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Catching the future - Business and development exchange in the South Baltic region (CTF)
Start date: Jun 30, 2009, End date: Dec 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Recent financial crisis and downward economic development trends have brought significant implications for small and medium-sized enterprises in the South Baltic area. As diagnosed in several municipal surveys, a shrinking demand for products and services of locally based enterprises, articularly within the activities outsourced by larger companies, urges them to consider reshaping of operational strategies in order to survive on the market. A need for exploring new markets seems to be a commonly shared challenge for a sustainable local entrepreneurship in the Polish and Swedish municipalities from the project area, as revealed through official public administration contacts. Local small and medium-sized enterprises from northern Poland and southern Sweden are aware of the opportunity for business expansion offered by the geographical proximity and are eager to follow a path of the cross-border entrepreneurship, which has evolved between Sweden and Denmark (Öresund Region) or between Germany and Poland. According to some investigation reports northern Poland and southern Sweden have a significant potential for trade growth yet they suffer from a low mutual business penetration due to limited market knowledge and irregular and rare business contacts between small entrepreneurs (ATT 11 and ATT 12).The general objective of the project is to stimulate entrepreneurship in the South Baltic area by creating and benchmarking a pilot web-based platform, which would promote cross-border networking opportunities between local SMEs from northern Poland and southern Sweden as well as relevant cross-border business support services by the partner municipalities. This demonstration tool will have a potential to - on one hand facilitate the trade exchange and SMEs cooperation in Skane, Zachodniopomorskie and Pomorskie, and on the other – to contribute to market convergence processes between Poland and Sweden. In order to achieve this, the project will make a web-based inquiry to state the need of cross-border entrepreneurship education by involved municipalities and enterprises, collect lessons learned from enterprises active in international trade in the SB area, in particular in the Polish-Swedish trade exchange, and launch some cross-border entrepreneurship education events (including sightseeing visits, seminars and international workshops with qualified trainers and special associates with international trade competence). It will also start a dialogue with youth entrepreneurs and inventors from the project area to create possibilities for new products and new business ideas. A customised final product – a web-based platform dedicated to local cross-border entrepreneurship in the project area – will be rendered for a possible replication and use by other interested local and regional stakeholders in the SB area.In effect, the project expects to:) enhance cross-border networking between enterprises and municipalities in the project area; ) create possibilities for new products and business ideas; educate and increase the entrepreneurship competence of leaders in participating municipalities and enterprises; ) increase the competitiveness of the participating municipalities;) increase the interest for investments in the South Baltic area, and to influence decision makers to facilitate cross-border trade and cooperation in the South Baltic area. Achievements: The project CTF - Catching the Future have been running between 2009-06-30 – 2012-12-31 and has partly been financed by EU and the South Baltic Programme. The main scope for the project has been to increase the trade between companies in the south of Sweden and the northern of Poland and to strengthen 9 municipalities in their effort to support local companies in their international business.The project has consisted of 9 municipalities, more than 120 companies, 1 university and 10 supporting organizations. During the project first six months a recruitment process to attract and recruit the 120 companies has been done.During the next 12 months, the companies and their entrepreneurs have been educated in export trade, cultural differences, tax regulation etc. During this phase study visits to the both countries were done. The next 12 months the project made it possible for the entrepreneurs to meet each other during a number of international matchmaking and trade fares.During the projects last 12 months all knowledge acquired in the project have been documented and made available on the projects two information platforms, one targeting Swedish entrepreneurs and one targeting the Polish ones.
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  • 72.4%   992 395,92
  • 2007 - 2013 South Baltic (PL-SE-DK-LT-DE)
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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