Prowad Link study explores barriers for sustainable entrepreneurship in the Wadden Sea region

Prowad Link – Protect & Prosper” is an Interreg project aimed at increasing sustainable entrepreneurship in the pilot regions of the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK). To better grasp of the current situation in these nature areas, the project partners have compiled a report of what hinders small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs) to shift to more sustainable solutions. The now published study “Barriers for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site: An exploratory study”, conducted by the University of Groningen (RUG), aims to answer this and recommends strategies on how to encourage sustainable entrepreneurship in SMEs.

“What makes this report unique is that it provides insights into the aspirations of the SMEs operating in this area”, says co-writer Hellen L. Dawo. “These insights are valuable for SMEs and regional stakeholders as they develop sustainable product and services through co-creation and branding activities.” The report characterises how SMEs, operate in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, and identifies the barriers faced by SMEs in becoming more sustainable through a qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews, observational data and a literature review. It concludes with providing recommendations on how to overcome the barriers identified.

The Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme project PROWAD LINK aims to unlock the potential of natural areas as a driver for jobs and sustainable development. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are approached to develop nature as a brand to create benefits for both, SMEs and the environment. 14 project partners in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, led by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, working with interested SMEs will use the “nature-business-benefit-cycle” concept to develop new, sustainable products and offers in the pilot regions of the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK). The 3-year project is co-funded by and carried out in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme under the Programme Priority 1 “Thinking Growth”. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union.