Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.10 Promotion of entrepreneurship culture

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. Special events and activities
  2. Networks and partnerships

Special events and activities

Fairs and events

Lisbon-Startup City

On 25 June 2014, Lisbon received the European Entrepreneurial City 2015 award (EER2015).

Lisbon was also considered as a promoter and executor of European policies for entrepreneurship, such as the Small Business Act (Small Business Act for Europe - SBA) and the Europe Strategy 2020 for growth and employment. 

Among these initiatives is the StartUp Lisboa, founded in 2012, which developed the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme of Lisbon, providing education and training to young people in fields such as citizenship and ethics, career development, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

It is under the StartUp Lisbon context that most events in Lisbon, in recent years and in the field of entrepreneurship, have taken place.

Among them:

  • Lisbon Investment Summit is an European conference about Startups that intends to gather investors, entrepreneurs and executives at the national and international level, whose objective is to create opportunities of networking and real opportunities of investment. Already on its 5th edition.
  • Lisbon's Entrepreneurship Week is held every year, and includes a series of initiatives, ranging from conferences, workshops to round tables, where investors, financial institutions, incubators and universities participate.


Srategical plan for entrepeurneurship - StartUP Portugal

Under the National Strategy for Entrepreneurship, the Government emphasised that ‘young Portuguese people are among the European citizens that show more initiative, whether in taking a risk for the creation of their projects, or looking for opportunities in other markets’.

One of StartUp Portugal’s axes of action is Internationalisation, namely promoting startups, incubators and Portuguese investors in foreign markets, but also attracting more startups, incubators, accelerators, clients and foreign investors to Portugal.

Among different initiatives, this plan foreseen the participation in the biggest events and technological fairs of the world, some of them held in Portugal, such as the following examples:


Web Summit Programme

The world’s biggest technological event for entrepreneurship took place in Lisbon in 2016, and more editions are planned in the following three years.

As a result of an agreement between the event’s organisation and the Portuguese Government – Portugal initiative – 600 young people between the ages of 16 and 23 had the opportunity to buy tickets to the event for 1% of its cost.

The goal of StartUp Portugal is maximizing the value created by the presence of the Web Summit in Portugal, not only during the event, but also throughout the year and across the country.

Therefore, the following initiatives are foreseen:

  • Road 2 Web Summit – national contest where 65 Portuguese startups were selected to be present on the Web Summit;
  • Born from Knowledge – a set of initiatives targeted at higher education students and post-doctoral researchers, promoted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, in conjunction with the Ministry of Economy and in partnership with private and public higher education institutions, and public and private institutions in the field of education and economy: and Web


Entrepreneurs Academy

The Entrepreneurs Academy was created by the Young Entrepreneurs Association in 1997, with the aim of developing activities to promote entrepreneurship and a culture of risk-taking and initiative.

In the scope of the Entrepreneurs Academy, a series of initiatives have been developed, with the support of the Employment and Vocational Training Institute (IEFP,IP):

  • The Entrepreneur Fair is held annually by ANJE where companies in various sectors of activity, as well as public and private entities in the industrial and entrepreneurial field, participate, and where young people can find business opportunities and network;
  • The Integrated Entrepreneurship Road Show is a promoting script for entrepreneurship in secondary, professional and higher education institutions, in partnership with the IEFP, I.P., where seminars, exhibits and informative support sessions are offered to young people;
  • The Competition of Ideas – which aims to motivate young people to develop a business idea. The goal is to promote the creativity and entrepreneurial initiative of young people. Through this competition, around 59 agreements with educational institutions were established. The young winners are awarded the young entrepreneur of the year certificate.


Promotion activities

As a way of promoting an entrepreneurial culture, various dissemination activities of programmes and measures in the field of youth entrepreneurship have been developed, particularly in the context of the Youth Guarantee programme and of StartUp Portugal.

In this sense, there have been collaborations between the various public entities responsible for the implementation of the programme and other non-governmental entities such as ANJE, the Local Youth Federation of Associations, the National Youth Council, etc.

At a local level, a number of dissemination and awareness activities of the respective programmes have also been developed, in particular with the local administration bodies – city councils and locals, and non-governmental organisations that work at a local level.

In regard to the promotion for the general public, information campaigns have been developed, with promotional videos available in the respective portals of the different programmes/measures, and in the media. For example, recently, informative billboards for the Youth Guarantee programme were set in Lisbon's subway.


Social Entrepreneurship

The support initiatives for promoting young entrepreneurship activities in the field of social entrepreneurship are mainly developed at a regional level, through the local and regional public administration. Here are some examples:

  • The Regional Government of the Azores, with the Youth+ programme encouraging social entrepreneurship among young people;
  • The Municipality of Cascais, with the IES – Social Business School, a business school focused on innovation and social entrepreneurship.

At national level, the CASES, António Sérgio Cooperative for Social Economy, provides support for social entrepreneurship projects.


Networks and partnerships

Start a Business Now - Perception and Business Management Network

In the scope of the Start a Business Now programme, there is a Fostering of Businesses Network. The network is incorporated into Action 1 of the programme – Support for the development of projects with the goal of creating companies and entities of social economy.

In the programme’s website, public or private entities can offer, free of charge, business ideas or projects, under the provision of social responsibility.



In recent years, the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem has been underway, based on accelerators and incubators. In these spaces, networks and partnerships are developed.

Within the framework of the StartUp Portugal strategy, the government created a National Network of Incubators, with the future goal of turning these incubators into StartUp Portugal branches.

The goal is that this national network of incubators would merge with incubators with a scientific base, linked to universities, as well as others linked to local authorities and business associations.

In the scope of StartUp Portugal, incubators are also responsible for the implementation and monitoring of a number of measures developed under StartUp Portugal, collaborating on the selection of startups that will have access to financial support (such as the Startup Voucher or the Incubation Voucher) and in the allocation of support given by the Start a Business Now programme, of the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth, and by the Momentum StartUp Portugal programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and with the Deans Council of Portuguese Universities.


Business and Innovation Centre

The Business and Innovation Centres (BIC) are support institutions for innovating entrepreneurs and for small and medium-sized companies (PME), recognised by the European Commission and coordinated by the European Business Centre Network (EBN). The BIC promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial innovation, by supporting the creation and modernisation of PMEs. They are centres of knowledge and skills, and assume the role of boosters for regional development.


Initiatives of entrepreneurship promotion that involve private, public organisations and the civil society

National Mentors Network

The National Mentors Network (RNM) is an initiative managed by IAPMEI, I.P., whose goal is to support entrepreneurs so they can develop their ideas and business projects, through mentoring. It involves those who share their experiences (mentors) and aspiring entrepreneurs.

This initiative is not aimed directly at young people, but they can benefit from it as well.


Mentors of the StartUP Voucher Network

Mentor network within the framework of the StartUp Voucher, as one of StartUp Portugal’s measures, that offers young people guidance and mentoring by experienced managers\entrepreneurs.


Promotion initiatives of entrepreneurship that involve organisations in the youth field.

There are also initiatives to promote entrepreneurship developed by organisations in the youth field, such as the Foundation of Youth, a private institution, of public interest.


Nests of Companies

Nests of Companies (NIDE) are physical incubation spaces that exist since 1992, providing technical, material and logistical support, which allow entrepreneurial activities.

The objective is to stimulate the creative and enterprising capacity of young people, between the ages of 18 and 35, to contribute to the reinforcement of self-employment, particularly of young newly-graduates, and to stimulate the creation of micro companies.

They are managed by the Foundation of Youth and promoted by ministries and organisms of the Portuguese Government taking action in the field of economy, education, science and youth, as well as by IAPMEI, I.P.