European SME Week 2011 - Start Afresh: Watch 3 Inspiring Success Stories of European Entrepreneurs

Sep 28, 2011, 09:00 ET from The European Commission

BRUSSELS, September 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


From 3 to 9 October, the 3rd edition of the European SME Week focuses on business transfer and a second chance for entrepreneurs.  Anna Rizzo, Tuomas Pahlman and Volker Geyer, 3 European entrepreneurs, seized an opportunity off the beaten path. Discover their stories here:    

People considering becoming entrepreneurs often forget that starting a new firm is not the only way to go into business. Every year, thousands of small businesses close down, as their owners retire or seek new challenges, without finding anybody to take over the firm. Only 50% of businesses survive the first 5 years after they are created. Of all closures bankruptcies represent 15%. Therefore business failure, closure and restart should be seen as a natural process, like the first-time creation of a start-up.

This year, the European SME Week focuses on the issues of second time entrepreneurs and transfer of business. The European Commission published a supporting brochure featuring 32 entrepreneurs across the EU whose stories provide inspiration to existing and would-be entrepreneurs in Europe.

3 inspiring examples of entrepreneurial success

When her father died, Anna Rizzo took over his company in Rome, Italy. Volker Geyer from Wiesbaden, Germany, founded a painting business after a very difficult bankruptcy. Tuomas Pahlman lives in Tampere, Finland. At 21 his father passed away, leaving him in charge of a struggling company. They tell their story in a 5-minute video.

Video Material

Download the VNR, its B-roll, interviews of the 3 entrepreneurs:

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The brochure featuring 32 success stories:

Making business transfer easier and start afresh

The European Commission asks Member States to review their tax systems, organise transparent markets for business transfers and reduce discharge times to maximum 3 years for honest entrepreneurs, giving them a "clean slate" and a fresh start.

The European SME Week

This yearly campaign coordinated by the European Commission promotes SMEs, entrepreneurs and the culture and spirit of entrepreneurship across Europe in line with the Small Business Act for Europe.

The central event, takes place in Brussels, 6 and 7 October 2011.

Information and programme:

SOURCE The European Commission