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Project Summary

Europe has a lower rate of start-ups compared with other parts of the world, e.g. US and Asia. Europe has to perceive as attractive for creative and young people. There is a need to offer attractive jobs and places to live and to boost entrepreneur’s spirit before young people are leaving our regions. We thus need to develop an attractive tailor-made ecosystem for start-ups to improve SMEs growth, entrepreneur skills and to overcome defined barriers. The partners have defined that collaboration with commitment, and willingness to invest in long-term policy is important to increase the number and quality of startups in their region.

The OSS project will work towards the main objective; Improve policies for SMEs competitiveness by enhancing advisory support services for first-time entrepreneurs. OSS want to build a complete ecosystem for the entrepreneur starting a new business. Every partner will contribute with an expertise and best practices from their First Line Service (FLS) system, and when OSS is finished, the Toolbox of experience and expertise will be presented.

Together, OSS will enhance an advisory support service adapted to the needs of the entrepreneur. With the experience in each partners policy, and stakeholders from different levels to participate in changing the policy affecting our main objective, we anticipate changing the different regions advisory services.

OSS will look at the possibility to make the advisory services more accessible with the evolvement of digital capabilities.

OSS aim to address these topics; FLS system as a complete ecosystem; digital capabilities, mentoring and collaboration between startups and business, collaboration between different levels of governance, access to finance, and business incubation.

All the activities are created to enhance added value for the entrepreneurs and to increase the user satisfaction towards the advisory system in each region. OSS will create change through change in policy.

What policy instruments does the project address?

Related specific objective: SME Competitiveness Business support packages.

Which partners are working on this?
  • WSX Enterprise

Main features: Utilizing ERDF to provide support for startups, rural diversification programme, Innovation network and research/development, business support programmes. Each Local Enterprise Partnership area sets its objectives reflecting overarching ERDF priorities and then introducing local conditions. The priority objective areas are common to each ERDF strand.

Why: Public policy recognizes the importance of new businesses and supporting entrepreneurs, but there is not enough focus on the urban/rural different agendas, and also a lack of a cohesive programme across our region. The LEP model, which is the local voice of government in all the regions of UK England and Wales, all have a separate approach. While this is welcome in terms of reflecting local needs, it also breeds duplication of efforts and fragmentation in support services for first-time entrepreneurs, when a cohesive joined-up approach would bring a more dynamic and cost-effective solution. This project gives us the wider base of knowledge and comparison to influence policy across our region related to start up and entrepreneur policy.

County Councils and local authorities can provide an element of support for entrepreneurs but funding is limited and not strategically delivered across the region. ESIF allow significant investment in first time entrepreneur programmes. An amount of 4 MEUR are estimated to be influenced by this project.

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