Support of Entrepreneurship in the Field of In-House Processing of Quality Farm Products in the Districts of Evros, Haskovo, Smolyan and Kardzhali

Acronym

QUAL FARM
Project Number – MIS 5070994
Priority axis 1 - A Competitive and Innovative Cross-Border Area
Investment priorities 3a - Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators
Intervention fields 066. Advanced support services for SMEs and groups of SMEs (including management, marketing and design services)
Call 6th CALL FOR PROJECT PROPOSALS
Lead Beneficiary RURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY OF NORTH EVROS S.A.
Beneficiaries ASSOCIATION "LOCAL ACTION GROUP OF KIRKOVO-ZLATOGRAD"
DIMOSSINETERISTIKI "EVROS" S.A LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR THE MUNICIPALITIES OF EVROS
Reconstruction and Development Union
Start Date Jun 15, 2021
End Date Jun 14, 2023
Budget 669.227,00 €
ERDF Contribution 568.842,95 €
National Contribution 100.384,05 €
QUALFARM shall establish 4 Business Support Offices within the premises of the 4 PBs. These support structures shall be responsible for providing mentoring, training and continuous support in triggering innovative entrepreneurship and supporting existing one on the field of agricultural products' processing with particular emphasis on small-scale in-house processing of local quality products that are produced by small farms and by the most dynamic segments of rural population (women, young graduates, etc.). The end-users of the activities include farmers and members of farm households; SMEs operating in the agri-food industry.
The project idea and the partnership were developed on the basis of the experience of the participating (in QUALFARM) Local Action Groups (LAGs), which showed that entrepreneurship in rural areas is hindered by certain common challenges, namely: (a) Difficulties in obtaining finance; (b) Limited access of entrepreneurs to business know-how; (c)  Limited access to information and contacts; (d) Lack of support services; (e) Lack of access/know-how regarding cost saving technologies and (f) Inadequate skills. The project's overall and main objective is to trigger innovative entrepreneurship in the field of quality farm products' processing, with particular emphasis on "in-house" processing i.e. in farms or small workshops. This shall be achieved through the provision of training, mentoring and personal guidance on issues of innovation, marketing, food safety and branding by specialised business support structures that will be created within the premises of QUALFARM PBs.

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