European leaders at all levels are facing a number of labour market challenges, from ageing population, the sustainability of welfare and pension systems to companies’ growing struggles to find skilled workforce. Migration is increasingly viewed as a possible way to tackle these problems, especially the arrival of skilled persons from third countries. European Migration Network’s (EMN) Annual Conference, entitled ‘The EU in the Global Race for Talents: Challenges and Solutions in Strengthening the EU’s Competitiveness’, sought to tackle these issues in Tallinn on 21-22 September, 2017.
Many EU Member States (MS) are interested in attracting foreign entrepreneurs, especially startup founders. The workshop strand on ‘Attracting and retaining foreign startup founders’ reviewed numerous startup schemes currently in place in Europe and explored the possibilities to improve the attractiveness of the region in future. The aim of such special schemes is to attract startups and potential founders in order to promote the development of innovative entrepreneurial ecosystems in Europe, which could facilitate both job creation and innovation. In other words, the hope is that foreign startup founders could drive economic growth locally.
The Inform ‘Attracting and retaining foreign startup founders’ summarises the three sessions that took place within this workshop strand. Session I focused on measures in place for attracting startup founders, while Session II addressed the question of retention by trying to understand what makes – and keeps – a region attractive for startup founders. The workshop was organized by the Estonian Ministry of the Interior and Startup Estonia and aimed at the startup community and policy makers alike. Speakers included representatives of the European Commission, Startup Genome1, different MS and startup entrepreneurs themselves.