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(1) BCG, The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity –the internet economy in the G-20, March 2012

(2) According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, in 2010 "early-stage" entrepreneurs made up just 2.3% of Italy’s adult population, 4.2% of Germany’s, and 5.8% of France’s compared to America’s 7.6%, China’s 14% and Brazil’s 17%.

(3) According to E&Y;’s Nice Côte d’Azur 2011 Entrepreneurship Barometer, European entrepreneurs are less confident about their country as a place for start-ups than those in America, Canada or Brazil


A manifesto for entrepreneurship & innovation to power growth in the EU.

Economic conditions in Europe remain hugely challenging with the European Commission forecasting that euro-zone GDP is set to shrink by 0.4% this year. Yet the growing importance of internet-driven economic growth could transform this picture by helping improve the lives of millions of people providing them with new jobs, new skills and renewed hopes for a better future.

According to research from the Boston Consulting Group(1) the Internet Economy in the developed markets of the G-20 is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 8 percent over the next five years. In developing markets, annual growth is expected to be 18 percent. These rates far outpace traditional economic sectors. No longer confined to high-tech businesses, digital technologies are resulting in the re-imagination of every single industry, holding the promise of creating new jobs and new wealth.

This rising tide can help Europe secure its prospects for the future, helping it emerge stronger, more agile and prosperous. But further action is required to overcome a number of roadblocks that threaten to hamper progress and undermine the potential of this vibrant and thriving sector. We must ensure we have the policies, modes of operation and the ambition to succeed. We need to address the fact that continental Europe currently doesn’t create new businesses destined for growth as well as other parts of the World(2) or produce entrepreneurs as confident about the environment their own country provides for startups(3).

The days of relying on large businesses or the government for job creation are over. Many of the millions of jobs lost over the past five years will never return in their old form. Entrepreneurship, which has been the engine for growth in the United States, has not been cultivated in an effective or systematic way in Europe. To create more businesses and more startups requires more than a change in policy. It requires a change in mentality.

Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes has created The Startup Europe Leaders Club — an independent group of founders in the field of tech entrepreneurship who provide guidance on strengthening the business environment for web entrepreneurs in Europe. In March 2013, she invited them to develop a manifesto for economic growth. Since June 2013, the initial recommendations based on the grass roots perspective of these successful web entrepreneurs have been further strengthened with the support and collaboration of the Founders Forum in London, a community of the best global entrepreneurs, select inspiring CEOs and key investors in media and technology.




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Our hope is to reflect the views and perspectives of as many entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and other key figures within the digital and tech ecosystem across Europe. This will ensure the proposals are as robust and actionable as possible. We are encouraging as many registrations of engagement and expressions of support as possible.

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