(AGRO-START publishes three main tools - SEE Support Service Protocol, Good Practice Guide and Auto diagnostic tool)

Aegion, 11/7/2014

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

EUROPEAN REGIONAL FRAMEWORK for COOPERATION (E.R.F.C) took a part in this process for preparing these three products collecting informations and good practises with the sole purpose to help to business support organization and service companies providing assistance to SMEs in target sector, organizations with good practices, representatives of SMES in target sector to develop their businesses and to make agricultural development in The South East Europe where horticulture and animal breeding play a vital role and SME's have same problems and challenges: low use of innovation, technologies, mechanization, low education, 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. E.R.F.C. published on native language Good practise guide and SEE Support Service Protocol and will desiminate the examples 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 SME' s 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. Lead partner Agrostar - Romania in collaboration with partners prepared the SEE Support Service Protocol that includes the support tools that are being 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 the all tools of the Project and each of the support tools will be tested by the partnership and stakeholders and will be organized a e-learnig courses.

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 in 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 SME's in the old, new Member states and candidate countries and how to provide support for SME's 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 SME's.

For increasing SMEs awareness of innovation and technology is developed an Auto-diagnostic tool that is addressed to SMEs. 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 consultant designed a software application which enables the SMEs to self diagnose. 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) will generate a corresponding recommendation.

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

Contact person : George Soulos
Name of person responsible for transmitting communication plan : Mr Nikos Petropoulos
Address of the organization : 33 Platonos Str, Aegion, Greece
Phone: +30 26910 60427
Mail : With respect,
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, Albania) by 12 organization. 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.

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