Venelin Dobrev from Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency presented the development of the activities and results of the INNOGROW project co-financed by INTERREG Europe during a meeting on the project "Entreprerurial Leaders in Action", which took place in Stara Zagora on the 20th of June.

Venelin Dobrev presented the project INNOGROW, the problems the project aims to solve, the ongoing development of the project activities and shared some good practices that would improve the competitiveness of Bulgarian small and medium enterprises in rural areas. He stressed the importance for farmers of cooperation and the closing of the production cycle. In his words, more than 80% of innovation comes from cooperation. He gave examples of good practices from Greece and Italy, where people understood that they need to work together if they want to survive and develop.

The INNOGROW project aims to provide regional support to engage small and medium-sized enterprises in the rural economy in the implementation of innovation. Small and medium-sized businesses in rural areas typically have difficulty accepting and integrating innovation to increase their competitiveness. Regional policies should address and support, respectively, the dissemination of innovative solutions and new business models that would lead to productivity gains and access to new markets.