A hectic week at the Committe of the regions which culminated with the launch of the European Week of Regions and Cities on headquarter premises, Rue Belliard (Brussels). The first draft of the program for this year's edition as well as the official hashtag (#EUWRC) have been unveiled. The series of events will take place from October, 10th to the 13th in Brussels. A higher number of participants compared to previous years (6000 participants from 117 regions of 30 different countries and 800 speakers) is already expected. A new feature will appear in this edition: the Regio Stars Award including categories (Small Growth, Sustainable Growth, Inclusive Growth, Citystar and Management). Partenalia will, as in previous years, actively participate to the various events throughout the week.
Furthermore, last Wednesday 27th of January, we had the pleasure of attending the [Y] factor: Think smart, Think regional… Let’s innovate conference at the Committee of the Regions. It was highlighted that this event was mainly organised by trainees of the Committee of the Regions, focused on the role of Local Authorities in fostering Young entrepreneurship as well as on the of big data as drivers of innovation.
The event had an innovative format which combined presentation by young entrepreneurs, local officials and specialists from the European Commission with interactive discussions among the attendees in order to come up with relevant remarks and proposals related to the aforementioned topics.
The personal investment of young entrepreneurs, both financially and in terms of the time dedicated to advancing their projects, was underscored. Indeed, in order to successfully implement one’s ideas and make them a concrete reality, young entrepreneurs are to be able to have a long-term vision given the number of years It typically takes to reap the benefits from a start-up a company. To bolster such endeavours, local authorities could come up with tax reduction-schemes that would support the efforts of young entrepreneurs in the first years of project development which are the most critical ones.
In terms of big data, it was noted that data-driven decision-making has not yet taken root in the minds of local authorities. Being one of the main domains of expertise of the youth, efforts have to be made in order to include the use of big data in local authorities’ practices. Furthermore, in order to foster the integration in the labor market and for civil society to be more digitally aware, local authorities should try and implement as many coding and ICTs related courses.