Business training opportunities although are already offered today by existing entrepreneurship support centers and facilities, they are mainly concentrated in the metro areas of both eligible countries, leaving rural areas underserved. At the same time, there is low demand for CB area entrepreneurs for support services for the establishment of new enterprises and for the development of new products/services which is perhaps related to the luck of such support services.
The project focuses on the establishment of favorable business environment as a prerequisite for sustainable development in the CB area. Therefore, project partners having identified the above as constraints for the economic development of the area, aim to establish six business support centers in the regions of Thessaloniki, Serres, Kavala, Komotini, Smolyan and Haskovo.
The project’ overall objective is the development of a cross border scheme composed of business support organizations that will exchange good practices and cooperate with a goal to jointly tackle the issue of empowering existing and new businesses in the cross border area. This will be achieved by improving the supply of high quality business support and capacity building services tailored to their specific needs so that they enhance their competences and grow. The services will tackle challenges such as the access to information, external cooperation and partnerships, acquisition of entrepreneurial knowledge and entrepreneurial training.
Furthermore, the project will focus on the transfer of innovation as vehicle for the development and growth of the local businesses by organizing networks, training and soft actions with the participation of innovation experts and organizations. Partners through their joining forces will achieve to:
• Stimulate business creation as well as strengthen business survival
• Enable existing and potential entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary skills, enhance competitiveness and introduce innovation
• Encourage social entrepreneurship and start‐ups.
• Support micro entrepreneurs through linking them with microcredit providers
• Facilitate transfer of knowledge
• Contribute to E2020 strategy by granting special attention to the “smart growth” “sustainable growth” and “inclusive growth” goals
• Increase employment opportunities in the programme area and reduce brain drain
Owners / employees of small and very small businesses
Second chance entrepreneurs
The project will offer the following business support activities:
a) Coaching sessions
b) Entrepreneurial training activities (Masterclasses & workshops) that include:
• Sector-specific training programs with a focus on productive priority areas including agro food industry, waste management, renewable energy, and sustainable tourism that have also been documented as the most dynamic business sectors by RIS3 strategies
• “Internationalization and exporting opportunities” training program
• “Training program for second chance entrepreneurs -restarters”
• Coding classes
• “Training programme for start uppers”
c) Business support actions (e.g. personalized support, networking events, B2B meetings, Access to investment- financing)
d) Business support tools (Blockchain-based credit scoring, e-matching platform)
e) “Doing Business”- Info points for start uppers
The selection of the participants to all the training activities as mentioned above will follow open procedures respecting equal rights.