Tag ‘Digital technology’
Digital technologies are the single most important driver of innovation and growth today. They re-shape entire industries and open doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The Secret of Success 2014-15 brochure features 35 of Europe’s finest digital icons.
This very interesting video from Euronews about digital entrepreneurs in France is worth a look. It features Secret of Success entrepreneur, Benjamin Suchar who created Yoopies, (Europe’s leading social platform for child-minding services) after seeing his how two sisters had limited choices for their childcare.
Europe’s digital economy has huge potential -as the success of French start-ups like Yoopies illustrates. It helps users to find a babysitter based on 50 criteria including, location, profile, and rating. Launched in 2012, Yoopies went from 3 to 15 people, from 10 babysitters to 400,000. The platform is now available in 7 languages in 9 countries. It now has a 300% year-on-year turnover increase and is moving into other services including shopping delivery and housekeeping.
‘42’ is another example of the digital’s sector’s potential. Created by top French digital entrepreneur Xavier Niel, ‘42’ is a unique school which trains 900 young people in digital skills each year, free of charge and regardless of qualifications.
Gilles Babinet is one of the EU’s Digital Champions, whose mission is to promote the benefits of an inclusive digital society.
We started Montepass because we are passionate about digital innovation and what it can offer businesses and consumers alike. Our ﬂagship platform, Zaposli, is a job seeking website that brings employers and jobseekers in Montenegro together in one convenient place. Our vision is that Zaposli becomes an employment hub for the whole region.
If I were in charge of enterprise policy, I would sponsor business incubators; organise competitions to encourage digital innovation; and make sure entrepreneurship is taught in all schools at the earliest opportunity.
“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we bring positive change and help people become more independent and free in their thinking.”
Hero(es): Steve Jobs
Start up capital: Own
Can you code? Yes
Education / Training: IT
Product / Service: Online jobs marketplace
Meniga was started to help people manage their personal finances better so that they could make the most of their money. I also hope it inspires them to think about their finances and improve their financial literacy. Digital technology (plus a local R&D grant and R&D tax credits) made it easier for us to expand onto a global stage.
As for helping other entrepreneurs like me, I would recommend tax incentives for early stage start ups; fast track immigration permits so that start ups can compete for global talent; and the creation of a really ‘great’ business environment through flexible labour markets and light touch regulation.
“Entrepreneurs are great role models because we work hard to improve the world though innovation; taking risks to have a positive impact on society.”
Hero(es): Humble and generous people
Start up capital: Savings
Growth rate p.a: 266%
Mentor(s): Advisers rather than mentors
Can you code?: Yes
Product/ Service: Online financial services
Digital technology (and a grant from the Croatian Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts) has enabled us to express ourselves in a very creative and meaningful way. Our most popular product is ‘Wall of Tweets’, a simple and engaging Twitter wall solution that enables people attending events to share their tweets in real time on a big wall. We have also developed a number of smaller helper apps for Twitter list management, search engine optimisation and data analytics, as well as a framework for dashboard-like data representation. We enable people to interact with each other, to share, to enjoy, to express themselves and realise their potential. For us, it’s all about the people.
For entrepreneurs to succeed we need to lower taxes and social security contributions; reduce bureaucracy; and listen to entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs have a positive impact on everyone’s life: we have the potential to contribute, grow, develop and inspire people.”
Hero(es): My team and best friend
Start up capital: Own
Growth rate p.a: 65%
Can you code? Yes
Education / Training: Astrophysics
Product / Service: Social media analytics
Read more about UX Passion here.
A vote by delegates at the recent SME Assembly in Naples found that Europe must do more than provide digital technology for entrepreneurs. 73% of those who voted via the conference app disagreed with the motion ‘Thanks to digital technology, everyone can become a successful entrepreneur’.
Watch the Big Debate yourself and let us know which way you would have voted, in the comments below.
TransferWise was born out of my frustration with the high fees charged by banks to transfer money abroad. So Kristo Käärmann and I built a web platform that allows our customers to transfer money more quickly and cheaply than any of our competitors, particularly high street banks. In the three years we have been operating, we have already saved our customers £45million (€ 56.7million) in transaction fees. Digital technology is making financial services cheaper, more transparent and customer friendly.
I would like to see the bank payment infrastructure deregulated; more transparency in the marketing and advertising of financial products; and new rules to make it easier for us to recruit talent from anywhere in the world.
“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we challenge the status quo: we use innovation to shake monopolies, boost the economy and make people’s lives easier.”
Hero(es): Niklas Zennström
Start up capital: Own and seed funding
Growth rate p.a: 10%
Can you code? Yes
Education/Training: Web start ups
Product/Service: Online financial services