“This is my future” – innovative campaign to support young entrepreneurs in Europe

by Maud Largeaud , AdForum

  • launched by The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA)
  • supported by Europe’s leading advertising and media agency network

The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), representing 85% of the €88 billion of advertising placed annually in Europe, is announcing a major pan-European campaign aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs. The service will launch in March 2013 in key European markets (UK, Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain) with plans to expand across Europe in subsequent years.

This is my future” intends to inspire 500,000 new start-up businesses over the next three years. Based on the average “value added” per micro-business, this would deliver a gross added value of €33 million and nearly two million employed positions to the EU. The campaign will be supported by a budget of €2.2 million to be funded by private enterprise, venture capital and contributions in kind from partners.

Created in response to the increasingly negative mood prevalent in Europe resulting from the economic crisis and its impact on prospects for recovery and growth, “This is my future” is designed to provoke and inspire young people to take action for themselves and create a positive self-sustaining movement.

Explains Dominic Lyle, EACA Director General, “We have identified a very precise group to support: people planning to set up their own business but who have not yet done so. Recent research¹1 has shown that of the c.50% who are thinking of starting a business, only 5.8 % actually do. We call them the aspirers - latent young entrepreneurs. They are often held back by concerns over funding, red tape and their own ability to run a business. We plan on accelerating the journey from idea to action by providing a movement for young people, run by young people to help them overcome these barriers.”

Comments Moray MacLennon, President EACA and Chief Executive Worldwide M&C Saatchi, “We believe our initiative complements and expands existing offerings. It focuses on latent entrepreneurs, not those who have already decided to set up a business; it’s supported by a comprehensive, tailored communications campaign and brings together the might of Europe’s biggest media and communications agencies giving us a unique advantage in creating a demand for the service, both in the design of the online platform and its promotion.”

He added, “The EACA is uniquely placed in terms of skills and influence to devise and implement a communications campaign which engages young people. It can also build partnerships with governments and major international companies and organisations.”

The campaign comprises five key elements:

  1. a web platform to transform ideas into action including a stream of content to nurture and grow the community; inspirational videos by successful young entrepreneurs; practical online tools to help overcome barriers, test ideas and preparation for the “start-up” world; offline “idea build” events to find like-minded people to start a business with. The site will aggregate the best resources to enable entrepreneurs to start up.
  2. cross-European peer-to-peer mentoring to help overcome barriers to start-up.
  3. a network of young entrepreneurs based in four hubs, initially in four markets, responsible for growing the network, nurturing membership and commercialising the site.
  4. a communications programme to promote the web platform including TV/print; paid search and display space; PR and social activity supported by a TV/online film, “The Museum”, directed by young director, Edward Housden, to promote the website.
  5. a portal linking to European and national young entrepreneurs, business advice and funding sites.

This is my future” will be supported through partnerships with media and commercial organizations including:

  • The European Magazine Media Association, The European Publishers’ Council (EPC), The Association of Commercial Television in Europe, The European Association of Television and Radio Sales Houses, Print Power
  • Start Up Britain, JA-YE, Jeune, Wayra, Yes Network, Entrepreneur Envoy
  • Google and Facebook

EPC Chairman, Francisco Pinto Balsemão, said: "New start-ups are essential for the future of Europe's struggling economy. Today's generation of school leavers and university graduates are faced with poor employment prospects. If we are to boost the economy, we need more entrepreneurs and those of us with the skills and know-how have a responsibility to lower down the ladder and pull these young people up. Europe's sophisticated and diverse media sector is ideally placed to do this. We in the EPC will play our part."Young entrepreneurs backing the campaign include:

  • Rajeeb Dey, 26, founder/CEO of Enternships.com and co-founder of StartUp Britain – a national entrepreneurship campaign launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in March 2011
  • Tomás Sánchez Colomer, 27, co-founder of ‘Teaching Building’; winner of 2011-2012 Enterprise Challenge at Madrid’s Inter-University National Competition of Entrepreneurs “Startup Program”; winner of the Intel Innovation awards at the 2012 JA-YE Europe Enterprise Challenge.
  • Iacopo Deiuri is an aspiring young entrepreneur who during his experience in Company Programme (school year 2009/2010) created an innovative and ecological paper from algae. With some of his colleagues, he tried to start-up a real company, but experienced many difficulties in Italy.

"Any project or programme that encourages young people across Europe to start their own business is warmly welcomed by StartUp Britain. Young people are wired for enterprise; they are spotting gaps in the market, turning talent into turnover and doing so with a global mindset and easy comfort of using technology. We are delighted to support this EACA campaign that will encourage thousands more young people to become their own boss and chart their own future," said Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain.
The success of the campaign will be measured on the impact of the website, and the number of successful new business start-ups it inspires over the next three years.


1 Research has shown that 42% of Young people in the EU27 agree with the statement. EB Flash 319b

Want to make your company shine?
» Switch to a Starter Profile
The Creative Industry Network

List your company among the leaders of the industry, promote your competencies, showcase your work & join an exclusive global marketing and creative industry network.

Create Your Company Profile