On 21 January, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET, the Policy Learning Platform is organising an online discussion on the topic of "raising the competitiveness of rural SMEs in the COVID-19 context".

The competitiveness of rural SMEs is a cross-cutting topic that links aspects such as transformation, economic resilience, social economy, ecosystem building, tourism, digitalisation, etc. There are various Interreg Europe projects tackling these topics through action plans and policy changes. These issues have been previously tackled in our policy brief "How to boost entrepreneurship in rural areas"

However, the COVID-19 crisis has brought new challenges and opportunities for rural economies and SMEs. Some Interreg Europe projects like INNOGROW, RuralGrowth and Islands of Innovation have explicitly been extended to tackle the changing environment. In contrast, other projects like SARURE and EXTRA-SMEs continue to work towards their initial goals in this new reality.

Therefore, the purpose of this online discussion is to exchange good practices and other solutions in reacting to the COVID-19 crisis and exchanging ideas across projects on how to go forward and develop policy in the new situation.

Objectives of the session

  • To exchange experience and discuss the COVID-19 impact on rural economies and what are the best practices in response and recovery
  • To present good practices from selected Interreg Europe projects
  • To discuss the path towards long term vision/policy and building resilience of local economies
  • To facilitate networking between Interreg Europe projects

This event is on invite-only. If you are an expert in the topic and wish to participate, please contact PLP