Inclusive Entrepreneurship - COPIE e-news March 2012

The Community of Practice on Inclusive Entrepreneurship (COPIE) is a learning network of ESF Managing Authorities and Implementing Bodies at national and regional level in Europe. The COPIE partners share a common concern to widen entrepreneurship and make support systems work better across diverse populations.

NEW COPIE Story of the Month: Promoting Integrated Business Support – the COPIE Resources Map

COPIE StoryRegions and Member States in Europe have established a range of start-up and business support services to promote business creation and stimulate economic growth. A number of them have also set up tailored schemes for specific target groups through the European Social Fund. Some programmes are addressed to different stages in the enterprise development process, others tend to focus on specific economic sectors. However, in most cases, different structures co-exist and are barely connected within an integrated regional and national enterprise support system.

COPIE members from the Spanish regions of Asturias, Extremadura, and Galicia, the Kaunas region in Lithuania and from the Czech Republic have thus worked on a methodology for enhancing coordination and integration in business support service provision. Read more about the COPIE Resource Map that they applied in course of this process in COPIE’s new Story of the Month.

Inclusive entrepreneurship and the new round of European Structural Funds – EU Commission publishes ‘Common Strategic Framework’ (CSF)

Inclusive entrepreneurshipOn March 14, 2012 the EU Commission in Brussels has presented the ‘Common Strategic Framework’ (CSF) which intends to help Member States and their regions in programming and setting clear investment priorities for the next financial planning period from 2014 until 2020.
A central focus within this document is on increasing ‘coherence between policy commitments made in the context of Europe 2020 and investment on the ground’, and on ‘combining various funds to maximise the impact of EU investments’ (EU Commission, press release March 14, 2012).

In terms of COPIE’s work on fostering inclusive entrepreneurship in Europe, the CSF confirms the importance of investments into self-employment and social entrepreneurship measures as part of the thematic objectives of ‘Promoting Employment and Supporting Labour Mobility’ and ‘Promoting Social Inclusion and Combating Poverty’. With the COPIE Toolkit on Inclusive Entrepreneurship, COPIE is well prepared to offer EU Member States and their regions a set of instruments for inclusive entrepreneurship programming. The Toolkit includes a methodology on joint action planning for inclusive entrepreneurship policy; a COPIE diagnosis tool to gather crucial data and assess the current state of the entrepreneurial system; and a series of specific tools on quality management, access to finance, integrated business services and entrepreneurship education to design effective interventions in these priority areas of inclusive entrepreneurship support.

Workshop on ‘Lessons learnt - COPIE Toolkit in Practice’ held in Brussels on February 23, 2012

COPIE ToolkitOn February 23, 2012 partners and experts of the COPIE network met with representatives from the EU Commission and Regional Representative Offices in Brussels. The aim of the workshop was to present COPIE’s tools for policy makers and programme administrators to improve the quality, governance and impact of entrepreneurship support. The COPIE Toolkit for Inclusive Entrepreneurship is of explicit relevance for member states and regions when addressing entrepreneurship, business creation and self-employment as policy options to promote employment and social inclusion in their National Reform Plans, and ESF and ERDF OPs.

The group of 26 workshop participants and people interested in the results in of COPIE included representatives from DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion; DG Regional Policy; and DG Enterprise & Industry. Participants received presentations on each of the six strategic focus areas that the COPIE Toolkit addresses and they reflected upon added value and future options for implementation with the COPIE members. The presentations from this event can all be found here. The COPIE Toolkit will be presented in full at the COPIE Policy Forum on April 16-17, 2012 in Berlin.

Register your interest: COPIE Policy Forum on 16-17 April 2012 in Berlin

COPIE Policy ForumThe COPIE Policy Forum ‘Entrepreneurship for All: Promoting inclusive growth in Europe through the European Structural Funds’ will be held in Berlin on April 16-17, 2012. It is the final event of the current COPIE partnership as financed through DG Employment’s ESF Learning Network programme. Speakers will include representatives from the European Commission, the COPIE partner regions’ and Member States’ governments, and from ESF Managing Authorities.

COPIE partners invite policy-makers, ESF and ERDF Managing Authorities and business support intermediaries from across Europe to discuss the results of COPIE's work. The Policy Forum will showcase the COPIE Toolkit for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and it provides an opportunity for interested partners to gain a more detailed insight on the modes of implementation and the added value of individual COPIE tools to support inclusive entrepreneurship. This experience will help policy makers and ESF Managing Authorities from across Europe to design and deliver similar initiatives for the new period of the ESF (2014 – 2020).

For more information on the COPIE Policy Forum please go to:

To register your interest in this event and to receive the full invitation pack please send an email referring to ‘COPIE Policy Forum 2012’ to

New COPIE Entrepreneurship Education Diagnosis Tool will be tested in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

COPIE Diagnosis ToolBased on successful talks of collaboration between COPIE and the regional government of the German Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt on the topic of entrepreneurship education, the regional Ministry of Economics agreed to test the new COPIE Entrepreneurship Education Tool this spring. Saxony-Anhalt offers business starters comprehensive support through advice, training and financial support services. In 2008, all programs were combined under a joint roof with of the ego. – Existenzgründungsoffensive Sachsen-Anhalt (‘ego. – Start-up support campaign Saxony-Anhalt).

Applying and testing the COPIE Entrepreneurship Education Tool will help decision-makers to get a detailed insight into the state-of-the-art of this particular aspect of entrepreneurship support in the region. It will allow them to identify, analyze, and reflect on the main strengths and on the gaps to be filled when designing and delivering entrepreneurship education policies.

The stakeholder interviews will be carried out by the German Children and Youth Foundation (GCYF) who has extensive experience in promoting tailored education for young people in Germany. Members of GCYF have also been actively involved in the COPIE work on Entrepreneurship Education. First results of the study will be presented at the COPIE Policy Forum in Berlin.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship as a way to tackle (youth) unemployment in Europe: COPIE’s Quality Management Tools continue to receive strong interest from across Europe

COPIE’s Quality Management ToolsAs part of the ‘Forum Empreende Portugal - Soluções inovadoras para o desemprego’ on the 29th of February in Lisbon, COPIE expert Norbert Kunz gave a presentation to an audience of about 400 delegates from local development agencies and other organisations of the Portuguese business support service network. He explained COPIE’s integrated approach on quality management and COPIE’s overall work in designing inclusive business support services. Participants expressed great interest in the network during the follow-up discussion and requested detailed information on the COPIE quality management tools.

In addition, job centres in the German Federal State of Rhineland-Westphalia have agreed to collaborate on applying and testing certain training curricula for business advisors developed by COPIE’s Quality Management Thematic Working Group.

Close working relationships also exist with the German-wide ‘iQ – Integration through Training Network’ (iQ - Netzwerk Integration durch Qualifizierung) which is financed by two German Federal Ministries and the German Employment Agency. The iQ Network specifically focuses on the professional integration of people with a migrant background. As part of the Network’s start-up support pillar, representatives from the iQ Network work together with COPIE on applying quality standards for business advisors and delivering further training modules for Job Centre staff to effectively support people from these backgrounds who wish to start up a business.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Portugal – COPIE Diagnosis Tool will be applied by the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE)

Inclusive entrepreneurshipWith a view to recent discussions in Portugal around entrepreneurship a s a way out of unemployment, partners from the University Institute of Lisbon are currently preparing a second phase of application of the COPIE Diagnosis Tool. As stakeholders feel that Inclusive Entrepreneurship policy in Portugal is still in a very early stage, the results will provide partners with an important updated insight into current strengths and weaknesses of the entrepreneurial support system. This will allow policy-makers in Portugal to plan ahead for an integrated policy in the new funding period. Interest in the results and a joint collaboration with COPIE members has already been expressed by the Government of the Azores and the Aga Khan foundation. The results from the first application of the COPIE Diagnosis Tool in Portugal can be found here.