Jamie Taylor

Library of Best Practice

CECE Initiative

This is an initiative that is being developed together by Spanish and Portuguese entities. In Spain: Huelva province, Andalucia Region, municiplaities of La Palma del Condado, Almonte, Palos de la Frontera, Lepe and locations in Barcelona and Madrid. In Portugal: Algarve, Faro Minucipality. It was implemented in 2013 – 2015 but in some locations it is still ongoing supported by the city partners.

The scheme developed two online platforms (e-commerce and elearning, including assistance for businesses) through which entrepreneurs could receive all the necessary training online (on business management, languages, culture, etc.). Users could create an e-commerce business without spending a large amount of money. The online platform encouraged users and service providers to interact and create useful and fruitful discussions and training materials. Awareness and visibility of the platform were crucial for the success of the initiative. There were events, posters, use of social media, newsletters, TV, radio, etc, according to the event to be promoted.

This initiative was funded by the Programme Cross-Border Cooperation Spain – Portugal, financed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The platform has been promoted on the websites of all partners. There was care in the way it was developed. It is available also for smartphones.

Networking was also important for the success. Networking events were organized in the participant cities. Mentors created opportunities and an environment of networking for new participants. Problems and solutions can also be shared in the platform. There was also a section of job applications.

Some legal and regulatory advice was provided. Moreover, there was also individual business support for users. These also had access to business training in order to set up their own ecommerce. Participants also received mentoring from experts.

Spain is a destination country for migrants coming mostly from Latin America and African. The government is aware of this problem and has promoted initiatives in order to support these people as much as possible. The main objective of this initiative is to attract and retain migrant entrepreneurs by removing administrative burdens. The key elements are: flexibility (analysis of business plans), involvement of business experts in the decision process, short processing times, improving changes of status and equal treatment.

The cooperation with Portugal allows the creations of networks, to share knowledge and promote the economies of the regions involved.

In Ruta CECE there were 48 events with more 600 participants and with a total participation of more than 100 immigrants attending the meetings. Success stories have been used in order to encourage entrepreneurs to set up a company. Participants were given the opportunity to share their experiences.

Since the beginning of this programme, 69 SME were created. These created a total of 300 direct and indirect jobs. 300 out of 1200 participants of the training courses have got a certificate after the successful conclusion. 20 participants were self-employed after the conclusion of the training courses. 14536 people received information about the activities and promotion events.