Introduction and methodology

Capitalisation is an increasingly important feature of European Territorial Cooperation Programmes (ETCs) and plays an essential role in exploiting the knowledge created by the projects funded within them. This report draws upon a comparative analysis of promising approaches and practices identified within eight of INTERREG IVC's entrepreneurship projects and aims to help policymakers and practitioners use this practice to develop effective policy recommendations at regional, national and / or European level.

Following extensive desk work, 30 telephone and face to face interviews with lead partners and project partners and an interactive workshop, the Entrepreneurship capitalisation team has collated and analysed findings, in response to the specified terms of enquiry, to pinpoint:

  • The common features, challenges, difficulties, successes, innovative features, results and good practices
  • The extent to which the good practices, or elements of them, are transferable to other regions in the EU and how this might be achieved
  • The extent to which the projects addressed similar challenges and found different solutions which could be shared 
  • The methods that projects have used to transfer a practice and the relevance of this to policy development in that region and other EU regions
  • The success factors in terms of policy influence and their transferability to other EU regions
  • Thematic and policy areas of common interest / synergies – both within the projects in this theme and also between other IVC projects and other ETC projects
  • Initial ideas on lessons learnt and policy recommendations at regional, national and EU level.

The findings are presented in this report. Section 1 introduces the themes and capitalisation methodology. Section 2 sets out the European policy and programme context in the field of entrepreneurship; Section 3 reports the results of the analysis - firstly by presenting some information on the eight projects assessed and then by exploring some of their common challenges and solutions; Section 4 sets out the main findings of the thematic analysis and some thoughts on policy recommendations, and the report ends with some qualitative information on each of the 8 projects examined.

Some definitions and descriptions of entrepreneurship

en•tre•pre•neur/ˌäntrəprəˈno͝or/

Noun - a person who organises and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.

Entrepreneurship is about the pursuit of goals with resources beyond your current control” (Harvard Business School, Professor Howard Stevenson)

"Entrepreneurship is an individual's creative capacity, independently or within an organisation, to identify an opportunity and to pursue it in order to produce new value or economic success". (Commission's Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe, 2003)

"Entrepreneurship is a various and broad phenomenon of applied creativity, problem-solving, innovation and interaction, beyond business start-ups. It is also a concept for personal growth and learning" (finding from INTERREG IIIC project BEPART - Baltic Entrepreneurship Partners)

"The development of entrepreneurship has important benefits, both economically and socially. Entrepreneurship is not only a driving force for job creation, competitiveness and growth; it also contributes to personal fulfilment and the achievement of social objectives" (Analytical report Flash EuroBarometer No 283 – Entrepreneurship, 2009) .

"Entrepreneurship education has a positive impact on the entrepreneurial mind-set of young people, their intentions towards entrepreneurship, their employability and finally on their role in society and the economy" (Effects and impact of entrepreneurship programmes in higher education, 2012, European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry)

"Entrepreneurship is not, as commonly assumed in Europe, necessarily about small and medium sized companies (SMEs). It is about growth, creativity and innovation. Innovative entrepreneurs come in all shapes and forms. They start companies, they spin out companies from universities or corporations, they restructure companies in need of refocusing, they innovate within larger organisations. Usually they share a primary objective – growth" (Breeding More Gazelles: The Role of European Universities, Dr. Bert Twaalfhoven and Karen Wilson European Foundation for Entrepreneurship Research, October 2004) .

"Europe faces a number of challenges that can only be met if it has innovative, well-educated and entrepreneurial citizens who, whatever their walk of life, have the spirit and inquisitiveness to think in new ways, and the courage to meet and adapt to the challenges facing them" (Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe, March 2012, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) . 

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