Project duration: 01.09.2018 – 31.08.2019
Lead partner: Romanian Research Group in Corporate Finance, Romania
Project partners: Institute of Technology and Development Foundation, Bulgaria; STEP Institute, Institute for work psychology and entrepreneurship, Slovenia
For the economic development of the Danube Region (DR) according to regional analysis, it is decisive that SME’s have a strong competitive position and innovation performance. Considering digital revolution and disruptive technologies, SME’s in every industry of the participating regions are under intense pressure to rethink their business models, customer value propositions, and& operations. Smaller enterprises from less developed areas of the DR (rural area and small cities from East European countries of the DR) suffer more from the digital revolution than companies from more developed areas (normally strong urban communities). There is a strong need in the participating regions to develop solutions together and qualify SME’s from these underdeveloped areas to fully use digital opportunities. The approach of this project aims to create the necessary framework to develop a new project that includes specific activities that respond to Priority 8 Competitiveness of Enterprises.
The geographical scope of the main project is transnational supporting a Knowledge Transfer from countries like Germany, Austria or Slovenia in order to identify strategies, policies, and tools that are meant to foster the effects of the EU policies in the following East European countries of the Danube program region: RO, BG, SVK, HU, HR.
Benefiting from competences and experiences of other countries in the Danube Region, like Slovenia, Germany, Austria but not limited to that, can forge a transnational alliance at EU level that can propose a new project for the management of digital transformation in underdeveloped marginal communities like rural areas and small towns.
The role of STEP Institute
STEP Institute was representing Slovenia as a good practice in the digital transformation of SMEs in order to improve the competitiveness of rural areas in Romunia and Bulgaria. In particular, the agricultural sector, by facilitating rural and women entrepreneurship, supporting innovation and cooperation through digital transformation of SME’s. Our role was to conduct research on women entrepreneurship in 3 countries and to prepare a background for a new project application.