Conference "Innovative Approaches and Solutions for Entrepreneurship Development in the Cross-border Region" promoted the results and solutions of the Bu4Inno project

Business Incubator - Gotse Delchev, Entrepreneurship Promotion Centre in partnership with theCentre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), Greece and the University of Macedonia, Greece organized a cross-border conference on 09/05/2023 in Gotse Delchev. The conference was the final part of the Bu4Inno project „Βusiness of Κnowledge and Ιnnovation in the primary and related secondary sector” - Βu4Inno , co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the national funds of the countries participating in the Cross-Border Cooperation Program INTERREG V-A Greece-Bulgaria 2014- 2020.

The conference was attended by representatives of municipalities, Labor Offices, Regional Information Center, vocational high schools from Gotse Delchev and Petrich, NGOs, business representatives, community centers and other interested parties. The event was held in a hybrid form, with the participation of Greek partners and representatives of universities and scientific institutes, businesses and NGOs online.

BI-GD and the University of Macedonia presented the results and recommendations of the studies to business representatives and potential entrepreneurs implemented in the frame of the Bu4Inno project in the cross-border region. Among the challenges, the consequences of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, inflation and increased costs, loss of markets and an uncertain and highly dynamic environment stood out. Both businesses and potential entrepreneurs are aware of the need for innovation and digitization, but access to them is difficult due to the high cost and the need for higher qualification and competence of human resources.

BI-GD presented the new complex approach and innovative solution to the challenges of developing successful entrepreneurship, implemented under the project:

• identifying motivated young people,

• generation and real evaluation of innovative business ideas,

• developed training modules with successful examples of Bulgarian entrepreneurs to meet training needs,

• practical workshops and seminars, a very intensive innovation camp where potential entrepreneurs, mentors and entrepreneurs interact to acquire knowledge and practical skills, develop business ideas from 9 teams and present them to an entrepreneurial jury,

• and the teams of innovative ideas with the greatest potential had a working visit to Greece: The Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry - the second most important and authoritative chamber in Greece, to learn about the services they provide to businesses, the vision for digital and green future and support for start-ups; a visit to a technological laboratory of CERTH to learn about the opportunities that science and scientific research give to business and meetings at the University of Macedonia about their practices of academia-business interaction and green initiatives such as recycling by students to ennoble the academic environment.

Proof of the successful approach and methodology of learning by doing and experimenting was the presentation at the conference of the best innovative ideas from the teams from Bulgaria: Blizdi - healing and healthy lollipops and Digital Farmer's Market of NPG "D. Talev" G. Delchev; Florella - the food of the future and a Tourist Agency with a focus on the unique traditional foods of the Petrich region of PGIT "Asen Zlatarev" Petrich; and Clea - boutique olive oil for connoisseurs from Greece, which impressed with innovation, but also the realism of the ideas.

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