Lithuania

Enhancing transparency in regional and national business support – the COPIE Resources Map

Copie Story of the Month

Effective business support services are at the heart of regional entrepreneurship programmes. Member States and regions in Europe have established and financed a large number of support schemes for different sectors and for different stages in the entrepreneur’s itinerary.
These are mostly delivered by economic development agencies, specialised support organisations, chambers of commerce and craft, business associations, independent advisors or local authorities.

Integrated Business Support

The efficiency and effectiveness of a start-up support system depends on providing easy and barrier free access to services. Programmes should be made transparent and interlinked in a meaningful way, including the provision of special support for specific target groups.

Access to finance for inclusive entrepreneurship businesses: COPIE’s microfinance practices in Germany, Lithuania, Flanders, and the Czech Republic

COPIE Story of the month

This October was a crucial month for future policy action on microfinance in Europe: as part of the draft legislative package for the EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, the EU Commission has announced a new Programme for Social Change and Innovation which refers to microfinance and combines the three previous initiatives of Progress, EURES and the European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF). At the same time, the Commission published the proposals for the new ESF and ERDF regulations. Details of the current status of the EPMF are now available in the 2010 Implementation report; and finally, DG Enterprise issued a new European Code of Good Conduct for Microfinance Provision.

COPIE’s 3rd COPIE Access to Finance peer review meeting in Berlin last month, and the partners’ work on a joint Manual on Access to Finance for ESF Managing Authorities are thus extremely timely.

Partners

COPIE is managed by the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs in Germany through the ESF unit.

The lead partners are:

Access to Finance

The main objectives of this group are to examine ESF intervention in support for microfinance in Europe; to identify and review current practices; and to make suggestions for future ESF intervention. The core members of this group include the Czech Republic, Germany, Flanders, Lithuania and Spain.