The TOOLS partnership was established in a previous project, financed by Ecos-Ouverture, which focused on the support of women entrepreneurship in the culinary heritage and tourism sector. The idea of TOOLS is to capitalize on the existing experience and expand the activities to new sectors and groups. It is planned to initiate and test new appropriate support methods especially for people with a lower ability to compete such as young people, women and unemployed persons by improving their opportunities for getting engaged in entrepreneurship. In parallel, the administrative capacity and knowledge of the public sector and the entrepreneurship supporting organisations will be enhanced.
TOOLS project began in January 2005. The project manag. structures both at national and international levels have been set up, regional and internat. co-operation agreements have been signed, nat. co-financing has been applied information about project has been disseminated. First component activities has been carried out according to the project plan, incl. Regional and international project management, financial management and reporting. Six International Steering Committee meetings have been held: May, 2005 in Kajaani, October, 2005 in Cilento, May, 2006 as videoconference and November, 2006 as videoconference; April 2007 in Põlva and October 2007 in Kajaani. In the framework of the second component - capacity building- the project has developed capacity of business advisors by regional networking and training to improve their knowledge and skills. The international training course for business advisors carried out in Italy, 8-15.10.2005. The business resource centers have been established and improved in all partner countries in order to provide quality business support services. In 3.10.2005 the first resource center was opened in Kajaani, Finland. 22.10.2005 business resource center was opened in Põlva, Estonia. In Italy, the resource center was opened in the end of May, 2006. The third component's aim is to develop and elaborate support services for start-up businesses. During the project from 1 st period to 6th period, there have been advised 304 entrepreneurs, hold 96 workshops for entrepreneurs and start-ups. There has been 19 inter-regional events with 354 participants to exchange experience. The objective of the 6th period was enhancing co-operation and transfer of information. The activities include updating local and international websites, carrying out co-operation with different organizations for project promotion and information dissemination. The comparative information including regional statistical data, description of support services in resource centers as well as training programmes has been prepared to enhance the exchange of best practices and transfer. The comparative study about the Good practices for development of Business Environment and The External project evaluation were composed in the 6th period.