Proposal for a project to ground Business House(s) by EUBIM


1. The aim of this project


The aim of this project is to probe the basics for Business Houses in relation to the experiences in this field in the Netherlands.


2. What makes the Business House special


The advancement of this approach is that the consultants of the institute actively approach the market of potential entrepreneurs. They are not passively offering training and other services, the consultants have to have a (pro) active approach to find and stimulate potential entrepreneurs. Besides they work in a networking organisation structure to cooperate with all business approaches in their field of expertise, not to compete with them. Consultants of the business house only develop special expertise when it is not available in the market. These consultants have to be entrepreneurs themselves and prove their approaches in a market situation. They will be accounted for in the final result. Therefore they also have to help to find or generate the social circumstances for business start-ups to be successful. The word integral is crucial for this approach.


3. Results


The follow up must be the creation of a long lasting agency with formal and informal relations to all relevant institutions in the environment to stimulate the deprived for the development of entrepreneurship on a regional and district level. The goal of the Business House is to stimulate entrepreneurship and create the opportunities for business start-up for people form marginalized groups “who do have the “right” requirements.” They have to develop to ”… people with an entrepreneurial background, good education, professional competences and supported by a social network to start a business.” Those who have and find what it takes will show results after some time.


An underlying goal for the Business House will be the collection and registration of data to support policy decisions regarding the activities involved and the social economic environment where entrepreneurs may develop.



4.  Steps to be taken:


A. Analysis of the existing situation, resources and opportunities to set up a pilot structure and transfer of now-how (enhance competences on local management of entrepreneurial activities)  

Preparatory meeting with high placed public servants of the ministries to find and create a shared vision on: 

-       -           Social affairs and employment

-       -           Economic affairs

-       Financial affairs -            

-       -           Regional development

-       -           Creating a support structure, one that may work nation wide

-       -           This structure has to be created in a web based manner  (IT technical)

-       -           Finding supporting organisations

-       -           Specific supporting organisations which adapt to local circumstances


B. Negotiate with principals meaning the leading people of government and big important companies to be acceptable and supportable by lesser gods -            

-       -           National and regional government organisations and heavy representatives of structural institutes Collecting data in local research to support vision:

-          -               Interviews with managers of (one) the big cities (Sofia, Plovdiv, Shumen, Varna, Burgas) the public servants running local bureaucracies

-          -               Interviews with managers of smaller municipalities later (or it the choice must be made to do a pilot too in one of the smaller cities)

-          -               Interviews with representatives of national and local organisations like the Chambers of Commerce, Industrial Associations, Trade Associations and social security agencies

-          -               Establishment of a platform for cooperation in a limited set of promising initiatives this is not meant to replace an existing organisation; it is meant to fill the gap between desire to start a business and options provided by the existing institutions

-          -               Interviews with representatives of local, regional and international financial institutions

-          -               Interviews with representatives of regional, national and international companies with high impact on the social and economic cohesion


C. Reporting and disseminating the results of the analysis


These activities have to be conducted in bilingual teams of local and foreign consultants. The time needed will be estimated in cooperation with the prime principal, the national ministry of finance as controller of the money flow and the ministries of social affairs and economic affairs as content oriented clients.


Because of the complexity of international cooperation and the need for sound and careful reporting the planning horizon may be longer than in a national setting. The above activities will be conducted in accordance with the outline set of the Business Houses as developed in the Netherlands the last years. These Business Houses have to be seen as an institutional setting to support entrepreneurial behaviour also among groups that were not included in official business development processes before.  


The aim is to create a business environment where the prerequisites for business start-ups, continuance and expansion are realised in close cooperation with other vested institutions and interests, as far as these are not conflicting with the global aim. This global aim is, in accordance with the aims set out at the Portugal summit, full employment, higer quality and higher productivity based on knowledge an competitive power, cohesion and integration in the labour market. Strengthening the entrepreneurial setting will help to further these objectives


5. Time-schedule


The lead-time for such a research prior to a pilot in the selected places will be 3 to 4 months. Financial control will be delegated to a separate and independent organisation, the Ministry of Finance is a suggestion.

Because the costs of travelling and stay will be considerable, funds have to be made available in advance.

Reports will be submitted to all organisations involved as principal and as important supplier of means and services in the social economic playing field.


6. Contribution (participants)


Contribution in production of knowledge and services by different providers of services for this project:


Eubim 50% in direct management, research and support activities

PARTNER in management, research and support activities



B&A for support and as competence centre

Municipality Amsterdam Southeast for support and as competence centre policy development

Ondernemerhuis Zuidoost (Business House Southeast) for support and experience



Eubim 50% in direct management, research and support activities

NGOs in the local environment 

Businesses in the local environment

Business consultants consulting small businesses for entrepreneurship


7. The funding of these projects


The funds have to be provided by EU programs like Leonardo da Vinci or Twinning (Light or for technical assistance). Another option may be Matra from the NL.

Partners in project could be any of the organizations mentioned before.


The Business House has to be a real contribution to what is going on in an economy. If any one else is doing this already, it does not make sense to present it.

The difference to business incubators is that those institutions are created for high potentials to make it to a business start up. The goal is to find new technologies and advanced business start-ups to elevate an economy.

Business Houses tend to look at the surrounding environment and help people of all (lower, medium and higher) levels to take their future in their own hands, to be down to earth and realistic. It is a bottom up approach. What is implemented top down is a stable network structure to facilitate.


Amsterdam. January 27, 2005 (back to EUBIM)