innovations

LAUNCHub: SEE boasts talent-rich startup ecosystem

LAUNCHub is a 9.0 million euro seed fund, based in Bulgaria, investing in the most promising startups in Southeast Europe (SEE). Since 2012, LAUNCHub has invested over 3.5 million euro in 47 portfolio companies. Over 140 founders have joined the big family and in less than two years have managed to attract a further 3.5 million euro-plus of follow-on funding. As of September 2014, LAUNCHub’s portfolio includes companies from nine countries in SEE – Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Ukraine, Austria and Switzerland.

Label-Top-100

Bottomlines under more pressure as competition intensifies

The slow recovery in the European Union, Southeast Europe’s (SEE) main trading partner, the sluggish prospects facing nearly all economies in the region and shrunken domestic demand all left their mark on corporate bottomlines in 2013. At the same time, long overdue structural reforms, fiscal and regulatory volatility and poor infrastructure continued to be a drag on local businesses. Against this backdrop, the performance of the companies in the SEE TOP 100 ranking was expectedly lackluster – their combined revenues in 2013 were flattish, with nearly half of the entrants seeing a decline in their revenues.

top100banks

EBRD: Successful tackling of NPL levels will help boost lending in SEE

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) raised its investments in Southeast Europe, a region that has remained particularly vulnerable to the effects of problems in the eurozone, to around 1.65 billion euro in 2013 from 1.5 billion euro in 2012. In 2013, EBRD investments remained strong in Turkey, totalling around 920 million euro. In the Western Balkans and Croatia, the EBRD invested a record 1.2 billion euro in more than 80 projects in 2013.

top100insureres

European transport networks – the road to economic connectivity in Southeast Europe

The transport infrastructure of SEE consists of national transport systems and a number of integrated international networks that upon their completion should ensure quick and unhampered movement of people and goods across Europe. This makes the integrated European transport system a key prerequisite for the seamless operation of the internal market and for the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the European countries.

seecountryprofiles

2013: a year of readjustment and renewing commitments to sustainable growth for SEE

The global economic slowdown of 2012 was far sharper than expected and its impact on the economies of Southeast Europe turned the spotlight on the region’s structural weaknesses whilst also exacerbating the effects of the eurozone debt crisis. For these economies, 2013 is a year of readjustment and renewing commitments to creating robust and sustainable economic growth, an approach which is forecast to result in more promising rates of real output in 2014.

SEE Top Industries

In tough times generic drugs come to the rescue

The global financial downturn and the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis have afflicted almost all industries and the pharmaceuticals sector is no exception. Pharmaceutical companies manufacturing brand drugs face a tough market while companies making generic medicines, or cheaper copies of branded drugs with their patent expired or under an agreement with the branded drug maker, may benefit from the situation.
The coupling of the crisis with the boom in patent expirations continues to give a strong boost to generic drug makers.

Image by Alex Proimos

Faring in a smoke-free environment

It’s 2004 and Ireland has swung a legislative wrecking ball, initiating a demolition process that would leave smokers in many European countries out in the cold (literally as well). The Irish government has enforced the first-ever law that prohibits smokers from lighting up in all enclosed public and work places, bars and restaurants included. Partial bans and assorted restrictions had been around before that in many countries but none had until then brought watering holes and eateries within the scope of anti-smoking legislation.