Artesis Plantijn (AP) Hogeschool Antwerpen as you know, is the advisory partner of our project. AP UAS, with about 11.000 students in 4 departments and 2 schools of Arts, is situated in the heart of Antwerp, the most entrepreneurial of Belgian cities. Flanders has an ecosystem for entrepreneurial students in every large student city, and thus also in Antwerp. The Antwerp ecosystem is called TAKE OFF ANTWERP ALLIANCE. AP is member of a partnership of entrepreneurship, in Antwerp. All partners (majority of HEI’s in Antwerp, the City, theChamber of Commerce, students’ organisations etc) work together to boost and coach entrepreneurship. Since September 2016 AP runs an entrepreneurial ‘lab’ to which all student- can turn for advice and coaching. This ‘lab’ helpsstudent-entrepreneurs through the various stages of their entrepreneurship. Every student, from the ones who are the verybeginning of their adventure and are still working on the idea, to the ones who have set up a business, less than 3 years agoand who need advice on financial, organisational, or other levels.


Photo: pixabay

As the AP is a member of our project's consortium, VLEVA blog wrote an article about us. As they write:

"The AP Hogeschool is an advisory partner in the Interreg Europe project OSS: One Stop Shop towards competitive SMEs, focusing on the ecosystem for the first line service system. The OSS project combines both pillars. Together with foreign partners, they are developing a European ecosystem around a first-line service that will make our start-ups more resilient in the economic market.

The university of applied sciences is also a member in Take Off Antwerp Alliance, the ERDF project that supports young entrepreneurs in Antwerp and guides them in the start of their company.

Europe has a lower number of start-ups compared to the US and Asia. So, it is important to make entrepreneurship as attractive to young people as it is in those other regions. That is why this project wants to build an ecosystem, tailor-made for first-time entrepreneurs. All partners in this project (Norway, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovenia) are eager to invest in a long-term policy that will help to increase the number of quality start-ups in their region.

In order to be competitive in the market as an SME, they want to develop and offer a range of tools. OSS wants to build a complete ecosystem, based on the expertise and best practices of its FLS (First Line Service) system. At the end of the five-year project (2023), the partnership will be able to offer a full toolbox of experiences and expertise adapted to the needs of the starting entrepreneur.

This consortium is paving the way for the policy of supporting young entrepreneurs in the various regions. The shared experiences of the partners and their stakeholders serve as a guideline.

In the course of the first three years, 5 themes will be worked out in detail:
     Mentoring and collaboration between start-ups and companies
     Collaboration between different levels of governance
     Access to financial support
     Business incubators.

After the first three years, the action plans of the various partners are implemented. The project will be completed with a large-scale final event in Antwerp. Not only partners and their stakeholders are invited to that event, but also Antwerp and other ecosystems with their respective stakeholders."

Thank you VLEVA for such a good mentioning.