The Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) launches this Thursday the Cork_Empreende program, which will distribute 30,000 euros for six innovative business ideas and intends to create 20 new companies in areas such as fashion, architecture and agri-food.
Developed under the System of Support to Collective Actions for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, the project today revealed proposes to create “several jobs throughout the national territory” based on business models oriented to technological processes and in initiatives that favor internationalization.
João Rui Ferreira, president of APCOR, explained that the main recipients of the program are entrepreneurs with new business ideas and small and medium-sized companies that, formed less than two years ago, have the capacity to incorporate new business models.
“During the project will be mapping new opportunities for entrepreneurship in the cork industry, as well as the training needs for a broad entrepreneurial program based on three sustainability axes: competitiveness, environment and social responsibility,” said the responsible.
Innovation, marketing potential and large-scale production at a competitive price will be selection criteria among the candidate projects, which should focus on “strategic sectors of smart specialization: the cork industry, fashion and design, architecture, information and communication [ICT], construction, agri-food industry and furniture “.
APCOR’s goal is to create eight new companies in the fields of knowledge and technology by mid-2020 and 12 new firms in the fields of cultural and creative industries – in both cases, always linked to cork.
Irrespective of the branch to be explored, the institution expects to support 15 companies already active, which may also benefit from the actions envisaged in Cork_Empreende, which, in addition to the ideas contest, also announces workshops, a roadshow, a seminar, pitching sessions and various coaching and mentoring initiatives.
The previous results of the program should be presented to the public at the end of 2019, along with the conclusions of various studies that APCOR has already undertaken on the sector, including one with a diagnosis and a perspective view of the impact of the creative industries and ICT in the cork industry, and another on the productive and entrepreneurial reality of the sector with regard to ICTs, creative industries and innovation factors applied to the competitiveness of new companies.
Cork_Empreende’s list of partners includes municipalities, universities, technology centres, business parks and industrial associations.