GEuropean SMEs are recognized by the European Commission as the backbone of the European economy, constituting 99% of the total European business and 85% of the total European employment (Eurostat, 2018). SMEs in Bulgaria generate 75.7% of the overall employment and 65.3% of the added value in the economy (EC, 2019). The transition towards a more sustainable development of companies requires a deep change in strategic thinking and in the ways business is conducted. Such a change is urged by the vision and the goal of the European Green Deal for a climate-neutral economy by 2050 and the defined more ambitious action in the coming decade.

Unfortunately, SMEs are often burdened by the insufficiency of resources and the various barriers they face, impeding their transition to sustainable growth, consistent with their dimensions and the respective industries in which they operate. And even when sources of funding and grant support for the development of innovative green solutions contributing to enhanced competitiveness respecting the environment are available, SMEs still find it difficult to innovate because of their low innovation capacity. In terms of innovation, Bulgaria is still in the group of the so-called “emerging innovators”, significantly lagging behind the majority of EU countries. However, scientists alarm that the challenge of climate change is no longer with the science, nor with the rate of innovation, but with the rate of implementation: since clean innovative solutions are already developed, it’s now time to just integrate them in our businesses. Obtaining information about already developed, ready to be used practical innovative solutions is essential for SMEs in terms of value creation and sustainable growth while respecting the environment.

The Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry together with its members and associates, forms an active platform for exchange of market information, business contacts and experience focused at one primary goal: to help businesses achieve sustainable growth. Pursuing its mission, BRCCI in partnership with the Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy and SINTEF Manufacturing AS implements G4G: Greening For Growth Project with the objective to support its member SMEs in competence-building in the field of Green Industry Innovation, by:

1) Identifying and presenting already developed, ready to be used practical solutions that are applicable for the Bulgarian SMEs; and

2) Giving the Bulgarian SMEs opportunity to exchange experience the field of Green Industry Innovation with Norwegian companies.

The project shall identify and present lighthouse practical examples of already developed, ready to be used innovative solutions for the creation of products, processes and services that improve operational performance whilst respecting the environment.

Implementation period: May 2023 ÷ February 2024.