UfM Secretariat Headquarters Barcelona, 2 – 5 June 2015
To ensure social inclusion, 5 million jobs need to be created every year in the European Neighborhood South Region. The largest reservoir of jobs remains the six millions micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that account for 90% of total employment, but are not yet contributing their full share to sustainable growth. Boosting private investment and job creation will require improving the business climate, in particular through the establishment of a level playing field, a transparent and open investment regime for both domestic and foreign investors, facilitating the access to finance and strengthening market institutions.
In order to address these issues, the two joint communications of the European Commission and of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy call on the partner countries to support the adoption of policies that are conducive to stronger, sustainable and more inclusive growth, that facilitate trade, innovation and investment partnerships, and that develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) while promoting industrial cooperation. Furthermore, the 9th Union for the Mediterranean ministerial meeting on Euro-Mediterranean industrial cooperation held in February 2014 identified in their 2014-2015 work programme four main objectives: improving the business climate, promoting entrepreneurship and SMEs and developing activities in the textile and clothing sectors, and the creative industries. For the creative industries, the objective identified is: “To promote entrepreneurial cooperation in the cultural and creative industries (CCI), in particular through the sharing of experiences with clusters and the promotion of promising pilot initiatives reflecting the sector’s contribution to inclusive growth”.
In this context and within the framework of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) the EU funded the project “Development of Cultural and Creative Industries and Clusters in the Southern Mediterranean”. The project also benefits from a financial contribution of the Italian Development Cooperation and from the labelling of the Union for the Mediterranean. The UfM Secretariat will complement the EU-UNIDO programme with a project aiming to establish a regional platform for dialogue, exchange of experiences and dissemination of best practices within the cultural and creative business field.
The project, which is implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will provide technical support in cluster development and product improvement as well as in market access to selected clusters in Southern Mediterranean countries. To this end, the project will foster information and knowledge exchange among relevant operators from both sides of the Mediterranean and promote cooperation among clusters as well as between clusters and potential business partners, specifically buyers and retailers.
During the first two week of November 2014, National Steering Committees were held in the participating countries and have shortlisted the two pilot clusters that scored the highest based on the agreed-upon cluster selection criteria. The regional program approval committee held on 11 December 2014 approved the section of two clusters per county (except for Egypt; Steering committee was held on the 3rd February 2015 and the selection was approved).
The workshop sessions are expected to bring together: the National Project Coordinators and the Cluster Development Agents of the seven beneficiary South Mediterranean countries.
OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP
- Provide a workshop session on M&E tools
- Provide a clear vision about the strategic analysis during a cluster initiative (2nd phase of a cluster initiative): Why the strategic analysis is essential for the future of the cluster and its companies; Steps to perform the strategic analysis; How to identify strategic options;The link between the strategic analysis and the actions.
- The elaboration of an action plan (3rd phase of a cluster initiative): Typologies of actions; The action plan: how to define, structure and develop actions (including workgroups).
- The governance in a cluster (key success factors for a successful long term cluster management.
By the end of the workshop, the attendees should be able to:
- Understand the importance of the elaboration of an accurate strategic analysis, identifying the buyer purchase criteria for the different market segments and the key success factors per typology of company. See examples of how a lack of strategic vision can bring to the cluster failure.
- Understand the typologies of actions that can be launched in the frame of a cluster initiative: from general actions benefitting the whole cluster to actions limited to groups of companies, as well as transversal actions not related to the strategic options.
- Define and implement an action plan: create a dynamic to engage companies and associations, provide specific and detailed content for every action, and recommendations at institutional level.
- Align the support entities at local, regional and national level (both public and private entities). Empower them to get responsibility for the actions. Establish a positive, fluent and effective work relationship among the cluster members and the support institutions.
- Define the frame and set the steps for the cluster governance (for a long term cluster governance)