European projects hold the European Union together

Hi everyone! My name is Antonella and I’m 26 years old. I am an Italian IVY volunteers at the National Confederation of Craft and Small and Medium Enterprises for a small project called SFERA that means Strategic Framework for Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas, in the context of the Interreg Italy-Croatia programme.

In the program areas, despite SME success, there remains a gap between urban and rural SMEs, leaving a potential avenue for growth underutilized. Rural SMEs have traditionally lagged behind their urban counterparts in terms of innovation and growth potential. However, with digitization driving the knowledge-based economy, the geographic location of SMEs is becoming less relevant, opening the door to new opportunities and markets.

SFERA project aims to overcome the cross-border legal and administrative obstacles and improve the institutional and strategic capacities of public authorities and stakeholders in the Programme area. The overall objective of SFERA is to promote an integrated governance model that fosters stronger cooperation among stakeholders. By adopting an integrated approach, the project partners aim to create a supportive ecosystem that goes beyond just providing funding or infrastructure, and that recognizes the complexity and multi-dimensionality of entrepreneurship.

Through communication activities, project aims to improve overall general awareness about importance of entrepreneurship in rural area, and create a dialogue between institutions dedicated to territorial development. Through wide dissemination of project results, partners will be dedicated to empowering diverse stakeholders to implement and/or engage with the development and improvement of the framework conditions for entrepreneurship in rural areas, promote shared learning and spread/share out of governance innovations.

In this particular context is where I come into play. The Lead Partner has placed their trust in my hands, because an organized communication is an important step for the successful execution of the project, by putting into practice my skills and knowledge acquired during my studies in Rome and my internship in Rome.

I am responsible for supporting communication efforts, including tasks like managing email and social media marketing, editing photos and videos, and providing assistance in event coordination.

What I have learnt is that European cohesion policy and European projects are like the glue that holds the European Union together. They work to ensure that no community is left behind and that everyone has the opportunity to thrive. European projects foster collaboration between different regions of Europe. People share ideas, learn from others and work together to address common challenges. This sharing of knowledge and resources helps improve the quality of everyone’s life.

The discovery of IVY was an extremely significant step during my early ventures into the world of work. After graduating, it provided me with the opportunity to acquire new skills and apply what I had studied and experienced during my internship. The trust that people who have been in this profession for many years place in me is the most fulfilling aspect, beyond the discovery of a world that fascinates me more and more, and that I am eager to continue exploring.

– Antonella Notarangelo, IVY Project Partner for the Interreg Italy – Croatia project SFERA, at CNA Bari – National Confederation of Craft and Small and Medium Enterprises

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