This INTERREG EUROPE part-funded project commenced in January 2017 and will run to June 2021. There are a further six organisations from across the EU participating in the project. See http://www.interregeurope.eu/ruralsmes/
The key policy instruments linked to Investment and Growth across the EU are managed mostly from the main cities (regional and/or national capitals), often disconnected to rural areas, and have less impact in areas of lower population density, in particular, the actions towards innovation of the SMEs. The promotion of entrepreneurship spirit has also to be further developed in rural areas, especially, the promotion of new niches of business opportunities, such as Energy, Environment, eco-industries, ICT and Social Innovation. The Rural SMEs project aims to improve regional/local support system policies for entrepreneurs through the exchange of experiences and identification of good practices, implementing the lessons learnt in regional action plans to increase the creation of innovative SMEs in rural areas, but also supporting those which are already established to introduce innovation in their daily activity.