A project co-financed by the Italian Government, the Central European Initiative and Informest
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  • Italian
  • Bulgarian


1. What is the IDEA Project?

The IDEA Project is co-financed by the Italian Government and by Central European Initiative (CEI). The Project is co-ordinated by Informest and it is implemented in partnership with CEI and BSMEPA, Bulgarian SME Promotion Agency. Since the Project is financed by the Italian Government with the funds of Italian Law n.84/01 "Provisions for the Italian participation to stabilisation, reconstruction and development of the Balkans", a particular attention is given to the Countries of South Eastern Europe.

When the IDEA Project was designed there were no other on-line informative instruments dedicated to Small and Medium Enterprises of the Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe providing updated and complete information concerning the products and services offered by Business Supporting Organizations (private or public) working in that area.

The aim of the IDEA Project is to fill this information gap: the Project intends to monitor, region by region, the existing SME supporting services provided and the SME development projects implemented by national, regional and local Business Supporting Organizations.

2. Who are the promoters of the IDEA Project?

The IDEA Project is promoted by Informest - Service and Documentation Centre for International Economic Co-operation (based in Gorizia, Italy) and it is implemented in partnership with CEI - Central European Initiative (based in Trieste, Italy) and BSMEPA - Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (based in Sofia, Bulgaria).

3. Which countries are involved in the IDEA Project?

The Countries involved in the Project are all the 18 CEI Member States, namely: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Since the Project is financed by the Italian Government with the funds of Italian Law n.84/01 "Provisions for the Italian participation to stabilisation, reconstruction and development of the Balkans", a particular attention is given to the Countries of South Eastern Europe.

4. Which are the goals and the beneficiaries of the IDEA Project?

The information provided through the IDEA Project web site are functional to the creation of a favourable framework for the foreign investments and the establishment of SMEs in the Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe Countries.

Therefore, the information provided aim at representing the dynamism and the attractiveness of the monitored regions on the basis of the real assets of the territories. IDEA is meant to enhance networking among the Business Supporting Organizations, in order to help them to respond to local and foreign companies needs and to enhance their capacity of attracting foreign investments.

The direct beneficiaries of the IDEA Project are Business Support Organizations of the involved Countries and both local and foreign Small and Medium Enterprises.

5. What is the IDEA Network?

All the Business Support Organizations listed in the IDEA Database are part of an on line network. Joining the on-line IDEA Network brings several benefits.

Benefits for BSOs are:

  • Improvement of international visibility
  • Promotion of services, activities and projects to a vast on-line community
  • Promotion of international partnership
  • Free access to the IDEA platform and facilities (Agenda of Projects, Electronic Notice Board, etc.)
  • Facility of networking with other BSOs

Benefits for SMEs are:

  • Getting detailed information on services and instruments offered by public institutions and private organizations for SME business both at local and transnational level
  • Getting up-to-date information on national and international projects supporting SME development implemented by BSOs
  • Having the chance for posting requests for services, technical assistance and consultancy directly to the most suitable BSOs
  • Having the possibility of being informed by the BSOs about partner and business opportunities

6. What is a "Business Support Organization"?

The BSOs targeted as potential partners of the IDEA Network are providers of real services for SMEs development and entrepreneurial growth at national, regional or local level in the CEI Member States. "Real services" are the ones which are not related to the usual activities of SMEs for enterprises normally relay on external consultants (i.e. tax payments, keeping of accounting books, etc.). The entities providing real services which are relevant to the Project are mainly public or mixed public - private organizations. Private bodies, that are leading players of national or local policy for entrepreneurial development, are also included.

The BSOs target group may also include technology parks, business incubators, enterprises associations, regional and local development agencies dealing with entrepreneurial development, promoters of industrial clusters, research & innovation centres, info-centres for the business community, host organizations of national or transnational networks (EU networks in particular) aimed at entrepreneurial enhancement.

Therefore a list of categories (not exhaustive) has been identified:

  • National/regional agencies for entrepreneurial development
  • Privatisation agencies
  • Investments and/or trade promotion agencies
  • Chambers of economy, industry and handcraft and/or their special agencies
  • Euro Info Centres (EICs) and Euro Info Correspondence Centres (EICCs) and their host organizations
  • BSOs established through foreign donors` financial support
  • Associations or Consortia of SMEs
  • Business incubators
  • Technology and Industrial Parks
  • No-profit private organizations at national/regional/local level promoting development projects focused on entrepreneurial development.

7. How can a Business Support Organization become member of the IDEA Network?

Becoming a member of the IDEA Network is easy and free of charge. The interested Business Support Organizations should just click on the Join the IDEA Network button on the home page and then follow the on-line procedure. Once registered, the BSO has the opportunity to change/update/modify the uploaded information.

To submit the membership request just click on Join the IDEA Network.

8. What is the IDEA Database?

The IDEA Database of Business Support Organizations contains organized information about private and public entities that provide services to enterprises at regional and local level in the Project Beneficiary Countries. In addition, the database offers detailed information concerning the provided services and their accessibility, the projects and relevant initiatives implemented by the BSOs and their membership to particular Networks.

To search for Business Support Organizations in the IDEA Database just click here.

9. Why is the IDEA Database interactive and multilingual?

The IDEA Database is interactive: all the registered BSOs can update and modify their profiles and the information about their activities and services. Being new accredited member of the IDEA Network and being listed in the Database is free of charge: to submit the membership request just click on Join the IDEA Network.

The IDEA Database is multilingual: all the BSOs can provide information both in English and in their local language. This feature is meant to facilitate the use of the on line IDEA Database for all the interested BSOs and SMEs looking for information.

10. What is the IDEA Projects Agenda?

The Projects Agenda is a tool meant to promote concluded and on going Projects implemented by the Business Support Organizations listed in the IDEA Database.

The visitors of the IDEA web site have the opportunity to search in the Agenda by Donor category, Beneficiary Countries involved and Subject/Sector of the Projects.

The search engine foresees the following criteria:

Beneficiary Countries

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine
  • others

Donor Categories

  • International
  • Foreign
  • National


  • SMEs Sector development
  • Promotion of investments
  • Promotion of innovation and technologies
  • Promotion of trade
  • Knowledge & technological transfer - Capacity Building
  • Crossborder cooperation
  • International cooperation - Internationalization
  • Creation of Consortia - Clusters
  • Creation of Business incubators
  • Creation of Technology Parks
  • Public - Private partnership

Like the information provided in the IDEA Database, the Project details are updated by the registered Business Support Organizations.

To search for Projects in the Agenda just click here.

11. What is the IDEA Electronic Notice Board?

The Electronic Notice Board is a very practical tool for Business Support Organizations and Small and Medium Enterprises.

Registered BSOs and SMEs may post messages with offers and requests of assistance, consultancy, co-operation, partners and services researches. The use of the ENB is free of charge.

The Electronic Notice Board intends to enhance the networking both of BSOs and SMEs by giving them the opportunity of having visibility on the IDEA web platform.

The on line registration procedures and the constant supervision of the IDEA Project Staff will guarantee that only appropriate messages are posted on the ENB.

To see how to post messages on the Electronic Notice Board just click here.