COPIE Policy Forum 2012 (Berlin) - full conference report available for download

Hosted and organised by the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the COPIE Policy Forum on ‘Entrepreneurship for All: Promoting inclusive growth in Europe through the European Structural F

‘Driving Ideas into Action’ - COPIE partners share governance techniques for designing and implementing regional inclusive entrepreneurship support strategies

Driving ideas into action

‘Joint action planning’ is one of the five designated thematic areas of collaboration within the COPIE partnership. Over a period of one year, delegates from Asturias, the Czech Republic, Flanders, Germany and Wallonia met four times to share experience in governing regional entrepreneurship systems. More specifically, discussions revolved around the four themes of ‘Developing a common vision’; ‘Agreeing an evaluation strategy’; ‘Building an integrated campaign’; and ‘Planning for a legacy’. Partners shared their individual regional policies and practices, and the group jointly worked towards identifying strengths and weaknesses as well as key criteria for success.

COPIE Tools Access to Finance

On the topic of Access to Finance for small and medium enterprises, COPIE offers ESF and ERDF Managing Authorities the following tool:

Manual on Access to Finance for ESF Managing Authorities in Europe

The manual combines information, experience, tools and examples from the COPIE partnership and the wider microfinance community in Europe that is relevant to the design of microfinance operations under the ESF.

More specifically, the guide

  • Addresses strategic and operational issues in microfinance systems,
  • Presents tools, methods and checklists to identify and assesses policy as well as policy implementation issues and options,
  • Analyses the legal and institutional environment,
  • Discusses good governance and the linkages between financial institutions and business,
  • Identifies development services, and
  • Provides practical examples.

The full version of the Manual is available for download here:
ESF Manual on Access to Finance (pdf, English, 2,2 MB)

In addition, in the course of the work of Thematic group, two instruments were designed to obtain detailed information from the regions involved and assess existing practice.

A COPIE II – Access to Finance Evaluation and Assessment Framework on 'Good Practices'

This framework is designed to detect, describe and analyse good practices of support on access to finance in partner countries. It is inspired by the COPIE 1 Framework and the IMPART Peer Review Manual. The intent is not to ‘dictate’ one practice but to support a diverse range of approaches that work well within a specific context through a shared framework of basic good practice principles. The Evaluation and Assessment Framework includes a description of practices by the country or region concerned, a secondary analysis of the COPIE lead expert and a 1.5 peer review workshop.

For the full description of this tool please see here (pdf, 324 KB)

A Peer Review Methodology for the Access to Finance sector

The peer review is a method based on the exchange of experiences between a 'host country' who presents and wishes to gain feedback on an effective policy (and associated good practice), and 'peer countries' who are interested in:

  • learning from the host example and potentially transferring it into their national setting; and

  • sharing their own policy experiences with the host and other participating countries.

Hence, the process is very much based on a two-way exchange. The peer review takes place over the course of 1.5 days in the host country with representatives from up to 12 peer countries. Each country is represented by a national government official and an independent expert.

The peer review includes presentations on the host country policy example, a round table of the peer countries‟ experiences, followed by a number of working group discussions to facilitate mutual exchange and learning.

Each peer review also includes a study visit organised by the host country where participants can see the direct application and impact of policy on the ground.

Please find the peer-review related documents from the last COPIE Access to Finance peer review in Brussels in May 2011 here (zip, 1,6 MB).

For the presentations of individual speakers please go to the Thematic Group area.

For more information on the thematic group on Access to Finance please see here.

Activities of the Group

Activities of the group have included the following international participatory workshop:

  • Creating and sharing a vision of inclusive entrepreneurship, March 2010 in Flanders, Belgium;

  • Appropriate evaluation mechanism for inclusive entrepreneurship programmes, August 2010, Wallonia, Belgium

  • Building a sustained and coherent campaign for inclusive entrepreneurship, November 2010, Czech Republic;

  • Leaving a legacy, April 2011, Asturias, Spain

COPIE Tools Action Planning

The Action Planning tools for developing and sustaining effective inclusive entrepreneurship policies focus on the following topics:

  • 1. Developing a common vision;
  • 2. Agreeing an evaluation strategy;
  • 3. Building an integrated campaign; and
  • 4. Planning for a legacy.

Each topic is addressed through a specific 1.5 day workshop. For a detailed description of the workshop methodology please listen to the Lead expert’s podcast here.

  • The first workshop looks at the process of building a vision of success that could be accepted by partners and that focussed on the end benefits to the citizen.
    COPIE Workshop: Creating a Vision, March 2010
    Download (pdf,  6,4 MB)
  • The second workshop shares experience of practitioners, policy makers and ESF managing authorities when identifying suitable evaluation measures for activity, results and impacts of inclusive entrepreneurship.
    COPIE Workshop: How do we know that we are any good?, August 2011
    Download (pdf, 6,3 MB)
  • The third workshop compares practice of cultural change programmes in each of the COPIE partners and seeks to identify appropriate media for specific audiences.
    COPIE Workshop: How do we sustain a coherent campaign? Time for a Cultural Change?, December 2010
    Download (pdf, 7,2 MB)
  • The fourth workshop considers a number of approaches to planning for legacy arising from inclusive entrepreneurship as currently adopted by ESF managing Authorities and regional governments.
    COPIE Workshop: Planning for Legacy, May 2011
    Download (pdf, 3,7 MB)

For more information on the thematic group on Action Planning please see here


COPIE Tools - COPIE Diagnosis Tool

The COPIE Diagnosis Tool for inclusive entrepreneurship is a standardised instrument for assessing local or regional business support infrastructures and their inclusive approach towards entrepreneurship. It was developed in 2006/2007 in the context of the European Community Initiative EQUAL and combines a secondary analysis of the overall start-up environment in the region with a direct survey among policy-makers, start-up and business advisors, and entrepreneurs.

Its benefits include

  • an increased awareness of strengths and weaknesses within the regional support infrastructure;
  • the opportunity for comparing perceptions of the needs of different stakeholder groups and clients,
  • the provision of access to European good practice in specific fields of entrepreneurship support and the opportunity for transnational collaboration through COPIE.

Between 2007 and 2011, the COPIE Diagnosis Tool was applied to 18 European regions and cities (please see selected reports in the Policy Debate section of this website).

As a tool based on collaborative action, it was adapted and revised several times based on the experience gained through implementation.

The majority of COPIE partners have applied the tool and have in fact chosen to participate in individual groups based on a diagnosis of the strengths and weaknesses of their respective enterprise support systems.

A new manual for the implementation of the COPIE Diagnosis Tool has now been finalised and is available for download:

COPIE Diagnosis Tool - Manual for implementation (English)
(pdf, english, 383 KB)

COPIE Diagnosis Tool - Manual for implementation (German)
Download (pdf, german, 1,6 MB)

COPIE is happy to also provide you with the data evaluation tool upon request. To obtain this document, please contact our COPIE member Norbert Kunz.