Who are we?
ANJE is a public interest association under private law and, since 1986, it has been institutionally representing young Portuguese entrepreneurs. Its aim is to satisfy common interests and to make its companies more dynamic. To this end, its main areas of activity are training, entrepreneurship support, business incubation/acceleration and the creation of business associations.
In its 30 years in business, ANJE has become famous for defending the interests of young entrepreneurs, public promotion of entrepreneurship and the creation of companies. So much so that the Association is a member of the Economic and Social Council and is called on to give its opinion on the main socioeconomic issues in the country. It was awarded Order of Merit by the President of the Republic.
When ANJE was set up in 1986, our economy was leveraged by public investment, private initiative was met with a web of red tape and competitiveness was very dependent both on low labour costs and currency devaluation. It was in this context that ANJE began fighting for the liberalisation of the economy and, in particular, for better conditions both for young people' access to business and for reinforcing the competitiveness of their companies. This was how ANJE became the voice of the Portuguese entrepreneurship movement, seeking to make the public decision-makers aware of the specific needs of young entrepreneurs, while at the same time providing support services for entrepreneurship.
For ANJE, entrepreneurship is one of the main factors in making business activities more dynamic and reflects very positively on the development and social welfare of the country. By bringing their business ideas to life, entrepreneurs are renewing the business fabric, producing wealth, making their investment grow, stimulating competitiveness and creating jobs. But this takes on even more importance at a time of economic recovery and contraction in the job market, reinforcing the need to support entrepreneurship as a pillar of a national development strategy based on private initiative.
Within this framework of objectives, important factors in its 30 years of activity include:
- The Association's contribution to the final design of several incentive systems for the creation of companies.
- The set-up of the Entrepreneurship Academy, which develops a wide range of activities and services for the promotion of entrepreneurship from a structural standpoint.
- The organisation of flagship initiatives for making entrepreneurship more dynamic, such as the Young Entrepreneur Award, the National Business Ideas Competition and the Entrepreneurship Trade Show.
- Holding regular training and professional qualification courses, some of which are truly innovative in Portugal.
- Monitoring, advising and mentoring young entrepreneurs with regard to business plans, business management, commercial law, funding instruments and internationalisation.
- The opening of 11 business centres with incubation and acceleration services, which operate as entrepreneurship ecosystems.
- Spreading an enterprising spirit to young generations, very often in schools and universities.
- The promotion of innovation, technology, creativity and differentiation as critical competitiveness factors.
- The many business missions held by the Association in foreign markets.
- The organisation of Portugal Fashion, one of the main fashion events on the Iberian Peninsula and an important instrument for promoting the sector at big international fashion shows.
With around 5,500 associates, over fifty employees, ten operating areas and several regional centres (North, Centre, Lisbon and Tagus Valley, the Alentejo and the Algarve), ANJE is a pioneering association in the defence of young entrepreneurs and the promotion of young entrepreneurship. It has a prestigious reputation in Portuguese society, political influence with public decision-makers and a stimulating intervention into the business fabric.