Entrepreneurship is driving the EU’s economy. Small and medium-sized enterprises create 85% of new jobs, provide two-thirds of private sector employment1 and are a rich source of ground-breaking digital innovation addressing key needs for society. Yet new start-ups often find their growth restricted by a lack of access to support that can build their capabilities.
At Liberty Global, we’re helping start-ups break into the market so that they can improve lives, using tailored mentoring, networking, marketing and financing opportunities. In Belgium, the Telenet Kickstart program is an intense, four-month accelerator enabling start-ups to address important societal issues.
For example, Hannes Hauwaert’s company. Happs, one of the startups assisted by Telenet Kickstart, is producing an educational role-playing game that lets children with dyslexia practice reading and writing skills in a fun, interactive way. Hauwaert, himself dyslexic, worked with professional speech therapists to complete the first version of the game, called Karaton, now being tested by academic experts. With an estimated 700 million people worldwide living with dyslexia, the business and social potential is immense.
In the UK, our newly-launched Virgin Media Accelerator is helping start-ups use digital for good too. One of the companies it supports, Ecoisme, is developing a sensor that tracks the energy consumption of any device and provides alerts for devices left on in error.
Ecoisme and Happs are just two of the innovative start-ups we are excited to support, because we believe in the power of small business to generate positive change through digital technology.