The project EXTRA SMEs (small and medium enterprises; hereafter in the text – SMEs) aims to improve means for increasing competitiveness and extraversion of SMEs in coastal and rural areas. More than 90 percent of the aquaculture sector in SMEs’ regions contributes to creation of new jobs. In many cases, production of SMEs does not reach the international market, therefore the project EXTRA SMEs aims to expand the partner circle of SMEs operating in coastal and rural areas with the help of improved administrative processes and modern technologies, and ensure that this sector operates at full capacity.
Innovation, expansion of intercultural activity and export is especially important to the aquaculture industry since it can have a significant economic benefit. Partners from Poland, Lapland, Greece, Italy and Romania will seek international cooperation that will help to create new, competitive products having high added value, easy to incorporate into the international market and to promote consumption of local products in the country and international market. Economic activity in the sphere of aquaculture is more than production, processing and trade. There is more opportunities in this sphere, e.g. ecotourism, recreational fishing and educational activity.
SMEs regions face similar challenges but different conditions. Interregional cooperation will provide opportunities to share experiences of business establishment, development and administration. The interregional activity that is planned will support integration of new knowledge into regional policy intended to increase competitiveness of SMEs.
Competitiveness in regions, sustainable business development in towns, low-carbon economy, economic and social infrastructure, low level of export into intercultural markets and decreasing number of SMEs is described as main challenges to overcome in order for the SMEs to develop in every participating country.
The project’s mission is to support SMEs internationalisation with cooperation of regions and exchange of experiences. In order to accomplish this mission, partners will:
– Determine factors that stifle development of innovations and increase in competitiveness in regions;
– Seek to simplify the administrative arrangements of SMEs;
– Seek to reduce administrative and licensing costs;
– Encourage entrepreneurship and establishment of new enterprises with developing conditions for economic exploitation of new ideas;
– Create and implement new business models for SMEs;
– Acquire new professional skills through qualification development and exchange of knowledge.
– Seek to improve access to finance for SMEs;
– Encourage business cooperation;
– Seek to expand the agri-food sector.
Since competitiveness, innovations and internationalisation is the basis of sustainable development and expansion, one more objective of the project’s partners is smooth cooperation.
Partners will participate in meetings, trainings, educational visits and symposiums.