inclusive entrepreneurship

Urban development in the EU in 50 PROJECTS

This report, co-authored by Peter Ramsden (Freiss Ltd.) and Laura Colini for AEIDL in 2013 was commissioned by DG REGIO. It aims at presenting cases studies of projects supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in order to achieve better living conditions in urban areas throughout Europe.

50 case studies were selected for their capacity to highlight good practice in responding to urban challenges within the cohesion policy between 2007 and 2013. The goal of this report is to inspire and inform the implementation of subsequent ERDF funded project accross the EU.

The selected initiatives covered areas such as smart growth; sustainable growth; inclusive growth; integrated area-based approaches; housing for marginalised groups; financial engineering; public participation and empowerment; and cooperation, networking and learning.

The table below sums up which cities were used as case studies in the document.

50 case studies erdf regio

One of the main conclusions of the publication is that municipalities are capable of producing one-off good practices.

To build on this, the authors namely recommend that:

  • Cities ensure that smart growth projects are aligned with strategic planning policies for their region;
  • Multi-level governance relations be considered in sustainable growth projects;
  • Inclusive growth strategy be supported by “lively partnerships, which bring in civil society organisations representing people at risk of exclusion, and which embrace the various tiers of government”;
  • when it comes to housing for marginalised groups,”consent and if possible the active participation of the people” impacted by the project
  • Public participation be addressed from at project level as well as from a broader governance perspective.
  • “closer links between the small but innovative learning programmes and the relatively conventional mainstream” be created for integrated learning

find out more, you can access the full AEIDL report: “Urban Development In The Eu: 50 Projects Supported By The European Regional Development Fund During The 2007-13 Period”.


Freiss and Phoenix – ashes to ashes

Our first contract at Freiss in 2003 was to evaluate the UK’s Phoenix Development fund – an £83 million fund for innovating in supporting enterprise in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and under represented groups (such as women and the disabled). The work took three years, generated two major reports, over 20 case studies and a certain amount of tendonitis. At the end of the day government supported business simplification instead of inclusive entrepreneurship. The rest as they say is history.  The idea of the braided approach that would link the specialist providers with the mainstream was picked up by Prowess and others.  Nowadays everyone understands the terms outreach and specialist support.

  Now with the recession the question of how to use enterprise based approaches to re-activate the inactive and to regenerate communities will push its way back.

You can still see the final report at