A knowledge Alliance in Eco-Innovation Entrepreneurship to Boost SMEs Competitiveness

Acronym

SMecoMP
Priority axis Enterpreneurship and Innovation
Specific Objective Territories of Knowledge
Call 1st Call for Project Proposals
Lead Partner University of Macedonia, Department of Economics
Partners Agency for Promotion of Entrepreneurship
Bulgarian Industrial Association, Union of the Bulgarian Business
Cypriot Enterprise Link
Cyprus University of Technology
Federation of Industries of Northern Greece
Trakia University - Stara Zagora
University "St. Kliment Ohridski" – Bitola, Faculty of Economics-Prilep
Observer Partners Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ioannina
Youth Entrepreneurship – NE
Budget 997.700,00
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Balkan Med area face strong challenges, especially in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and environmental protection and investment in innovative and/or "green" products or services is very small. Furthermore, the recent economic crisis increased unemployment and created the biggest brain drain in the region in modern times, depriving SMEs and Higher Education Institutes (HEI) from young, talented, and well educated personnel. The SMecoMP project addresses both challenges by developing a strong and resilient knowledge alliance among HEIs, vocational education training (VET) centers and SMEs, to promote eco-entrepreneurship, -management and –innovation, The overall objective is to promote eco-management and –innovation among existing SMEs and support young entrepreneurs in entering in the "green" and/or "blue" economy, creating new added value jobs, improving the area's competitiveness, ameliorating the brain drain phenomenon, contributing thus to the area's sustainable development.

The SMecoMP’s main outputs are:
- SMecoMP Transnational Network of academics, SME’s staff and other stakeholders, that strengthens their collaboration and improves their capacities,
·development of a learning-outcomes based curricula and 4 training modules, focusing on Eco-Innovation and Entrepreneurship (EIE) knowledge and skills, catering to the needs of SMEs' staff and young entrepreneurs;
- vestablishment of the SMecoMP pre-Incubator program for individual entrepreneurs to receive training, coaching and mentoring;
- customization of an ICT training platform to deliver blended learning courses on EIE.

HEIs’ participation in SMecoMP will improve their understanding of actual markets’ needs and thus their curricula and enhance cooperation with businesses. SMEs will benefit from receiving training for their staff in sustainable practices, improving economic performance and competitiveness. SMEs’ staff will improve their skills and competences, enhancing their performance at current occupation and also their employment opportunities. Young entrepreneurs will be supported to develop their ideas by receiving services such as management training, mentoring, coaching and networking connections

SMecoMP activities will be implemented by a well-balanced and -structured partnership including 4 HEIs, 2 SMEs' umbrella organizations with VET centers and 2 entities promoting and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. SMecoMP partnership comes from Greece, FYROM, Bulgaria and Cyprus and incorporates 2 observer partners, one with a permanent delegation in Albania.

All SMecoMP activities will be implemented, jointly by all partners, within the framework of 6 Work packages. The SMecoMP’s communication and dissemination plan ensures the effective implementation of project’s information and publicity goals and the necessary provisions have been foreseen for the project’s sustainability.
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