HÉTFA Research Institute (HU) | Coordinator

Oborni Katalin,

HETFA Research Institute is an independent think tank based in Budapest that provides evidence-based analyses of national, regional and local policy issues for decision-makers and the policy expert community. With experience in public policy evaluation and impact assessment, HETFA uses a multidisciplinary approach in its research in urban and territorial development, entrepreneurship and SME policy.

Brand-Sofi (FI)

Ann-Sofi Backgren,

Brand-Sofi is a micro company founded in the year of 2013 in Finland. The founder Ann-Sofi Backgren has studied political science (Master degree) and she is also a PhD student in marketing at the moment (storytellling). She has been active in development of the society in many years and in many levels, for example she was a chairwomen of the local assembly in the municipality of Korsnäs for 12 years and member of the board of the Regional council of Ostrobotnia in 20 years and chairwoman of the gender committee in 10 years. She has also been active in AEBR as the I Vice President (cross-border cooperation) in 15 yeras, in UNESCO world heritage site Kvarken Archipelago as a guide, in rural development and rural policy as an national expert and as Vice chair in a Woman´s organization. Today Brand-Sofi work as a policy entrepreneur by setting the agenda for the future.

Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations (BG)

Ralitsa Zhekova,

RAPIV is a non-governmental non-profit organisation, carrying out its activities in public benefit, for stimulating regional economy, through the development of entrepreneurship and innovations. It has several-year experience in rendering support services for entrepreneurs and SMEs as its mission is to stimulate the regional economy, through the development of entrepreneurship and innovations. The agency also has carried out activities in:

  • Education, trainings, consulting, mentoring and other support services for start-ups within the activity of the Business Incubator, Women Entrepreneurship Centre – Bulgaria, and own Start2UP Accelerator Programme;
  • Raising awareness campaigns;
  • Conducting surveys, research and analysis of the European regions in the economic field, basic infrastructure, including ecological infrastructure and social development
  • Identification, selection and transfer of good practices;
  • Elaboration of socio-economic analysis of policies;
  • Analysis of the integration of the EU strategies and policies in Bulgarian legislation;
  • Participation in the development of Regional strategies and consolidated European Strategy;
  • Increasing the participation of non-governmental organizations in fostering policies for entrepreneurship and innovations in priority sectors for the Region;
  • Development of strategic documents, e.g. “Municipal plan for development of Varna Municipality for the period 2014-2020”.

Slovak Business Agency (SK)

Veronika Blizman-Servilová,

Slovak Business Agency (SBA) is the oldest specialized non-profit organization for the support of SMEs in Slovakia. SBA was founded in 1993 by a common initiative of the EU and the Slovak Government. It is the unique platform of public and private sectors supporting the growth of Slovak SMEs for more than 25 years. SBA is a member of the EEN network and has a long track in international projects in topics: start-up support, innovation and cooperation support, women entrepreneurship, clusters, circular economy and social entrepreneurship.

Andalucía Emprende Fundación Pública Andaluza (ES)

Nieves García Pereira,

ANDALUCÍA EMPRENDE, FUNDACION PÚBLICA ANDALUZA (therefore, AE) is a non-profit organisation which belongs to the regional government in Andalusia (South of Spain). This public entity aims to reinforce the economic activity in the Andalusian region by means of supporting the start-ups and development of SMEs, as well as, the enhancement of employability.AE’s objectives are among others to encourage business creation and growing in Andalusia; to foster entrepreneurial mindset; to promote entrepreneurship already in the education, and to enhance employability in the region.AE is one of the biggest networks for supporting entrepreneurs in Europe. With 20 years of experience, AE helps to create start-ups, promotes the entrepreneurial culture already in the education and links the different actors in the business life. AE offers multiple services, for instance, it provides information, learning, specialized technical consulting, financial aid searching and free housing for firms in offices and warehouses in industrial areas, for innovative and/or job creation projects.

Mihajlo Pupin Institute (SRB)

Sanja Popovic,

Institute Mihajlo Pupin is a leading Serbian R&D institution in the field of information and communication technologies, the largest and the oldest in the region of Southeast Europe. The institute was founded in 1946 and today employs about 340 researchers out of a total of 500 employees. Science and Technology Policy Research Center was established within the Institute in response to the need to better understand the importance of S&T for the overall development and successful application of new technologies. To enhance the effectiveness of investment into R&D and innovation activities, the Centre’s experts focused their efforts on studying and synthesising development strategies, policies, plans and programs to meet the needs of governmental agencies, regional and local administration, firms and internal needs.

Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania (RO)

Gergely Orsolya,

Sapientia University from Cluj-Napoca is the independent university of the Hungarian community in Romania, which aims to provide education to the members of our community and performing scientific research on a high professional level. The university has 3 faculties: Faculty of Economics, Socio-Human Sciences and Engineering located in Miercurea Ciuc, Faculty of Sciences and Arts located in Cluj-Napoca, and Faculty of Technical and Human Sciences located in Targu-Mures. The University offers 32 Bachelor Programmes and 12 Master Programmes.

In the academic year 2020/2021 Sapientia has 4 Study Centres, 3 Faculties, 2365 students, 204 full-time teaching staff, 153 part-time teaching staff and associate lecturers, 5868 graduated students within the BA&BSc Programmes in 16 graduation years and 550 graduated students within the MA&MSc Programmes in 6 graduation years (

SEED Foundation (HU)

Lakatosné Lukács Zsuzsanna,

The Foundation for Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) was founded in 1990 by entrepreneurial representative groups, higheducation institutions, financial institutions and ministries with the aim of providing methodological background and concrete support for the development of small businesses in Hungary. SEED has now 30 years of experience in supporting and mentoring women entrepreneurs and those who intend to establish their own business and SMEs in general. With mentoring and training the above-mentioned target groups its goal is to support the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and making them resilient, more prepared for the current challenges especially during the pandemic situation. So far over 2000 women entrepreneurs attended our trainings and workshops. By cooperating with ministries, academic institutions and civil organizations, SEED carries out research and mapping activities to gain detailed information about the situation and needs of its target groups. As response SEED offers them up to date solutions and trainings, following the recent trends (e.g. digitalisation, blended learning). Main activities:

  • Accredited education programs and one-day-trainings for developing entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, using learning by doing method;
  • Professional mentoring, counselling and consulting;
  • Organizing professional horizontal and sectoral events;
  • Creating and offering platform for collaboration of SMEs and organizations;
  • Research, monitoring and expertise activities;