Østfold (N), 25 March 2011
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) strongly believes in the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation as key factors for future European knowledge economies and a stepping-stone to emerge out of the current economic and financial recession. AER organised a debate, attended by more than 100 participants, where entrepreneurship and innovation were elaborated along a series of broader concepts highly relevant to regions:
Success factors for regional development
The partners of the INTERREG IVC ENTREDI project (Entrepreneurial diversity) presented the methodologies and tools they developed in a view to identify regional initiatives that foster entrepreneurship and the success factors for a regional development strategy.
The new AER working group on entrepreneurship and innovation will use the ENTREDI approach, including the so called 4+1 model for entrepreneurship support and will identify regional gaps by using a SWOT analysis for every region.
Energy and climate change
Green growth is a buzzword of our days and one of the major objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. How can we help emerge and support innovative and environmentally responsible entrepreneurs? How can we transform an industrial crisis into a dynamic opportunity for new “greener” sectors? These are the very concrete issues that participants discussed.
Economic activity is important to maintain viable rural communities, and not only farms play a role but also the development of industries that built up on the assets of rural territories. To make rural regions more entrepreneurial, new concepts were introduced such as “The Agricultural College as competence centre”, a project held by Hvam Upper Secondary School in Østfold.
The culture of entrepreneurship through education
“In order to foster an entrepreneurial culture, to encourage innovative business start-ups and the growth of SMEs, Europe needs to stimulate entrepreneurial mindsets of young people.” stated Orhan ALBRAYAK, Chairman of AER’s new working group ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ and Vice-President of Istanbul Provincial Council (TR).
Concluding the conference, Håkan SANDGREN, President of the AER Committee on ‘Economy and Regional development’ and County Councillor of Jönköping (S), stated: "Regional actors know: small firms depend on entrepreneurs - innovative individuals who have the ideas and are willing to take the risks to get a firm off the ground."
He also reminded participants to take part in the 6th edition of the AER Regional Innovation Award, which deadline for submitting applications is 1 June.
Note for the media:
New AER thematic dossier on ‘Education for Entrepreneurship’ available next Monday at: www.aer.eu/publications/aer-are-vre-dossier.html
Link to ENTREDI: http://www.entredi.eu/
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together 270 regions from 34 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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