The south of Burgenland and the south of Vas County are economically underdeveloped regions. Small and medium-sized enterprises in these regions hardly ever cooperate and there is a lack of networking across borders. The enterprises face similar challenges on both side of the boarder: generational change, lack of internationalization, rural flight etc. Development opportunities for these economically underdeveloped regions are culinary and wine tourism and the transformation of old wine cellars to accommodation. Yet, a sustainable, coherent, and innovative offer is needed to develop and establish a wine experience region across borders. Such an offer can only be developed by small and medium-sized enterprises if they are connected and if they coordinate the range of services they provide.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance and vulnerability of the small and medium-sized enterprises. Our goal is to foster economic development in the region and increase the survival rate of small and medium-sized enterprise in the border region. This will be achieved by connecting, advancing, and re-establishing small and medium-sized enterprise in the border region. First, we will assess their needs. Afterwards, we will organize tailored trainings, marketing operations, and networking opportunities to encourage emprises to be proactive. We will also support enterprises as they develop and promote competitive products. The current project is innovative because it develops a network of small and medium-sized enterprises across borders and sectors. It connects wineries, tourism enterprises, direct marketing farmers, restaurants, bakeries, and many others. The project focuses on a specific region and additionally involves the local population via awareness building. The project follows the Farm to Fork strategy of the European Green Deal. By fostering the purchase and consumption of local products it tackles climate change and preserves biodiversity.