The project "EMBRACE" aims to design, develop and implement specific spatial development policies, initiatives and actions for the benefit of SMEs located in rural and undeveloped urban areas, in order to increase their access to Knowledge and the Information Society.
The project "EMBRACE" aims to design, develop and implement specific spatial development policies, initiatives and actions for the benefit of SMEs located in rural and undeveloped urban areas, in order to increase their access to Knowledge and the Information Society. The ultimate goal is to overcome existing barriers that these SMEs face, by providing assistance and value-added advisory, e-commerce and info rmation services, which can boost their efficiency and competitiveness, and lead to the development of transnational cooperation and globalization of activities.
The 1.750.000 # project "EMBRACE" is based on the formulation and adoption of coordinated / concerted policies and actions for (a) the improvement of access to knowledge and the info rmation society for SMEs through state-of-the-art business support services, and (b) the utilization of Information and Communication Technologies through the establishment of a virtual network embracing all relevant stakeholders. Those policies, initiatives and actions will derive from a thorough existing situation analysis in the participating countries (using desk and field research), from a synthetic diagnosis of the findings, as well as from benchmarking and identification of best practices worldwide.
Taking into account the results mentioned above, the project intends to establish a pilot virtual network, available both online and offline, where SMEs can have access to a wide range of business services and tools, such as consulting and training in key topics, matchmaking for accessing investor funds, e-commerce (B2B cooperation with other firms / B2C channels for distributing their products online), etc.
So as to ensure the sound implementation and sustainability of the project, periodic assessments (ongoing, ex ante and ex post) will be performed on the basis of predefined indicators related to performance, effectiveness and outputs. Specific plans for the project's expansion and the utilization of its multiplier effects will be conducted as well.
The project will be finalized with the organization and execution of several dissemination activities towards the target audience, aiming to increase awareness and diffuse the project's results among its end-users.