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AEBR & EURADA online seminar on SMEs in Border Regions

The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), in collaboration with the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) and the Directorate for COSME programme and SME policy of the European Commission’s DG GROW (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) organized on 4 February 2021 a Zoom seminar on SMEs in Border Regions, offering insights on their specific problems, possible solutions, opportunities offered by the new EU Programs and more.

You can watch the full workshop, or go to the appropriate section using the time indications included below, by clicking on this link to the SMEs workshop in AEBR’s channel on YouTube.

Opening and introduction  (00h00’00’’ to 00h05’40’’)

  • Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of AEBR, introduced the workshop, highlighting the need to support SMEs as crucial elements for the development of cross-border areas, their current situation in a context of pandemic, and main challenges and opportunities in the post-pandemic period.
  • Esteban Pelayo, Director of EURADA, presented the network and highlighted the importance of supporting enterprises in all contexts, but particularly across borders in current challenging times, promoting collaboration and agreement as a key for success and recovery.

Keynote contribution  (0h05‘41‘‘ to 1h16’50’’)

The Role of Projects (1h16’55’’ to 1h51’45’’)

  • Annika Jaansoo, AEBR expert, introduced the Interreg Europe project InterVentures (Policies to promote the internationalisation of SMEs for more competitive regional ecosystems in border areas of the EU) and gave an overview about the situation of SMEs, what are the most interesting findings of the project and how this project is helping SMEs.
  • Iveta Malina-Tabune, Head of the Latgale Planning Region Administration and Lead Stakeholder of BusDEV (Business Development Opportunities at External EU Borders) introduced this ESPON Targeted Analysis.
  • Sandra Spule, Spatial Foresight, presented various aspects of BusDEV and answered the questions Is EU external frontier an underutilised business opportunity for the border regions? and What did we learn from the three pilot regions taking part in this analysis?

The Role of Chambers  (1h51’45’’ to 2h02’15’’)

The Role of Institutional Support (examples of regional agencies) (2h02’20’’ to 2h40’55’’)

The Role of CB Structures  (2h40’55’’ to 2h50’00’’)

  • Xosé Lago García, Xunta de Galicia (ES), EGTC Galicia-Norte de Portugal (ES/PT), presented the role of microenterprises and self-employed in the region (95% of enterprises below 5 employees), in all sectors, and the effects of the pandemic (and border closing).

Sum up and closing (2h50’00’’ to 2h54’26’’)

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