Online Marketing – An opportunity to increase competitiveness CB006.2.31.095
Aim of the project:
First, it will reduce the administrative burden, maintenance costs, and reduce staff of retail outlets. Second, their markets will indefinitely be expanded by the opportunities e-commerce provides. An innovative e-commerce project will contribute to a change in understanding of the traditional on-site trading, and reducing costs by freeing up the direct beneficiaries time to produce more output.
Craftsmen, farmers and microenterprises will become more competitive in their market while their social and economic position will improve. The project partners will have the opportunity to support the maintenance and development of the project even after the project is completed, as most of the direct beneficiaries are members of their organizations.
Creating a test e-commerce platform is key to supporting microbusiness in the CBC regions which in turn will bring enormous benefits to both countries as small businesses contribute to the creation of a large part of Gross Domestic Product. Through the implementation of the project activities, an alternative will also be created for enterprises and cooperatives of people with disabilities. Their social enterprises, goods and services are currently difficult to find on the free market.
The implementation of the project and reduction of sale costs will give an incentive to micro-enterprises, artisans, farmers, and livestock farmers working in the informal sector to be exposed.
The project activities are in line with the global objective of the Bulgaria – Macedonia Cross Border Cooperation Program.
One of the main issues that the CBC region of Kyustendil and Third North East region are facing is the low competitiveness of micro-enterprises, craftspeople, farmers, and enterprises of people with disabilities. The statistics of the National Statistics Institute of the Republic of Bulgaria show that during the 5 year period of 2012 – 2016, the population growth of Kyustendil has decreased by 9,382 people. This indicates that population growth is negative by 13%. In the Kyustendil villages district, the total population is 37, 837. The 2016 statistics of business segments by criteria show that 93.6% of businesses are micro-enterprises, 5.2% are medium enterpises and 1.2% are large enterprises in the district.
The total population of the third northeastern region in plan is Macedonia with 172,787 people, whom are disproportionally distributed and the largest population being Kumanovo Municipality with 105,404 people. There are no official statistics on the number of micro-enterprises, craftspeople or cooperatives of people with disabilities in the six municipalities. However, it is an indisputable fact that micro-enterprises are the backbone of the local economy.
The limited and closed economy of the CBC region is a major issue for entrepreneurs. Finding markets to sell their products is a general problem. This is why the current project aims to solve this problem through an innovative online e-commerce platform and to give small producers access to new, wider markets.
Increasing competitiveness through the opportunity to sell finished products to micro-enterprises will encourage young people, women and minorities to stay in their hometowns. The registration of new representatives of the micro-businesses will significantly reduce the percentage of unemployed persons. Since there are no large enterprises in the CBC region to create jobs, starting one’s own business is a great opportunity for raising the economic status of the population.
The implementation of the project activities will have a positive impact on the general needs of the target region and will have a sustainable CBC effect.