Subsidy contract No. B6.3a.14/13.04.2021

Category: Cross-border cooperation
Date: 13/04/2021 – 30/11/2023

Project “Strengthening the competitiveness and extroversion of cross-border business through the implementation of innovative and specialized actions”, with the acronym INNOBUS, ref. No. 6269, Subsidy Agreement No. В6.3а.14/13.04.2021, is financed under the 6th call of the INTERREG V-А Cooperation Program Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020, Investment Priority 1-A “Competitive and innovative cross-border zone”, co-financed by the European Union through the European Fund for Regional Development and the national budgets of the participating countries.

Project budget: 652 200,00 Euro

Project partners:

Lead Partner: Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce, Greece

Project partner 2: Professional Association of the Historical Center of Thessaloniki, Greece

Project partner 3: Association of entrepreneurs Gotse Delchev region, Bulgaria

Project partner 4: FOCUS Association, Bulgaria

Implementation period: 13/04/2021 – 30/11/2023


The main objective of the project is to strengthen the factors affecting entrepreneurial success by improving competitiveness, networking, extroversion of SMEs and quality entrepreneurship with the latest innovations and the creation of added value by involving the business world and all stakeholders. The project includes the implementation of pilot actions in the field of sustainable tourism with the promotion of urban centers for commercial activities.


Specific objectives:

  • Developing a supportive environment for SMEs that aims to strengthen the factors influencing entrepreneurial success.
  • Moving from the era of information graphics on how a business can be set up to creating a service delivery framework that complements and supports the target SMEs in the region, meeting the needs of modern business development.
  • Networking of SMEs looking to develop partnerships for the benefit of the cross-border region.
  • Adopting innovative methods and procedures for developing products and services.
  • Support of new business ideas and their sustainability.
  • Revitalization of the business environment in the cross-border region with the application of modern tools.

Project target groups:

  • Representatives of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the cross-border region
  • Young people who plan to start their own business or to improve and develop their existing business
  • Business networks, clusters and other organizations with similar goals and vision that work to support business and develop entrepreneurship.


Expected results of the implementation of the project activities:

  • Support of clusters in strategic areas of the regional economy and creation of business networks with chambers as facilitators.
  • Consulting support for small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the field of export orientation, innovation, dynamism and extroversion.
  • Specialized consulting services in a wide range of subject areas (such as: market analysis, legal and accounting issues, business plan development, human resources issues, development and upgrading of marketing tools targeting markets inside or outside the program area, promotion and use of new financial instruments and services to access available funds, product labeling and certification, etc.) and other targeted educational/training services.
  • Creation of an online platform that will bring together all the above outputs and will act as a networking site for SMEs.
  • Organization of networking events (B2B events) in the business community at cross-border level.
  • The structure of creative entrepreneurship in which participants follow a specific way of dealing with the problem they want to solve.
  • Development and promotion of the historical identity of City Centers for commercial activities and implementation of pilot actions in the field of sustainable tourism (development and promotion of cruise tourism and spa tourism).

All the above results are directly related to the development of a supportive environment for SMEs, the networking of SMEs and the revitalization of the business environment.


Expected main results of the project:

  • Improving the business environment in the cross-border region.
  • Network development
    Strengthening processes for support and development of SMEs.
  • Making innovation a priority and connecting it to business.
  • Targeted educational/training services to mature innovative business ideas.

The activities performed by the FOCUS association within the framework of the project:

  • Provision of business consulting for the development of youth entrepreneurship – see here
  • Conducting 2 business seminars on the territory of Blagoevgrad district – Seminar 1,  Seminar 2
  • Conducting 2 business forums on the territory of the Blagoevgrad region – Forum Blagoevgrad, Forum Sandanski
  • Open access mobile application development – see here
  • Promotion of VR marketing as a tool for SME development – see here
  • Information and publicity materials – see here
  •   Video materials– see here

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the Focus Association and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the participating countries, the Governing Body and the Joint Secretariat.

The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and by national funds of the countries participating in the Cross-Border Cooperation Program INTERREG V-A Greece – Bulgaria 2014-2020