From June 5 to June 8 2018, 15 participants from the partner countries Spain, Bulgaria, England, Poland, Belgium, Slovenia and Norway attended the launch of the Interreg Europe project “One Stop Shop” (OSS) in the town of Ålesund, Norway. Møre and Romsdal County Council is the lead partner of the project, and was the main organizer of the event.

In March 2018, the interregional project “One Stop Shop” was granted a total of EUR 1 465 212, from the Interreg Europe Programme (financed partially by European Regional Development Fund). The project aims to improve the conditions for small and medium sized enterprises, focusing on the ecosystem for advisory support services. The Kick Off in Ålesund in early June marked the official launch of the project.
-    During the Kick Off, each country presented their existing system, examples of best practice, and the main obstacles for further development towards a clearer and better first line system. There was also an overall presentation of the project, says Malene Aram Vike, project manager of the international project called OSS (One stop shop) in Møre and Romsdal county council.
Creating jobs
The way in which first time entrepreneurs are supported, vary from country to country. However, the need to offer attractive jobs is paramount to all participants involved.
-    Europe has a lower rate of start-ups compared to other parts of the world. There is also an increasing number of young professionals moving away from many of our regions, to settle in the larger cities. In order to boost the entrepreneurial spirit, and to hinder young people from leaving our regions, there is a need to offer better services, so that more people are able to create attractive and dynamic work places. We need to develop an attractive tailor-made ecosystem for start-ups to improve growth for small and medium sized businesses, entrepreneurial skills, and to overcome defined barriers, says Vike.

The project will work towards a complete ecosystem for founders, with includes better solutions for digital support, mentoring, collaboration between start-ups and business, between different levels of governance, access to finance and business incubation.
During the Kick Off, the partners met with local stakeholders such as Innovation Norway and Møre and Romsdal County Governor. They also met with regional politicians, first line advisors from some of the municipalities in the region, and with local entrepreneurs. The event was held at the Norwegian Maritime Competence Center, in the “Blue Innovation Arena” - a work and conference space created to accommodate innovative and entrepreneurial activities. The competence center is also the main location of the leading maritime cluster in Norway.

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