This policy hack intends to bring together enthusiastic regional and local public/private investors, venture capital and business angel networks, regional policymakers, business support organisations and entrepreneurs ready to participate in a lively and highly interactive policy session during the SME Assembly in Helsinki next week.
The challenge to hack: What actions are needed to foster more cross-border investments that help firms to scale up across Europe and that can be addressed at regional/interregional levels?
The barriers which teams will address are is primarly one of access to finance, one of the biggest barriers for firms to scale up. Most investments are short-term with a smaller ticket size and there is a significant lack of long-term investment particularly for scale-ups. That is one of the reasons why many start-ups leave the region looking for capital and bigger markets.
The solution should revolve around cross-border investments, which can be instrumental in supporting high-growth companies. Designing a solution for cross-border investments is not a straightforward task for policy-makers. On the one hand, start-ups welcome the foreign capital, expertise, and networks that accompany cross-border investments. On the other hand, policymakers are concerned that cross-border investments predominantly benefit foreign economies and fail to develop the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This challenge has been long discussed and there has been a series of policy solutions suggested, some of them in the pipeline to be delivered, however, it is still not clear how we can make the European Single Market happen for scale-ups. Besides European actions, there is a lot that can be done through local and regional initiatives, investment networks and alignment of funding activities.
In this context, this policy hack will aim at delivering suggestions for more immediate policy actions that can be implemented within regional and interregional contexts.