Tartu Business Advisory Services (Tartu BAS) is a business support structure for entrepreneurship in Tartu County with a goal to attract investments to Tartu.
Development plan of city of Tartu (policy instrument) states one of its main goals to develop Tartu as entrepreneurial city.
Policy has defined three strategic goals: Tartu has competitive and sustainable enterprises; Tartu has high-tech economy; Tartu is the best place to start a business and attractive investment environment.
To achieve these goals policy has described five focused development directions:
1. Development of innovation and growth capacity of entrepreneurship
2. Development of human resource
3. Development of business support system & infrastructure
4. Support for internationalization of entrepreneurship
5. Development of entrepreneurial culture and reputation of entrepreneurship environment
Tartu BAS directly contributes to all abovementioned points activities. Tartu Business Advisory Services were designed and are improved to benefit all businesses in region.
Tartu BAS belongs to a network of Development Centres in Estonia. There is an organization like them in every county (http://www.arenduskeskused.ee/) in Estonia. This enables extended synergy and increased manpower for the benefit of companies from all over the country.
During last 5 years thanks to Tartu BAS:
- 13 645 people have participated in (their) training and seminars
- 5 455 entrepreneurs came to consultation
- 5 893 students participated in thematic events
- 1 200 nonprofits received good advice
- 5M€ worth of support funds to the region
- 46,7M€ investments found

Resources needed

To start activities with 2-3 FTE and run 1 year of activities and services on a small scale would roughly require 100k€ annual budget in Estonian context.
Today Tartu BAS runs with ca 535k€ annual turnover and employs 10 full time persons.

Evidence of success

During last 5 years activities of Tartu BAS have given following results:
- 13 645 people have participated in (their) training and seminars
- 5 455 entrepreneurs came to consultation
- 5 893 students participated in thematic events
- 1 200 nonprofits received good advice
- 5M€ worth of national and EU support funds brought to the region
- 46,7M€ foreign investments found their way to Tartu Region
Indirect impact of these activities surely reaches beyond these numbers.

Difficulties encountered

Limited availability of resources (financial & human foremost) is always an issue. There is constant need to increase revenue earned from BAS services to serve more customers with improved quality. Content is another topic – need to find fresh speakers, topics, approaches for workshops, trainings.

Potential for learning or transfer

How might we adjust support to individual needs of startup companies? How to attract investments to region? How to make startups and established companies (corporates) to collaborate with each other? How can we help export oriented companies in entering international markets? How to encourage youth entrepreneurship/entrepreneurial activities?
These are just few questions which are coming from partner regions of ESSPO project. In most European regions the challenges given above are present in one form or another.
Tartu BAS has established effective customer base and communication line with companies in region. It has solid numbers to prove that its approach to regional business support and attraction to investments is working. It can operate effectively both in local or regional setting. For Tartu city and county it has been an impactful instrument in regional development and business support process.

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Project
Main institution
Tartu Business Advisory Services Foundation
Location
Eesti, Estonia (Eesti)
Start Date
February 1993
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Justyna Adamska Please login to contact the author.