The EPN Consulting Newsletter No. 092 - April 2018
Dear Colleague,

After carrying out a study for one of our clients about funding options available on the market I have realised the financial industry needs improvements.

Of course a lot depends on the amount of funding requested, however this is a summary of results obtained.

We assessed several funding options starting from banks that usually offer loans or overdrafts. 
Differently from the beginning of this century and following the huge economic crisis banks now require proof of assets to lend money more easily.

For small amount of money it is possible to use credit cards as a short-term funding pot, although revolving cards should be used carefully as it is then difficult to pay the outstanding sum back due to the interests charged.

When companies have ambitious goals in mind such as new products/services we always advise them to take into account the range of opportunities offered by the European Commission and, in particular, those ones included in Horizon 2020 such as calls for proposals in their specific fields (ICT, Transport, Energy, Environment, Food&Agriculture, etc.), the SME Instrument specifically addressed to SMEs that can participate alone and the Fast Track to Innovation tool that has the advantage of requiring a mini-consortium of 3 to 5 partners.
In this case they can use EPN Consulting's services whose consultants boast decades of experience in assisting companies in converting their innovative ideas in valuable projects as well as in searching for partners in Europe when needed.

Additional funding opportunities are available at the European Investment Bank in several ways from micro-finance and loans to equity and funds investments.

Then there are Business Angels and Venture Capitalists in case ideas are eligible to obtain their financial help. Purposefully we didn't consider crowdfunding platforms that were not suitable to the scope.

Finally, there are financial companies that try to complement banks: some provide streamlined loans at higher rates, also for brief periods (i.e. 3 months), others anticipate the value of companies invoices (i.e. Invoice Factoring), while some others decide the size of loans in proportion to the amount of sales paid by credit/debit cards (i.e. Merchant Cash Advance). What the latter don't understand is that - apart from high street shops and conferences organisers - very few companies accept payments by cards.

In particular, those companies that usually receive payments of thousands of Pounds/Euros as well as others that deal with public bodies or large organisations cannot accept payments by cards, which means they cannot enjoy these funding opportunities.

This is why I said some improvements in the financial industry are needed: there would be a good number of companies, SMEs in particular, that would be happy to enjoy these financial services but restricting the range of potential clients to those that trade by cards, smells of old times while the kinds of modern business active or starting up in these days need a more versatile and up to date range of financial lenders.

Feel free to send your comments to: Editorial(at)

EPN Consulting Ltd.
Founder, CEO
Twitter: @stefmai

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Horizon 2020 & other calls close to deadline

24 Apr 2018 -  Deadline to submit proposals to No.7 topics of H2020-SC1-DTH-2018-2020 call (Digital Transformation in Health and Care)
25 Apr 2018 -  Deadline to submit proposals to the CE-BIOTEC-04-2018 call (RIA - New Biotechnologies for Environmental Remediation)
26 Apr 2018 -  Deadline to submit proposalsto the ECSEL-2018-1-IA call (IA - Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership - Stage 1)
26 Apr 2018 -  Deadline to submit proposals to the ECSEL-2018-2-RIA call (RIA - Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership - Stage 1)
26 Apr 2018 -  Deadline to submit proposals to the ECSEL-2018-2-RIA-Special-Topic call (RIA - Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership - Stage 1)
03 May 2018 -  Deadline to submit proposals to the SME Instrument Phase 1 (2nd cut-off date)

EPN Consulting is happy to help SMEs and any kind of organisations assess their project ideas, convert their ideas in robust and valuable proposals and manage the entire project cycle once the proposals are eligible for funding.
Get in touch for a FREE consultation.

Go to the Events Section
Travel with your Digital Subscriptions in the EU

27 Mar 2018 -  From 01 April 2018 onwards, Europeans will be able to access the online content that they have subscribed to at home, wherever they are in the EU.

[...] Wherever you are travelling to in the EU, you will no longer miss out on your favourite films, TV series, sports broadcasts, games or e-books, that you have digitally subscribed to at home. The rules will apply to paid-for services, but providers of free content may opt in.

Providers of online content will also benefit from the new rules. They will no longer have to acquire licences for other territories where their subscribers are travelling to [...]".

Here's all the data Facebook and Google have on you

30 Mar 2018 -  The  harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine.

Google knows where you've been,  everything you've ever searched and deleted,  has an advertisement profile of you,  knows all the apps you use.
The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too. Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location and much more.

They can access your webcam and microphone and they have years' worth of photos...

The English Language is the World's Achilles heel 

03 Apr 2018 -  English has achieved prime status by becoming the most widely spoken language in the world - if one disregards proficiency - ahead of Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

English is spoken in 101 countries, while Arabic is spoken in 60, French in 51, Chinese in 33, and Spanish in 31. From one small island, English has gone on to acquire lingua franca status in international business, worldwide diplomacy, and science.

But the success of English - or indeed any language - as a "universal" language comes with a hefty price, in terms of vulnerability. Problems arise when English is a second language to either speakers, listeners, or both. No matter how proficient they are, their own understanding of English, and their first (or "native") language can change what they believe is being said.

Read more
Uber gets into Car Rentals and Public Transit  

11 Apr 2018 -  Uber is officially a multi-modal transportation platform. On the heels of its acquisition of bike-share startup JUMP, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced Uber Bike's expansion into Washington, D.C., along with two key partnerships in car rentals and public transit.

The first is with instant car-booking service Getaround, which launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in 2011 to enable car owners to rent their vehicles to neighbours, tourists and other people within their city.

Dubbed Uber Rent, the platform taps into Getaround's existing marketplace of cars that are available for instant rentals. Uber Rent, which will launch in San Francisco later this month, lets people book Getaround cars directly from the Uber app. Once Uber feels solid about the product market fit, it will expand the program nationally in the US.

Brexit Bulletin: Thwarting the Divorce

16 Apr 2018 -  UK politicians could send Prime Minister Theresa May back to the negotiating table, engineer a second referendum or even prompt a general election when a final Brexit deal comes to Parliament for approval later this year, the Institute for Government (IfG) says. 

The government argues that Parliament will have a choice between approving the deal or condemning the U.K. to the much-feared chaos of "no-deal." But the IfG says Parliament will almost certainly be able to amend the motion that May puts to the House of Commons.

In a paper published on 16 April, the Institute for Government says lawmakers could amend the motion in the following ways:
- Seeking a renegotiation
- Telling the government to keep the U.K. in the EU
- Telling the government to leave without a deal
- Seeking a referendum on the deal

Read more
EPN Consulting Limited

EPN Consulting News  

EPN Consulting CEO was selected as a Mentor for growing companies based in Turin and Piedmont (NW Italy)

We are happy to inform that Dr Ing Stefano Mainero, EPN Consulting Founder & CEO, was appointed as a Mentor within the " Mentoring for International Growth" programme supported by the Turin Chamber of Commerce.

The 4th edition of the programme selected 40 mentors belonging to different industries and fields that work in Europe and beyond, whereas mentees were selected among entrepreneurs and companies based in Piedmont and willing to open to International Markets.

The collaboration between mentor and mentee in intended to last until the end of the year.
More information (in Italian) available here .

Would you like to join the EPN Consuting Network? Visit the membership webpage.

Upcoming Professional Events in Europe

23-26 Apr 2018 - Barcelona (ES) -  ENE+ICT+TRA -  SCE 2018 - International Workshop on Smart Cities Systems Engineering
25-27 Apr 2018 - Ljubljana (SLO) -  ITS+TRA -  TEN-T DAYS 2018
26-28 Apr 2018 - Bonn (DE) -  EUP+ICT+LEG+TRA -  RESILIENT CITIES 2018 - 9th Global Forum on Resilience and Adaptation
01-03 May 2018 - Birmingham (UK) -  TRA -  MULTIMODAL 2018
01-03 May 2018 - London (UK) -  TEC+TRA -  INFRARAIL 2018 - 12th International Railway Infrastructure Exhibition
03 May 2018 - London (UK) -  BIZ+INN -  FT INNOVATION DIALOGUE No.3 - Innovating at Speed
The Website of the Month:  GREEN DRIVING TOOL

This is a tool that helps you to reduce fuel costs and to select a suitable type of car for your purposes/journeys while reducing CO2 emissions.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is building simulation models that evaluate fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in vehicles. This will contribute to reducing the impact of vehicles on global warming and help the European Union to make the best choices for the future of our environment.

Go to the website, click on PLAY to find the most suitable type of car for 3 fixed routes (Urban, Rural or Highway) or click on SET YOUR ROUTE to set your personal route and find a suitable type of car for your purposes/journeys.

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