The Entrepreneurial Cities and Towns Network on developing business based on collaborating with the local government
Participants of the EMPIRIAE ENTREPRENEURIAL CITIES AND TOWNS Experience Exchange Network met in the hospitable city of Tarnów on 1 and 2 June to discuss business development based on collaborating with the local government.

Day one involved a workshop-and-debate session, in the course of which forms of assistance offered by the Tarnów Entrepreneurship Centre were presented alongside the extraordinarily significant role of the Tarnów Dialogue Centre in terms of activating local residents. Forms of activity engaged in by the “Sunny Hill” Professional Activation Centre were discussed as well, as a good social economy practice. In conformity to the experience exchange idea, entrepreneurship activation forms applied by local governments from other cities and towns were referenced as well, including the Creative Centre of Education and Economic Co-operation in Hrubieszów, Zabrze Entrepreneurship Development Centre, and Jasło’s Female Leadership Programme. The case study and importance of business needs surveying in Zawiercie were referenced. A lively discussion followed the presentation of the hugely interesting and useful substantive material focusing on the local government’s multi-faceted collaboration with business circles to encourage entrepreneurial attitudes.

Day two took on study visit format, Network participants visiting the “Discovery Passageway” Science and Technology Centre, and the Małopolska Region’s largest business incubator managed by the Tarnów Industrial Cluster. Intending to listen to businesses and recognise their need for receiving assistance from local governments, Network participants visited two companies: GlassTeam (glazing industry) and ELPLC S.A. (manufacturer of specialist and prototype solutions for production process computerisation and robotisation). Both visits showcased state-of-the-art business models; they were also an opportunity to discuss the role and form of collaboration between local governments, companies, and business environment institutions, with a particular focus on local labour market challenges.

Online meetings preceding the actual Network visit to a specific town or city have become a regular item on the ENTREPRENEURIAL CITIES AND TOWNS Network operational agenda. This time, the Network “connected” on 26 May, topics including forms of animating entrepreneurship in Tarnów, the Wałbrzych Programme of Entrepreneurship Support and Development, and Opoczno’s initiative to build relationships between administrative structures and local businesses. A presentation of the options of funding entrepreneurship-assisting activities under regional and national programmes was another pivotal online meeting item.