Project Details

Title: Entrepreneurial Inspiration for the European Union
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 - 28th Feb 2013
Website: http://www.enspire.eu


Total budget: €1,951,463.94
ERDF contribution: €1,530,378.56

Lead partner

Esbjerg Municipality
Torvegade 74
6700, Esbjerg

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Allan Nordby Ottesen
      Phone: 0045 36 97 35 00
      Fax: 0045 36 97 35 01

Project summary

Economic organisations and governments all across the EU are talking about the need to develop the EU into a strong 'entrepreneurial economy', since this is the key to Europe’s competitiveness and continues modernisation. A lot has been done on a regional, national and European level to support the development of an entrepreneurial economy. However, the 2007 Eurobarometer Entrepreneurship Survey revealed that: 'The desire for Europeans to be self-employed is decreasing'. This key paradox between good conditions for entrepreneurship but poor desire to become entrepreneurial is the key focus of ENSPIRE EU. By focusing on the development of a European entrepreneurial mindset by development/promotion of entrepreneurial inspiration, it's mainstreaming and durability into the regional policy sphere and structural funds system, ENSPIRE EU will improve the effectiveness of regional development policies thereby contributing to the economic modernisation and increased competitiveness of the EU.

Esbjerg municipality and the region of Southern Denmark in general initiated the project. It is based on the existing experiences and needs among the partner regions for successful improvement of regional development policies fostering entrepreneurial mindsets. The partnership consists of 12 partners from 11 countries DK, UK, FR, SP, SW, CY, CZ, RO, PO, HU, SL. The activities of the project has been divided into 3 main parts: Part 1) a limited mapping carried out in each partner region by using a set of standards and a joint information base, the mapping will result in a joint interregional study. Part 2) new discussions, knowhow, ideas and exchange of experiences through Interregional exchange camps, a Pan European exchange camp and the initiation of an Enspire EU network. Part 3) policy effectuation by the development of policy recommendations, a strategic regional policy framework and an interregional policy seminar.

A very limited part of the project consists of two pilot cases: 1) The development of an Enspire EU toolkit, and 2) A mutual exchange programme for transfer of good practices by setting up twin cooperation between the partner regions. The main results of the project will be improved policy making processes (and thereby improved regional development policies) by adopting evidence-based policy making (i.e policy making based on new knowledge by exchange of experiences and joint cooperation), the creation on an Enspire EU network for long-term collaboration and durability of the project's results and better support and " entrepreneurial inspiration services" for prospective entrepreneurs. The project will generate a wide range of outputs for exchange of good practice and dissemination, such as exchange camps, workshops, reports, analysis, recommendations etc.

Project achievements

The ENSPIRE EU project is about inspiring Europeans to become entrepreneurs and to put emphasis on the fact that there are very good supporting structures for people to become entrepreneurs. The project started with the identification of 3 target groups: 1) Disadvantaged People: without the same opportunities as the same average European. 2) Disconnected People: disconnected from the labour Market (long-term unemployed or people with a low education). 3) Discouraged People: young people at secondary level of education discouraged with the education system. The status of the project is for the period from 1st July 2012 to 31st of December 2012 following.

As it is important to stress that there are already many good initiatives across Europe, the Enspire EU has outlined a process how to pick out the best ones, which have a high potential to be transferred from one country to another. Previously in the Enspire EU project, as a first step the partners have developed a methodology to compare and benchmark the best practices, selecting those being successful in a region to be transferred to another region, and in the latest period the Partners have arranged twinning visits and exchange camps to learn from each other, and to exchange the best practices across regions. The approach have been that partners from eastern European countries have visited western European partners, because there would be a potential higher gain transferring initiative from more developed countries to less developed countries.

During the last period, partners performed the last twinning visit and have made implemented the pilot actions (small scale test) in Zlin, Lubuskie and Kranj. As a result of all these experiences and pilot implementation 5 best practices have been transferred. Conclusions obtained where integrated in 10 policy recommendations and test have resulted in an Enspire EU Toolkit produced, where the best practices were mentioned, and where pro and cons where outlined to transfer the single initiative for guiding BDOs and RDAs in transferring best practices for promoting entrepreneurship. The Pilot actions have been an additional activity in the project, and have generated added valuable knowledge about what you should be considered when you starting an benchmarking and best practice transfer of an initiative. The toolkit was presented at the Final Conference in Cyprus, where 56 people participated in the event.

The Final Conference was an excellent opportunity to present the experiences from the Enspire EU project, which extra focus on the achievements in the last year of the project. The policy recommendations were presented and discussed in connection with the experience of the twinning visits and the pilot actions. Also the 6th Steering Group Meeting was organized in Cyprus, where the partners contributed with inputs to their Regional Strategy Plan. The plan was finalized by the Lead Partner (LP) in December and distributed to the partners. In addition, the LP made an evaluation on the activities in the Component 3 and 4 activities were evaluated and discussed. The evaluation was discussed at the Steering Group Meeting as well.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Esbjerg Municipality, Esbjerg DENMARK Syddanmark 0045 36 97 35 00
Vejle Business Development Agency, Vejle DENMARK Syddanmark 4576811900
Hampshire County Council, Winchester UNITED KINGDOM Hampshire and Isle of Wight 4461962846876
The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry / ADVANCIA, PARIS FRANCE Île de France 00 33 1 55 65 57 43
Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Seville, Sevilla SPAIN Andalucía 0034 954983901
Halland Regional Development Council, Halmstad SWEDEN Västsverige +46 35 17 98 83
Larnaca District Development Agency, Voroclini CYPRUS Kypros / Kibris 00 357 24815280
Zlin Region, Zlín CZECH REPUBLIC Stredni Morava 420605323216
North-West Regional Development Agency, Radaia ROMANIA Nord-Vest +40 264 431 550
Marshal Office of the Lubuskie Region, Zielona Góra POLAND Lubuskie 48684565531
Central-Transdanubian Regional Development Agency Nonprofit Company, Székesfehérvár HUNGARY Kozep-Dunantul 3622513370
BSC, Business Support Centre L.t.d., Kranj, Kranj SLOVENIA Zahodna Slovenija 38642817230


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