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The European commission launches Watify to accelerate creation of up to 1.5 million jobs in digital entrepreneurship in Europe


29 Apr 2014


Innovation & Enterprise

The main challenge facing entrepreneurs in Europe is not the lack of great ideas but the fear of turning ideas into reality. Many people with great ideas are reluctant to embrace entrepreneurship because of their doubts. There are as many people wanting to start a business in Europe as there are in the USA, yet we see a significantly lower level of involvement in start-ups on this side of the Atlantic. Only 6% of the adult population of Europe is engaged in a new business, compared with 13% in the USA (1). That’s why the European Commission is launching the Watify platform with Deloitte Belgium, DIGITALEUROPE and EBN. Its ambition? To promote digital entrepreneurship

by addressing these doubts, accelerating creation of up to 1.5 million jobs and unlocking the 98% unexploited potential of value creation by going digital.

If you’re an entrepreneur, doubt is good. It leads to questioning. Which leads to answers and ultimately: great ideas. Doubts make entrepreneurs face difficulties and come up with creative ways to overcome them. Yet many people with great ideas are reluctant to embrace entrepreneurship because of their doubts. It’s estimated that 1.5 million additional jobs would be created (2) in the EU Internet Economy, if the entire EU mirrors the entrepreneurship performance of the USA or Sweden. That’s why Europe’s ambition is to create new business opportunities through novel digital technologies to increase growth and create employment. Despite the fact that technologies such as mobile and social solutions, cloud computing and data analytics have the potential to create new value for the EU businesses, they remain dramatically under-exploited in Europe. Indeed, only 2% of the European businesses take full advantage of the opportunities that going digital offers (3).

Watify will help entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs to overcome the barriers that prevent them from starting their own business. This initiative will help them to understand that every successful entrepreneur has had moments of doubt and that success begins to materialise the moment you start making your idea happen. The platform will also help established companies in all industry sectors by showing them that there are many opportunities to transform their business using technologies, taking away any of their doubts and stimulate them into taking action.

The Watify initiative will run throughout Europe for two years. The aim of the initiative is to foster

digital entrepreneurship in Europe. The initiative offers inspiration, practical support and advice for entrepreneurs and existing businesses, helping them to fully realise the opportunities for both business growth and innovation by using digital technologies.

Visit the Watify platform to find out more about how this initiative can stimulate digital entrepreneurship in Europe.

Watify is funded by the European Commission, and managed by Deloitte Belgium, DIGITALEUROPE and EBN.

For more information, please contact:

Katia Van der Straeten
T: + 32 2 749 59 09


(1) The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM),

(2) Study published by Vlerick Business School and carried out on behalf of IAB Europe ‘Online Jobs Boosting Europe’s Competitiveness’, June 2013

(3) The Digital Entrepreneurship Monitor,


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