A funding scheme designed for HU-HR cross-border cooperation (CBC) programme that provides non-refundable grant for SME’s cooperating across the border.
Analyses around 2012-3 have shown that SMEs and the enterprises of the programme’s area have financial, innovation and networking problems, with almost no internationalisation. Cross-border business cooperation had multiple obstacles: language barrier, traditionally isolating borders hampered by the wartime period of the formerly Yugoslav countries, depressed socio-economic situation of the area, low inclination of SMEs for building international connections, problems with entrepreneurial skills and financing. On the other hand, the existence of crucial assets in the region (like the network of small and medium sized towns, the Pécs and Osijek agglomeration, Universities, high number of SMEs in parts of the area, rich natural and cultural values) formed a business environment that could support the development of the SME sector. On this basis, a pilot scheme has been designed.
Non-refundable grant is provided for consortia of at least two SMEs, at least one from each country, to develop joint product, technology or service, processes and productive capacities or carry out common marketing activities. A two-step selection process is being operated. Support is provided by County Development Agencies (HR) and Enterprise Development Agencies (HU) to promote the scheme and carry out specific B2B consultations to identify the potential SMEs and develop project concepts. Separate project development and management support is also given for partners receiving funding.
The total cost is 12,5 1 m€. 7.65 m€ has been paid to the SME’s the rest covers the costs of the management and support. Work of the staff of the MA and the JS is involved and in Hamag-Bicro 2-4 persons are in average busy with the scheme. One full-time manager is employed in each CDA/EDA.
Evidence of success
In the three rounds of applications 122 proposals have been received, 69 Project Concepts have been approved. Out of this 61 completed Project Proposal have been elaborated and 30 approved. In the first and second round 13 support contracts have been made, with the participation of 15 Hungarian and 13 Croatian SME’s. Contracting procedure is going on the 3rd round. Data confirms the expected interest for the scheme, impact of the scheme on the SME’s and local economy have not been evaluated yet.
Challenging pre-conditions for Lead Beneficiary made the selection of the LB complicated and lengthy
No simple implementation mechanism exists (existed) to carry out crossborder support scheme for SME’s. Standard rules of implementation of a CB project are not appropriate (lengthy, over-complic
Potential for learning or transfer
how decision-making and management processes can be operated to provide grant-financing for SMEs in the context of a crossborder programme
what local support shall be given to SME’s to effectively involve them in direct cooperation with other companies
provide an insight in what type of cooperations of SME’s are realistically expected in similar schemes.