BSR-QUICK-IGA: Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age

Commissioned by European Union-Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013, fourth Call/Lead Partner: Hanseatic Parliament

Duration: November 2011 – May 2014

BSR-QUICK is a flagship project within the EU Baltic Sea Region strategy. As a part of the QUICK-project, "Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age: IGA" addresses the challenges of demographic change in BSR and the lack of skilled workers that limits innovation and growth in small and medium sized enterprises. The project aims at promoting innovation in SMEs by fostering organisational development and the efficient allocation of human resources. In particular, the project focuses on equal opportunities of women, men, and elderly in the workplace. The Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) heads Work Package 3 "Economics and Best Practice Analysis and Development Support Measures" and will carry out the economic analyses as well as the analyses and scenarios of the regional education and labor markets. Furthermore, the HWWI is a member of the steering group.

From October 2013 to March 2014, the HWWI organizes two additional workshops to disseminate the QUICK IGA project results and conducts another study on female entrepreneurship.

Firstly, the HWWI held a workshop on 13 January 2014 at the chamber of commerce in Hamburg („Ökonomische Perspektiven, Qualifikation und Arbeitsmarktintegration von Frauen im Ostseeraum”).  The workshop aimed at presenting selected research results, which were found by the HWWI in the context of the QUICK IGA project1 by means of statistical analyses. The participants came from Germany, Sweden and Poland. Apart from employees of chambers of commerce and crafts, representatives from government, consulting companies, education providers, federations of commercial entreprises, NGOs and academia were present. The workshop language was German but simultaneous translation from German to English and vice versa was provided.

Secondly, the HWWI organizes a workshop on 4 March 2014 in the Hanse Office in Brussels (“Women in the Baltic Sea Region — Qualification and Labour Market Integration”). In this workshop, the core results of the QUICK IGA project and other HWWI results on female labour market integration, entrepreneurship, education and earnings are to be presented and discussed with representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and other institutions.

Thirdly , HWWI carries out a study on female entrepreneurship in Germany. The study analyses the following questions: What is the macroeconomic benefit from entrepreneurship, does Germany lack female entrepreneurs and if so, why? What are the specific characteristics of German female entrepreneurs compared to their male and foreign female counterparts, respectively? What are the driving forces of female entrepreneurship from a life-course perspective? What are the barriers during the start-up phase and later in daily work life? The study includes a survey of members of the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen, VdU) that will be exclusively conducted by the HWWI in February and March 2014. The results will be communicated in workshops (e.g. in Brussels) and publications to decision makers in politics and business.

1 Research project of the Baltic Sea Region Programme (2007-2013) of the European Union ((QUICK – Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age); basic publication in this context: Biermann, U.; Boll, C.; Reich, N.; Stiller, S. (2013): Economic Perspectives, Qualifications and Labour Market Integration of Women in the Baltic Sea Region, in: M. Hogeforster (ed.): Baltic Sea Academy Series, 9,  Norderstedt, Germany. (Report: “QUICK: Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age”, Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013, 4th Call).