Financing young people out of the shadow-economy

“Start-ups and new businesses begin with so much hope, excitement and promise, but the search for c capital is often challenging and stressful, whether you’re starting a business from scratches, or you are trying to find resources to push your start-up forward.”

Hijazi Natsheh, Leaders Organization (Palestine)

Hand-baking to enjoy the traditional craft

“Our task is to create reasons to visit the Carpathian region. We do not just want to preserve elements of national culture, we want to package them nicely and present them as a tourist product, which can be sold by tourist operators.”

Lada Malanii, lead beneficiary marketing manager (Ukraine)

The local boost to farming products

“This crisis has proved to us the importance of having short supply chains, especially in the food sector. Whatever happens in the world, people will always need food, even more when international supply chains are interrupted. Countries should be prepared to provide their citizens with local food products.”

Silja Lehtpuu, project manager at the Union of Setomaa (Estonia)

Young entrepreneurs, time to cross borders

“A CBC programme is the ideal framework for this project as it aims to offer youngsters and start-ups the opportunity to develop a cross-border business, and to open for themselves new opportunities beyond their country borders.”

Arttu-Pekka Johannes Tavia, Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Management skills are essential even for a family restaurant

“Tourism is not just about history, gloss and glamour: it is a service that companies provide. Many small enterprises  manage their business not based on knowledge, but at the call of their hearts, which does not always have a positive impact on the quality of services provided by tourism companies.”

George Stampoulis, Head of the consortium of project implementers (Greece)

Weaving eco-threads across the Mediterranean

“Entrepreneurs will be able to put into practice the concept of circular economy in a textile and clothing sector in need of new sustainable business models. STAND Up! knots together the shores of the Mediterranean, connecting knowledge, innovation, traditions and habits.”

Anna Ibañez de Arolas, Project Manager – STAND Up! Coordinator (Spain)

What about an asparagus hand cream?

Roses, oregano, asparagus and capers…these are indigenous species in the Sicilian and Tunisian territories, they grow naturally in marginal lands, they do not require chemical inputs and do not demand much water. In addition, they have lots of nutritional and medicinal properties. Why then not grow them more profitably and sustainably? What if we transformed them and created other products? Creams, essential oils, perfumes… This is exactly what the ESPAS project is pursuing. Funded by the Italy-Tunisia ENI CBC programme, this partnership wants to revalorise autochthonous species in Sicily and Tunisia, to diversify their uses and to provide farmers and enterprises with more business opportunities. But how? Keep reading!

From fossil to wood-based plastic

From fossil to bio-based plastic to reduce carbon dioxide emission, ensure sustainable sources and increase recycling. This change is crucial for ending plastic waste and heading towards circular economy. It is a joint effort – regardless of borders and ideologies – where every single action counts. The BioStyrene project, funded by the Estonia-Russia CBC programme, has its own innovative recipe for contributing to the global fight against fossil-based plastics…  

Keep deadwood in forests: it’s friend of biodiversity and resilience

Deadwood may seem damp, sterile, an unhygienic source of infection, something to be removed. However, the reality could not be more different. Decaying wood logs, dead and old trees host multiple microorganisms, they help the forest to better resist diseases, they increase its resilience to climate change. They also capture carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. For these reasons, keeping the deadwood in the forest can bring multiple benefits. The RESFOR project, an initiative co-funded by the Romania-Ukraine ENI CBC programme, is raising knowledge and promoting good practices in “deadwood management”. A novel concept, very little explored in the forestry sector of the cross-border region, but yet very important for the resilience of the forests, some of which represent one of the last old-growth forest reserves in Europe, and have been included as such in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

Bridging the gap between students and businesses

What can university students do to contribute to your business development? This is what Peter Fischer, BRIDGE project manager, asked companies and small businesses in the neighbourhood, and the answer was clear: students can use their knowledge to help us resolve small problems, and we can provide them with real working life experiences. This is how the initiative BRIDGE came up: a cross-border network of five universities where students and businesses cooperate with a two-fold objective. On one hand, increasing the hands-on skills of the university graduates, and on the other, helping small businesses to further develop. BRIDGE is a project funded by Kolarctic CBC programme.

E-commerce: Bringing Local Farmers Right to your Table

White brined cheese from Bulgaria, berries from the Republic of Moldova, Greek virgin olive oil, tomatoes from Romania, Turkish strawberries and honey from Ukraine. What do these products have in common? Are they the main ingredients to a crazy recipe? Not at all! These are all special traditional agricultural products grown by local farmers all around the Black Sea basin. Apart from being delicious, they have immense potential for regional branding and international trading. This is exactly what AGRITRADENET is about: supporting and empowering local farmers so that they become part of a business network and can trade across borders with top-quality products. This initiative is funded under the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin programme.

Crafts & cooperation: opportunities for growth

Pottery, wood carving, smithcraft, loom weaving, leathercraft… This is far not the full list of skills mastered by the craftsmen from the border regions of Latvia and Russia. They create amazing, unique hand-made products which, however, do not always reach potential buyers. How can an EU-funded project help artisans to turn their passion into a successful business? And can old crafts boost tourism potential of the cross-border area? The “Craftmanship without borders” project, co-funded by Latvia-Russia CBC programme, has got the answers.