Wide support for startups’ expansion in Europe has been acknowledged as one of the top current priorities in development of the continent. It is a well-known fact that namely SME once properly stimulated by the Governments and funded by different investors at the start can provide the lion share of the employment in the economy, deliver very important innovative products, and of course boost the economy growth. Though it is also well-known from the experience of USA, Asian countries and Europe itself that startups (also any SME) success can be very fragile and for the first few years their founders should be really supported by their investors not to mention by the appropriate fiscal policy. In 2015 about 100 million startups were launched in the whole world, only in USA last year about $48,3 billion were invested in startups. But the world leader in startup extension is Uganda where the whooping 28% of the population are entrepreneurs.
So far UK and London in particular has been recognized the best place to start business in Europe. According to European Startups Act 2020 the share of VC in EU GDP since the crisis of 2008 has declined, while now (from 2014-2015) the situation is improving. But still what can any potential entrepreneur face in terms of funding her/his startup?
How does it happen now and what is the dynamic for the past years? With these and many other questions we addressed to Professor Hans Crijns. He is an internationally known expert, teacher and researcher in the area of Entrepreneurship, development of SME and a co-founder of the Vlerick Business Angel Network. He is a partner at the Vlerick Business School, where he is leading the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Impulse Centre Growth Management for Medium Sized Enterprises. Professor Hans Crijns also actively supports the medium sized enterprises by being a Member of the Board of many medium size enterprises in Europe.
Other words he is a one of the top experts in Belgium and Europe to talk about the future possibilities and current situation with the entrepreneurship development and the availability of Angel investor funding for startups here. In our interview we discussed differences and similarities between the entrepreneurship and Angel investments in USA, Asia and Europe. Also we have learnt how to choose the Angel investor, what kind of relationships between the entrepreneur and investor can bring really mutually fruitful results. Professor Hans Crijns has shared with us his comprehensive knowledge of the problem based on the many years of his experience.