The fourth Interregional policy learning meeting of the STOB regions project took place on 21st and 22nd of March 2018 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The first day was dedicated to introducing the participants to the thematic workshop: Different target groups of potential buyers. The aim of the workshop was to increase inter regional learning on the specific target buyer groups unique to each region, such as female buyers, migrants and employee buy-outs. The partners discussed experiences and different strategies and methods on how to address the groups, in the quest to secure and foster an extended buyer base in business transfer cases. A hot topic was the segmentation and attraction of foreign buyers, i.e. Foreign Direct Investment as a key target group to match specific business cases, and was suggested such buyers are well suited for "basic economy service" businesses and equally "medium-high GVA industry" businesses.

The second day was the Plovdiv region peer review. After the presentations by local stakeholders, the group made a SWOT analysis of the situation in the region , an intense discussion followed regarding the different challenges and strengths in the region. The key strengths identified for the Plovdiv region and its business transfer situation includes the size and diversity of the region, as well as the apparent high concentration of universities. However, a key weakness revolves around the concept of "brain drain", whereby young people finishing education are leaving the region for more lucrative offers elsewhere. To build upon this it was suggested a "re-immigration" strategy provided an opportunity in order to entice the younger (or next) generation to return to the region in the hope to expand and strengthen one of the region's core potential buyer groups.

For further information on the STOB regions 4th workshop event click here.