Enterprise Europe Network – the Commission’s one-stop service to European business
At the beginning of 2008 ARC Fund was entrusted with the important role of coordinating the Bulgarian consortium of the Enterprise Europe Network – the successor to the European Innovation Relay Centres and Euro-Info Centres – the two largest European networks aiming to assist SMEs in raising their innovation capacity and competitive edge across Europe. The newly established network is designed to meet all information and consulting needs of small and medium businesses in Europe.
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is unique both in terms of its wide geographic reach, and of the wide range of integrated services it provides to SMEs and other business actors. Its mission is to serve as a “one-stop-shop” for the information needs of the enterprises across Europe. This is made possible through the coordinated action of nearly 600 local partner organizations, employing around 4000 experienced staff working to support the competitiveness of EU businesses. The Bulgarian consortium consists of 13 well-known business support organizations represented by regional offices in Sofia, Vratsa, Ruse, Dobrich, Yambol, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv and Sandanski.
Service portfolio of Enterprise Europe Network includes:
o search for business partners and technology transfer opportunities;
o information about policies, programs and legislation affecting business actors;
o visits to individual companies for expertise, innovative state and competitiveness assessments;
o support for SMEs participation in international projects and public tenders;
o tools for SMEs involvement in EU policy-making.
The network in Bulgaria offers the entire spectrum of services for business, which are also offered by the European network, as well as an additional set of services specific to this country – information to companies about participation in the operational programs funded by the Structural Funds; specific financial sources and tools; problems related to the application of European standards, as well as many more subjects related to Bulgaria’s EU membership.