KEPA held the 5th meeting with the stakeholders online on Wednesday 25th of November 2020 about “Regional Action Plan for using financial instruments in the implementation of the Structural Funds”, which was attended by 12 representatives of policymaking and programmes / financial instruments management organisations.

During the meeting, three selected good practices identified by the project partners, which are of particular interest to the region of Central Macedonia, were analysed in-depth (TechnoBIT Accelerator – Poland, CCDR Lisboa, Business Angels Co-investment – Portugal, Business Angels of Slovenia). Then, a more detailed description of the two pillars of the Regional Action Plan was made, which focuses on the support of start-ups in finding alternative sources of funding and promoting the concept of business angels. Additionally, a prototype was presented that emerged through a process of finding a solution to the challenge "How could we guide startups in choosing the most appropriate financial instrument" following the methodology of Design Thinking, in the framework of the Horizon 2020 project 'Smart methods to improve the performance of financial instruments for SMEs - SmartFI '.

In the discussion that followed, all participants had the opportunity to exchange opinions and put forward their proposals related to the two pillars of the Regional Action Plan and the developed prototype. The contribution of the stakeholders in the elaboration of the Action Plan is of great importance, so as to co-design activities with meaningful benefit towards the strengthening of innovation and synergies in the region.