Sunday, May 12, 2013

Next steps for the digital economy- and for me

The energy is definitely inside small companies - like Startupbootcamp
I'm currently doing more and more work with start-ups, especially tech startups, working on the Internet of things. That seems to be where the future lies, as more traditional businesses have a hard time adapting and making it through the very severe economic downturn in this part of the world. 

What most people I talk to fail to realize is that 99% of the all European businesses are SME’s providing 2 out of three of private sector jobs. What’s more 9 out of 10 of these enterprises have less than 10 employees. So the future of this part of the continent is really in the hands of micro-businesses. 

Still one third of businesses in the Netherlands are still not on line. I'd like to see campaigns like the one Google launched in the USA to reach out to SME's and get them into the digital economy. Have not been able to find a European equivalent campaign - yet that message urgently needs to get out.

Times are tough, so we’re seeing other countries like the UK and Germany giving all kinds of tax breaks. They go to founders of tech companies as well as generous tax incentives for angel investors. Hope something similar will be introduced here. 

Few people realise that the future of Europe is in the hands of small companies, not large corporations.

This change in direction has also prompted me to do more with the excellent Future's Agency founded by futurist Gerd Leonhard. As Critical Distance enters it's tenth year, it's time to shift in a different direction. Watch this space.

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