AGRO-START :: Съобщение / Press release



AGRO-START publishes three main tools

SEE Support Service Protocol, Good Practice Guide and Auto diagnostic tool



                                                                                                                                        08.07.2014, Sofia



SEE Support Service Protocol, Good Practice Guide and Auto diagnostic tool are main products developed  within the project AGRO-START “Transnational network for SME support in the animal breeding and horticultural sector” that are published in the begging of July  in seven countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, R. Macedonia and Albania) by 12 organizations. 


Bulgaria Economic Forum took a part in the process to elaborate these three products by collecting information and good practises with the sole purpose to help business support organization and service companies providing assistance to SMEs in the target sectors to develop their businesses and make sustainable agricultural development in South East Europe where horticulture and animal breeding play a vital role and SME’s face similar problems and challenges: low use of innovation, technologies, mechanization, low education level, little involvement of young people in farming, direct impact of the economic crisis, problems of making competitive products in their national, regional and on the European market. Bulgaria Economic Forum published the Good practise guide and SEE Support Service Protocol in Bulgarian language and will desiminate the materials to the stakeholders. 


The SEE Support Service Protocol is a tool that gives suggestions on how to best facilitate and promote an innovative entrepreneurship environment for SMEs in the horticulture and animal breeding sector. Based on a mutual learning approach the partnership used already detected good practices, prior related project results and newly detected good practices in order to identify the most adequate ones in relation to successful, transferable, innovative and realistic approaches. The Lead partner AGROSTAR-Romania in collaboration with all partners elaborated a SEE Support Service Protocol that includes the support tools developed under the AGRO-START Project: Transnational database for SME support and service providers, innovation awareness raising; and Diagnostic tools, SEE Kit for entrepreneurs, SEE Virtual Fair, among others. Both the SEE Support Service Protocol as an integrated and synergetic use of all Project tools as well as each of the support tools will be tested by the partnership and the relevant stakeholders in order to organize corresponding e-learnig courses. 


The Good Practice Guide collects the work done during five thematic workshops in which the partners have selected the best examples of innovation and entrepreneurship in horticulture and animal breeding throughout their countries. This tool has been developed and edited by the University of Molise, Italy and is composed of 31 best practice examples identified during the 5 workshops on the following topics: Effective approaches for diagnostic and assessment services on innovative and/or efficient production and operational processes for the target sectors; Effective approaches in financial support tools for SMEs in the old, new Member states and candidate countries and how to provide support for SMEs to inform about their availability and access them (financial support for entrepreneurs, for innovative approaches, etc.); Effective approaches for technology and innovation transfer to SMEs; Effective approaches for promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship in the target sectors; Effective support approaches to assess on entering new markets, meeting European quality standard, promotion of products and facilitate the internationalization of SMEs.


The Auto-diagnostic tool, addressed to SMEs, is developed for increasing the awareness of SMEs on innovation and technology.The role of this tool is to provide the users of the horticulture and livestock sectors the possibility of self-diagnosis of marketing, management and innovation components within their enterprises. This tool is prepared by The Regional Development  Agency of  the South-East Development Region and the main goal is to motivate the SMEs to turn to the existing support services, according to the analysis generated by the Auto- diagnostic tool.

Based upon a set of questions divided into three categories: management, innovation and marketing and the related recommendations the consultants designed a software application which enables the SMEs to conduct self-diagnostics. The software analyzes the profile of the interviewed SME, according to the responses received. The SMEs' needs/gaps identification and classification according to the three sections (management, innovation and marketing) generate a corresponding recommendation.


The SEE Support Service Protocol, Good Practice Guide and Auto diagnostic tool are translated in 8 languages: English, Romanian, Greek, Italian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Albanian and Slovenian and can be found on the AGRO-START web page -



With respect,

Bulgaria Economic Forum



Information for the project: The project “Transnational network for SME support in the animal breeding and horticultural sector AGRO - START” is financed by the European Union within the framework of the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Program and will last two years from 01/12/2012 to 30/11/2014. AGRO-START is implemented in seven countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, R. Macedonia, and Albania) by 12 organizations. The project‘s overall objective is  to increase the SMEs competitiveness and promote and facilitate an innovative entrepreneurship by giving answer to the need of a specific support Service for SMEs in the horticulture and animal breeding sector that adapts an integrated transnational approach.