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Rural Innovation and Business Systems (RIBS)
Start date: Jun 30, 2010, End date: Dec 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Rural Innovation and Business Systems (RIBS) project will specifically help SMEs in rural regions of Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Sweden and Finland to address the effects of the economic downturn and strengthen their competitiveness and growth potential. Based on the needs analysis of the SMEs and the business support community in the target regions, RIBS will develop Business Growth Programmes (RIBS products) in four main areas: SME Growth, SME Internationalization, Entrepreneurship, and Rural Clustering. RIBS will facilitate rural cluster development through adopting an explicitly cross-sectoral approach.The RIBS work programme combines leading innovation system research and knowledge and the accumulated expertise of practitioners in the field of SME support. RIBS will develop four new business support products that have been tested with 120 SMEs and refined through feedback from the SMEs and independent experts. Learning will be captured and disseminated through a new collaborative web platform. Achievements: Products and services:Title: Business and innovation compass and navigation tool A web based survey tool for remote rural businesses which visualizes the current state and future strategic intent of the business graphically and gives strategic guidance on how such development can be achieved by pointing out suitable business coaching alternatives.More information see:,Title: Tool for Internationalisation of SMEs A business support tool to help rural knowledge based SMEs to internationalise more quickly by assessing their internationalisation potential and proposing concrete actions and potential sources of funding in collaboration with a public business advisor.More information see:,Title: Micro Cluster in Tourism Support to small tourism companies with forming micro-clusters, i.e. functional clusters based on few companies, with the aim to build up co-operation with other companies, facilitate information sharing among the businesses and to stimulate peer-to-peer comparison and informal benchmarking. More information see:,Title: Leadership in Tourism A distance learning course on leadership and human resource management for leaders in small rural tourism companies.More information see:, Development centre of Snæfellsnes Development centre that aims to boost the economy and strengthen the competitiveness of enterprises in Snæfellsnes. It provides services and consultancy in on business planning and analysis, project management for development projects, marketing, financial planning and analysis, feasibility studies, strategic planning for firms, industry sectors, municipalities and regions and helps to find investment opportunities and financing for projects.More information see:,Title: Enterprise Supports Mayo (ESM) An animated presentation mapping out the existing innovation support for SMEs and start up businesses.More information see:,
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  • 2007 - 2013 Northern Periphery
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