A BRIEF OUTLOOK ON THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESS
WHO WE ARE
The National Association of Small and Medium Business (NASMB) is established in 2000 and is one of the working Bulgarian employer’s organisations active in the fields of innovation and knowledge economy. Our mission is purposeful participation in the formation of a knowledge-based society in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the countries of Southeast Europe and Bulgaria, in order to support and foster the establishment of a favorable business environment for small and medium businesses development and to raise SMEs competitiveness. Its activities encourage the growth of the economies in the region through the promotion of innovation and transfer of advanced technologies and know-how. NASMB facilitates this process by participating in the cross-border cooperation, networking and capacity building of NGOs, public and private agencies, and companies through elaboration and implementation of various local and international projects. Among others NASMB specialises in two main thematic areas that constitute important pillars of a knowledge society: Information Society, and Innovation and Technology Transfer. In both fields NASMB is engaged in applied research and analyses, public policy support and advocacy, capacity building, training, and knowledge and innovation brokerage.
WHAT WE DO
Members of NASMB are regional associations, branch associations /as collective members/, small and medium-size companies and managers. The NASMB member companies are from a wide range of business spheres – agriculture, food and light industry, telecommunications, construction, machine building, trade, tourism, advertising, various other services, etc.
NASMB has established fruitful contacts and successfully cooperates with many organisations in Bulgaria involved in research and innovations such as the Bulgarian Government Agency for Encouragement of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Center for Economic Development, the Employers’ Union, the Association for Industrial Capital, the Center for Development of Entrepreneurship, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other NGOs. Our partners and/or customers are the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, the Sofia University, the University of National and World Economy, the State University for Library Studies and Information Technologies, the Thracian University, the New Bulgarian University, the South-West University, the University for Architecture and Geodesy, the Varna Free University, the Centre for Creative Learning, some of the largest multi-profile hospitals in the country from Sofia and Plovdiv, etc.
In 2002 NASMB became a Member of the Council for Euro communication to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through the functions of its Chairperson for several years NASMB was represented in the Credit Council of the Encouragement Bank in Bulgaria and from 2007 to 2009 the Association was a member of the Social Council to the Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria. Now NASMB is a member of the Monitoring Committee of the Programme for Development of Rural Regions 2007 – 2013, and its leader – Mrs. Eleonora Negulova, is the Chairperson of the Working Group on Priority Axes 3 – “Improvement of the quality of life in the rural regions” and is a member of the Working Group on Priority Axes 4 – “LEADER” at Ministry of Agriculture.
NASMB is in partnership with municipalities and local governments from Bulgarian and other European countries. In Bulgaria the Association has worked with the municipalities of Oryahovo, Letnitza, Plovdiv (Maritza), Brezovo, Kyustendil, Pernik, Batak, Asenovgrad, Montana, Godech, Kirdjali, the regional administrations in Pernik and Smolyan. In different projects NASMB worked together with the Municipality of Munich – Germany, Community Mountain „Appennino Forlivese“ – Italy, Toplicki District – Serbia, Bratislavský samosprávny kraj – Slovakia, Regioni Veneto, Umbria, Lombardia, Bergamo and Abruzzo in Italy, Marshal’s Office of Podolskie Voivodeship – Poland.
NASMB has participated in the elaboration and implementation of many local and international projects. It pioneered the development of a guarantee fund by participating in the international project GO NETWORK – Guarantee Organizations Network under the INTERREG III B CADSES programme. In the international project REVITA – Development of Small and Medium-size Railway Stations into Multipurpose Local Service Centers under the same programme, a lot of research about the usability and development of this kind of stations was done. The third international project in this row was RIMADIMA –Risk-, Disaster-Management & prevention of natural hazards in mountainous and / or forested regions, where a new decision support system was developed. Another international project of this type was TELMI – International European integration on the labor market through information technologies. The international project SOCIALSME was implemented under the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation programme with further development of an innovative product. Another Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation international project was CREATIN – Creativity Techniques for Innovation in Products and Services. EUFACINET – European Facilitators Network, was an international Leonardo da Vinci project for development of a methodology for facilitation of the training and elaboration of human resources qualifications using working situations. “ICT4LLL” is a Leonardo da Vinci Life Long Learning Project for implementation of ICT at all levels of education and training with NASMB being responsible for research and development of vocational training. There are many other projects from different programmes in which NASMB took part such as PHARE, EuropeAid, Civil Society Dialogue Programme – European Aid for Turkey, the Business Support Program of EC etc.
Due to the elaboration and implementation of many projects NASMB has accumulated versatile experience and has built a wide branched net not only of local, but also international partners. Some of them are Faculty of Economics and Management at Kaunas Technical University in Lithuania, Polytechnic University of Warsaw,Warsavia University College of technology and Business – Poland University of Krakow, Wroclaw University of Economics, University of Nis, European University Cyprus, University of Architecture of Bucharest, Riga Technical University, Institute for Socio-Scientific Consultancy in Regensburg, Faculty of Forestry from University of Skopie, Faculty of ,Forestry from University of Belgrade, West Pomeranian Business Schol in Szczecin – Poland, Center for Research and Technology Hellas – Greece, Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency – Hungary, Nature Conservation BERKUT – Czech Republic, Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Slovenia, Public transport service agency of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt – Germany, Polish State Railways, Agency for Community Development – Romania, Regionálna rozvojová agentúra Senec – Pezinok (Slovakia), KMU Forschung Austria, Handwerkskammer Trier – Germany, Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Development Agency Prefecture of Trikala – Greece, Istrian Development Agency – Italy, etc. In various projects as partners participated training and business organizations from Germany, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Denmark, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Austria, FYROM, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland, Cyprus.