The dissemination even was opened by Ralitsa Zhekova PhD, Executive Director of RAPIV, who presented to the participants the INTRA project and the results achieved to support Bulgarian SMEs to enter foreign markets, the reflected proposals for change in procedures under OP "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014 - 2020. Ms Zhekova highlighted "Three of our proposals for fostering the internationalization of SMEs were taken into consideration in the development of OP "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014-2020. I believe that the support for internationalization of SMEs will continue during the next programming period."

After the presentation of the project and the achieved results, Ms. Zhekova gave the floor to Mr. Vladimir Bobev, a representative of the General Directorate "European Competitiveness Funds" of the Ministry of Economy, Managing Authority of OPIC and OPIMSE. Mr. Bobev presented the opportunities for support for the internationalization of SMEs under the Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness", the proposals for allocation of additional funds to OP "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014-2020 within REACT-EU and information about the program "Competitiveness and innovation in enterprises” 2021-2027. Mr Bobev said: "If we want our economy to accelerate its growth, we have to support SMEs to improve their potential for internationalization. The new Programme “Competitiveness and innovations of enterprises” 2021 – 2027 envisages the establishment of Export Hubs, where enterprises can benefit of all range of services, related to their export activities or fostering their internationalization potential."

Victoria Nikolova PhD, Manager of the Regional Information Center - Varna, presented the opportunities to support SMEs in small municipalities. "Companies, who would like to receive information about EU programmes and other funding opportunities on local level, can contact directly their District Information points," explained dr Nikolova.

Yordan Kolev PhD, a representative of "E-Motion Life" Ltd., a company that received support under the procedure "Promotion of Entrepreneurship" under OPIC, presented their project, developed prototypes, applications, advantages and features of the realization of electric bicycles. "Our participation in EU funded projects and the support we received, opened to us new market opportunities. We have found new partners and came up with ideas for further development of our products."

Mr. Boris Zhelev, Manager of Hidravlon 1” Ltd., a company that received support under programs of The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), shared with the participants the impressions and results of the support for the internationalization of the company. Boris Zhelev explained: "Thanks to our participation in the Europort Expo and the support of BSMEPA, we established partnerships with companies from Greece and Denmark."

The event ended with a discussion on the internationalization of SMEs.

 The online version of the dissemination even is in Bulgarian and available at the following link:

Prepared by RAPIV