Before the end of Phase 1, PURE COSMOS requested for a Pilot Action, involving two Partners (PP6-Development Agency of Eastern Thessaloniki Local Authorities and PP4-Investiotionsbank of Saxony -Anhalt). The pilot action regards the creation of a Supporting Hub on Innovation in the Region of Central Macedonia called “CeMaO-misme”. It was approved by Interreg Europe Monitoring Committee on 10th July 2019.
Criteria met for the approval were additionality, Interregionality and policy relevance.
CeMaO aims at fostering digital transformation of Businesses. It aims at supporting especially micro and small Enterprises in the Region of Central Macedonia, using digital applications and innovation in order to start a business or to modify an existing one that at the moment lacks in digital applications.
Micro and small Enterprises of the Region of Central Macedonia will receive training sessions, personal counselling and mentoring. They will be supported to set up a feasible business plan till they reach microcredit.
Through CEMaO, an entrepreneur can gain knowledge on the first steps, before using the Regional One Stop Shop Service. The Regional OSS is a new initiative undertaken by RCM, so an adjustment period for SMEs will be needed. CeMaO is expected to smooth the transition, by making entrepreneurs more mature in terms of business sustainability and digital practices.
CEMAO was inspired by two factors:
i) the good practice CENTER OF EXPERTISE 4.0 FOR SMES from PP4. This is GP40 in the PURE COSMOS Online Register.
Main target of the Center of Expertise is to increase digital know-how of companies by showing them good practices, organizing workshops, providing guidelines and giving advices on optimizing internal processes, digital networking and digital business models. Also supports enterprises to identify new business areas
ii) PEER REVIEW suggestions: Peers suggested that SMEs of Central Macedonia Region could be supported by a mix of loans, grants and non-repayable funds without bank guarantees
The pilot activities are the following:
1. SELECT ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurs will be selected by assessment criteria. A public procurement will be published and interested companies/entrepreneurs will fill in an Application form. All Application Forms will be accompanied by a brief presentation of business idea, a statement of intent to participate in training workshops, and a “de minimis” statement. After setting up a committee, the candidates will be interviewed. 9 companies (or business ideas) will be then selected and their entrepreneurs trained in 3 workshops.
2. RUN TRAINING WORKSHOPS
3 workshops will be organized, 16 hours each, on
a) how to start-up a successful business and what does a business plan consist of
b) how to reach digital innovation for SMEs
c) Orient SMEs towards financial instruments.
Trainers will include both ANATOLIKI’s staff and experts on the field. PP4 will contribute with teaching topics especially regarding sourcing on smart solutions/ technologies, digital trends and innovations
3. STORY-TELLING AND KNOWLEDGE OF POSSIBLE FAILURES
Two events will be organized to broaden the horizon of entrepreneurs. Events will be on successes and failures of other companies.
4. PERSONAL COUNSELING
Personal counseling will be offered to entrepreneurs by PP6 inhouse consultants/staff. This means person to person advice including guidance on the business plan development of each company. PP6 will consult SMEs on weak points in order they develop a strong business plan and a sustainable business.
Apart from counseling sessions, entrepreneurs will receive mentoring sessions with specialized mentors (experts-staff of successful businesses from the market) so that they receive advice on digital applications /tools that cover their special needs. This means that entrepreneurs working successfully on a business will pass their experience and consult the new entrepreneur in a business- to- business model.
Pilot implementation extends in Semester 8 & 9 this means form Oct-19 to Sept-20.
Roles of the partners: