Project summary

Europe has a lower rate of start-ups compared with other parts of the world, e.g. US and Asia. Europe has to perceive as attractive for creative and young people. There is a need to offer attractive jobs and places to live, and to boost entrepreneur’s spirit before young people are leaving our regions. We thus need to develop an attractive tailor-made ecosystem for start-ups to improve SMEs growth, entrepreneur skills and to overcome defined barriers. The partners have define that collaboration with commitment, and willingness to invest in long-term policy is important for to increase the number and quality of startups in their region.

The OSS project will work towards the main objective; Improve policies for SMEs competitiveness by enhancing advisory support services for first time entrepreneurs. OSS want to build an complete ecosystem for the entrepreneur starting new business. Every partner will contribute with an expertice and best practices from their First Line Service (FLS) system, and when OSS is finished, the Toolbox of experience and expertice will be presented.

Together, OSS will enhance an advisory support service adapted to the needs of the entrepreneur. With the experience in each partners policy, and stakeholders from different levels to participate in changing the policy affecting our main objective, we enticipate to change the different regions advisory services.

OSS will look at the possibility to make the advisory services more assessible with the evolvment of digital capabilities.

OSS aim to address these topics; FLS system as a complete ecosystem; digital capabilities, mentoring and collaboration between startups and business, collaboration between different levels of gouvernance, access to finance, and business incubation.

All the activities are created to enhance added value for the entrepreneurs and to increase the user satisfaction towards the advisory system in each region. OSS will create change through change in policy.



OSS Project Manager
Malene Aaram Vike

The Department of Regional Development

Møre and Romsdal County Authority

Phone: 00 47 71 28 03 08 / 00 47 918 93 231

e-mail: [email protected]



from 1 Jun 2018
to 31 May 2023

SME competitiveness


Lead Partner

What policy instruments does the project address?

Priority 2: Møre and Romdal shall have international and competetive businesses

Related specific objectives: To mobilise for more entrepreneusrs in our region through the entrepreneural programme


The Action Plan emphasise the need to strengthen the competence amongst first time start-ups regarding entrepreneurship, and that they experience a clear and accessible first line service (FLS). There is a need to revitalise and develop equal services within the FLS– irrespective of location, and to strengthen the competence and network amongst the advisors in the service. The amount estimated to be influenced by this project is 500 000 EUR.


Todays policy is based on a 3-helix model with collaboration between private business, academia and the public sector, our ambition is to enhance the ecosystem towards a 5-helix model, through including the entrepreneur and risk capital. This user-oriented development is critial to stimulate the emergence of new businesses throughout the region.


After 10 years of operating our FLS system, we experience that the quality of the services provided to start-ups differs between different locations in the county. According to user-satisfaction surveys, we have learnt that the service provided are not fully answering the needs of the users. To make the ecosystem equally good throughout the region it is considered necessary to revitalise and target the policy addressing start-ups.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Møre and Romsdal County Council

Related specific objective: SME Competitiveness Business support packages.

Main features: Utilizing ERDF to provide support for start ups, rural diversification programme, Innovation network and research/development, business support programmes. Each Local Enterprise Partnership area sets its objectives reflecting overarching ERDF priorities and then introducing local conditions. The priority objective areas are common to each ERDF strand.


Why: Public policy recognizes the importance of new businesses and supporting entrepreneurs, but there is not enough focus on the urban/rural different agendas, and also a lack of a cohesive programme across our region. The LEP model, which is the local voice of government in all the regions of UK England and Wales, all have a separate approach. While this is welcome in terms of reflecting local needs, it also breeds duplication of efforts and fragmentation in support services for first time entrepreneurs, when a cohesive joined up approach would bring a more dynamic and cost effective solution.This project gives us the wider base of knowledge and comparison to influence policy across our region related to start up and entrepreneur policy.


County Councils and local authorities can provide an element of support for entrepreneurs but funding is limited and not strategically delivered across the region. ESIF allow significant investment in first time entrepreneur programmes. An amount of 4 MEUR are estimated to be influenced by this project.

Which partners are working on this?
  • WSX Enterprise

Priority Axis 2:Entrepreneurship and capacity for growing of SMEs

In compliance with thematic objective 3, investment priority 3a is foreseen to support promotion of entrepreneurship and facilitation of the access to funding for the enterprises.


Specific objective 2.1: Improvement of SME survival rate, incl through promotion of entrepreneurship


One of the main features is to improve the access to the entrepreneurship ecosystem by supporting financial instruments: promoting equity and quasi-equity investments for start-ups; venture capital funds, private capitals, shares.The 2nd one is promoting entrepreneurial ideas in areas related to European and regional challenges. Support is also envisaged for ideas to be implemented by the following categories of entrepreneurs: womens start-ups, persons under 29 and people aged over 50, starting their own businesses. The amount expected to be affected by this project is 600 000 EUR.


Why improve?

The PI should be improved towards more support to underdeveloped regions especially fostering startups and facilitating their survival.

The survival rate of newly established businesses is foreseen to reach 77% till 2023 vs. 74,5% in 2012.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Agency for Regional and Economic Development

Related specific objective: To improve the advisory services for the creation and consolidation of SME developing new measures to promote the entrepreneurial culture and to assist SME.

Main features

- Promotion of entrepreneurial spirit

- Training

- Advising of entrepreneurs and new SMEs

- On line services for entrepreneurs

- SME incubators


The amount expected to be affected by this project is 600 000 EUR


Why improve: Granada province is characterised by having a low level of entrepreneurial culture as well as a poor survival rate for start- ups. At the same time, the provincial economy is dominated by SMEs with over 99% of firms having less than 500 employees and by an excessive of “micro firms”, either self employed or employing less than 10 people (nearly 95%). Besides, we can notice that the quality and the access to the first line support system for first time entrepreneurs is not entirely satisfactory because it exists a big fragmentation of the business support services for these new entrepreneurs. It is necessary to provide them with opportunities for testing their business ideas in the best conditions. We need to know what advisory support service regarding entrepreneurship and SMEs competiveness is working in practice.

Which partners are working on this?

Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU cohesion Policy 2014-2020 is a centralised OP for territorial development of Slovenia, covering all 11 Thematic Objectives. Our goal is to improve Priority 9: “CLLD with specific goal better economic and social inclusion of the society, where creation of entrepreneurial activities and innovative development partnerships and innovative development partnerships; and specific objective 1; Promote the creation and operation of new firms, especially start ups.


Why it should be improved: There is a need to upgrade the aforementioned mechanisms of the OP in the way that would really meet the challenges. Especially we see, that traditional measures are not fiting the start ups (especially young) needs which are lacking innovative services, innovative measures, lack of access to finances, lack of access to modern technologies (including ICT services). Additionally there is significant number of start ups searching the opportunity in innovative services and products, but existing support measures cannot meet their needs. While we are facing the lack of entrepreneurial culture, there is also a need to upgrade support to young generation, which so far cannot fully access to knowledge connected to entrepreneurial and innovation skills while preparing for future adult life as future entrepreneurs.


No access to finance causes start-ups to find other solutions for the start-up, with support from relatives or from private funds.

Which partners are working on this?
  • BSC, Business support centre Ltd., Kranj



Objective: Strengthening research, cooperation between business and science and technological development, and innovation and also strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs and start-ups. The priority aims to create a business environment conducive to research and innovation. Key elements include strengthening the activities of research and innovation and improving knowledge transfer between public and private sectors, supporting SMEs and new start-ups. Investments will focus on its efforts to implement the results of R & D, innovation, higher added value and productivity and in this way to expand and internationalization.


Why improve? Podkarpackie Region is one of the regions with the lowest level of economic development. The reason is, among others, limited access to external sources of financing for those wishing to start a business. Additionally Podkarpackie Region border directly with The Ukraine and in the region there are many migrants from this country (especially from the war territories: Donbass region, Luhansk and so on). The development of financial instruments, possibilities and motivation for starting a business by people especially endangered with social exclusion (including migrants) will have a positive impact on the level of entrepreneurship in the region.


Participating in this project is anticipating to effect funds up to 5 MEUR.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Rzeszow Regional Development Agency