Project Details

Title: To promote and support entrepreneurship to create new SMEs
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Mar 2013


Total budget: €1,793,582.00
ERDF contribution: €1,407,862.40

Lead partner

Association of Mining Communities of France
Hôtel de Ville - B.P. 49
62800, LIEVIN

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Patrice DELATTRE
      Phone: 00 33 3 21 44 86 25
      Fax: 00 33 3 21 44 86 22

Project summary

PROSPECTS aims to promote the entrepreneurship regional policies in the current or former regions heavily dependent on mining or traditional industry. This project is built on a partnership coming from both Regional Competitiveness and Convergence regions. The 10 Partners, located inside a “United Kingdom–Spain-Slovenia–Poland” quadrilateral, provide different levels of know-how and knowledge in the field of the SMEs promotion.


The regional issues addressed by PROSPECTS are crucial for the partners as well as for the regions with economic retrogression due to their industrial past. From then, the project partners will focus their works on 4 strategic themes inter reacting in connection with the overall project priority: strengthening the attractiveness of the territories, enhancing business support structures, supporting business clusters, supporting eco-innovations and knowledge.


During the first stage of the project, each Partner will carry out 4 thematic analyses and appraisal of

their own experiences focused on the above issues and will exchange them in thematic task groups. At the end, the various analyses will be combined during a Cross-cutting seminar to produce a “Resources/needs” grid. A Good practices Breviary will be drawn up from these works. This 1st stage result will supply new insights to be used as a material to define the public policies of SMEs promotion. It will also increase consistently the skills of both policy makers and officers in charge of the economic development.


This initial exchange will be the starting point of the 2nd stage of the project: engineering of a Transfer Plan by each Partner.. The use of a peer to peer method applied to the interregional cooperation will increase efficiently the intensity of the collaboration between the partners for each of them to set up their own transfer plan. This will consist of 10 local strategic plans based on the at the end of the first stage. The efficiency of this second stage will

be strengthened by the exchange of staff within the whole team of partners. A Strategic guideline will be drawn from the findings and achievements of this stage.

To ensure the impact abroad, the main findings of the project will be disseminated along the running of the project.


Finally, a project toolkit enclosing the Good practices Breviary, the Strategic guideline and a Synoptic memo will be widely spread to the local authorities all over Europe facing similar issues with the help of the mining communities’ network. The dissemination will also target the support business organizations identified by the partners.

At last, the achievement of the project objectives and its outputs will enable the establishment of an interregional Strategic Team which will be in capacity to advise European regions facing similar issues.


To conclude, this project will offer new prospects in a crucial issue: enhancing the entrepreneurship and promoting the quantitative and qualitative creation of SMEs

Project achievements

PROSPECTS aims at improving the efficiency of regional policies in the field of SMEs promotion and entrepreneurship in the former and current mining regions.During the 1st phase of the project (exchange of experiences),the policy-makers of the 10 partners met 6 times.

First,at the Launch conference in 2010 in Wigan(UK),the partners introduced the economic data and policy context of their region.

From June 2010 to June 2011,4 Thematic task group meetings (TTGM) were held in the relevant coalfield of Spain(Oviedo),Slovenia(Zasavje),Poland(Katowice) and Hungary(Tatabanya).

During these TTGM, each partner presented a report on a good practice(GP):the reports were prepared on the basis of a common framework to get comparable results.

In the end,each GP was detailed in PROSPECTS Good Practice Sheets.

In total, 40 GP were presented on the following thematics:Enhancing regional business support structures,Attractiveness of territories,Supporting clusters,Innovation and knowledge economy.


brochure of the project,the PROSPECTS Good Practice Breviary was produced in October 2011 and introduced at the Crosscutting seminar held in France (Arras,Lens-Liévin).During this meeting, each partner chose 1 good practice amongst the 40 in order to elaborate a Transfer Plan of this good practice in close collaboration with the "Donor partner"(2nd phase of the project).

After having constituted the working subgroups, the bilateral workshops for the transfer were held from October 2011 to March 2012.

For example,the County council of PasdeCalais (FR) and the Labour Fund Zasavje (SI) chose to work on the transfer of the “training programme for entrepreneurship”,presented by the Spanish partner Laviana at TTGM n°1.This ambitious programme was implemented by Valnalon, a company funded by the regional institution of Asturias in order to increase skills and behaviours favourable to business such as creativity, initiative, decisionmaking and assumption of risk.It covers all the educational

stages from primary education to university with evolving,social or international projects led by pupils.Supported by the public administration, the programme was included in the EU’s best procedures for entrepreneurial education.

Another experience being the subject of the Transfer Plan of ACOM France and Houthalen-Helchteren (B) is the EnergyLab in the Science Park Gelsenkirchen(GE),which aims at developing a medium and longterm strategy to counteract the lack of personnel with qualifications in sciences and technology.The core elements are the reinforcement of technical and science teaching in schools and informing schoollevel students at an early stage about career prospects in these fields.The EnergyLab project creates a place outside the school in cooperation with businesses.

The 12 PROSPECTS transfer plans were presented at the Joint session (Karvina CZ April 2012).

In the end, the main project's learnings were drawn at the Final Conference (Houthalen-Helchteren-September 2012).

All partners were involved all along the project(595 participants in total).In terms of communication,the PROSPECTS toolkit is made of the Good Practice Breviary,Strategic Guideline and the Synoptic Memo.These publications,available in various linguistic versions,have been disseminated towards local,national and European stakeholders,as previous communication outputs (PROSPECTS leaflet,8 newsletters).9 press conferences were held.

All these materials will remain available on the multilinguistic PROSPECTS website,so as the reports and powerpoint presentations made by the 10 partners during the interregional events.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the territorial cooperation(2010),the INTERACT programme's video showed the PROSPECTS project as a good example of interregional cooperation.

In addition,numerous new approaches arose from the project's findings and partnership.Finally,the activities of the project ended on 31/03/2013 but dissemination and spin-off activities are going on.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Association of Mining Communities of France, LIEVIN FRANCE Nord - Pas-de-Calais 00 33 3 21 44 86 25
City Council of Houthalen-Helchteren, Houthalen-Helchteren BELGIUM Prov. Limburg (B) 3211492172
Union of cities and municipalities of district Karvina (ACOM CZ), KARVINA CZECH REPUBLIC Moravskoslezsko 00 420 596 340 080
County council of Pas-de-Calais, ARRAS Cédex 9 FRANCE Nord - Pas-de-Calais 00 33 3 21 21 92 05
City Council of Tatabanya, Tatabanya HUNGARY Kozep-Dunantul 00 36 34 515 700
Association of Mining Communities in Poland, Rybnyk POLAND Slaskie 00 48 32 42 60 130
Labour fund Zasavje, fundation for active employment policy, Zagorje ob Savi SLOVENIA Vzhodna Slovenija 00 386 356 60 519;
City Council of Laviana, Pola de Laviana SPAIN Principado de Asturias 00 34 985 207 158
Wigan Council, Wigan UNITED KINGDOM Greater Manchester 00 44 19 42 48 91 80
City Council of Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen, Kreisfreie Stadt GERMANY Münster 00 49 209 169 4394 /
Science Park Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen, Kreisfreie Stadt GERMANY Münster 0049/209/1671002


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