It then sets up the system accordingly with minimal energy use.
Bulgarian pharmaceutical company Huvepharma has received a €100 million loan under the Investment Plan for Europe. The loan supports microbiological R&D, development of new medicinal products and the creation of 210 jobs in Bulgaria.
Environmental sustainability requires a significant commitment from all economic sectors, including healthcare. In Italy, the challenge has been taken up by the Ca’ Foncello hospital in Treviso where, thanks to support from the Veneto Region and the EU, existing buildings are to be refurbished and new facilities built. This will help the hospital increase energy efficiency, lower carbon dioxide emissions and achieve a high level of eco-sustainability by 2024.
Sicily’s Mediterranean Institute for Transplants and Advanced Specialised Therapies (ISMETT) is the first hospital in Italy built exclusively for transplants and end-stage vital organ failure care. It is recognised as a medical reference point across Europe, as well as being a regional economic driver. Grants from the Sicilian Region and the EU have enhanced the quality of the services ISMETT offers.
Arctic Warriors uses Lapland’s natural herbs like roseroot, angelica and nettle to create superfoods. The herbs come from small local farmers or grow wild. Each year, the company provides work for 9 farmers and about 10 herb gatherers. With EU support, it is developing new products and moving into exports.
The EU-funded Tunne Työ initiative implements measures to increase knowledge of working life among teaching and guidance staff in upper-secondary educational establishments in Finland. It also looks to develop educational structures so as to better support student career planning. The aim is to make students aware of the variety of education and career options open to them.