The Kick-off meeting of the European Project “Smart Rural Entrepreneurship – SmartRural”, which is funded under Balkan Mediterranean 2014-2020 Program, was successfully held on 31st of January 2018 in Kozani.
During the meeting, all issues were discussed regarding the strategy that the partners will pursue for a successful and an effective implementation of the project. In the framework of the meeting and the detailed analysis of the project’s content, the common goal of all partners was identified in order to strengthen entrepreneurship and support rural employment through the development and exploitation of the SmartRural model that is based on innovation and sustainable development.
The development of a freely accessible electronic bank of knowledge tool to support entrepreneurship (SmartRural business development guide, “Business welcome” policy recommendations report, etc), the development of an e-services Web Portal (networking services, GIS for Rural Business Zones, etc) and the provision of support services for the development of business activities (in startups and existing businesses), are some of the project deliverables.
The eight (8) project partners from five Balkan countries (Macedonia,Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Albania) are the following:
- Center for Development of Pelagonija Region (Macedonia)
- Regional Development Agency of Western Macedonia S.A. – ANKO (Greece)
- leading project partner
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – School of Economics (Greece)
- Bulgaria Economic Forum (Bulgaria)
- Local Economic Development Agency – Razlog (Bulgaria)
- Larnaca and Framagusta Districts Development Agency – ANETEL (Cyprus)
- Municipality of Dropull (Albania)
The project officially started on 01.12.2017 with a duration of 24 months and a total project budget of 962,884 EUR. The project is co-financed by the European Union (85%) and national funds from the participating countries (15%).