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Empowering underdeveloped marginal communities’
trough Digital Transformation of SME’s

 Project duration: 12 months

Start date: 01.09.2018

End date: 31.08.2019

Project budget 47 640 EUR


Project partners

Romanian Research Group in Corporate Finance, Romania

Institute of Technology and Development Foundation, Bulgaria

STEP Institute, Institute for work psychology and entrepreneurship, Slovenija

Project Description

For the economic development of the Danube Region (DR) it is decisive that SME’s have a strong competitive position & innovation performance (Regional Analysis-DR 2014, p.203)Considering digital revolution & disruptive technologies, SME’s in every industry of the participating regions are under intense pressure to rethink their business models, customer value propositions & operations. Smaller enterprises from less developed areas of the DR (rural area and small cities from East European countries of the DR) suffer more from the digital revolution than companies from more developed areas (normally strong urban communities). There is a strong need in the participating regions to develop solutions together and qualify SME’s from these underdeveloped areas to fully use digital opportunities. The approach of this project aims to create the necessary framework to develop a new project that includes specific activities that respond to Priority 8 Competitiveness of Enterprises.

Project Scope

The geographical scope of the main project is transnational supporting a Knowledge Transfer from countries like Germany or Austria, Slovenia in order to identify strategies, policies, and tools that are meant to foster the effects of the EU policies in the following East European countries of the Danube program region: RO, BG, SLO, HU, HR.

Benefiting from competences and experiences of other countries in the Danube Region, like Slovenia, Germany, Austria but not limited to that can forge a transnational alliance at EU level that can propose a new project for the management of digital transformation in underdeveloped marginal communities like rural areas and small towns.


The main project contributes to towards the achievement of the EUSDR PA8 addressing the considerably lag between top-performing regions in the Danube Region and the other regions and also the bigger lag existing in low performing regions between strong urban areas and less developed rural areas with the following results:

  • Result R1

Fostering cooperation of academia as a target group of DIGIPW4SME project and local authorities from above-targeted areas, in order to improve cooperation and knowledge exchange on smart specialization strategies that can offer to SME’s from identified area consistent development perspectives.

  • Result R2

Improve the framework conditions for SMEs in areas where competitive infrastructure is missing by supporting new cooperation that can lead to the construction of networks with specific focus should on rural areas, where competitive infrastructure for SME’s is often weakly developed or missing.

  • Result R3

Improve the competitiveness of rural areas and in particular of the agricultural sector by facilitating rural and women entrepreneurship, supporting innovation and cooperation trough digital transformation of SME’s main project will target.

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