Inishowen Development Partnership has launched its latest pioneering EU project, Blue-C: Collaborating Coastal Communities. 

Blue-C is a two-year Erasmus+ funded collaboration involving a consortium of six partner countries: Malta, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Finland and Ireland, with IDP as the Lead partner organisation. The Blue-C project will encourage blue economy growth through sustainability, collaboration and connection and targets micro-entrepreneurs active in coastal communities. The emphasis is on boosting the innovation capacity within coastal communities and building the ability of coastal tourism entrepreneurs to enhance and grow new business opportunities and new markets.

The blue economy encompasses all economic activities relating to oceans and seas. The World Bank defines the blue economy as ‘the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health and, based on this definition, can be seen as a subset of the green economy. 

Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO at IDP, says, “BLUE C is tapping into the blue economy and underpinning those indigenous, local businesses that are integral parts of their coastal communities. It is about joining the dots offering a more robust and sustainable coastal and maritime tourism experience for those who choose to live, work and visit coastal towns and villages internationally. Building on our strategic goals and alliances, through the BLUE-C project, we can further support micro-entrepreneurs in this sector by giving them a helping hand to collaborate and strengthen their position on the local market by developing new products/services, applying co-creation and co-design”. 

Working with project partners, Blue-C will deliver three outputs as follows:

  1. Blue-C Skill Framework & Best Practices
  2. Blue-C Learning Programme & Platform
  3. Establishing a Regional BLUE-C Network

It is envisaged that these outputs will lead to further outcomes, such as new ideas for micro-enterprises, the opportunity for synergy (where micro-enterprises can come together to build and develop new products or services) and adaption of new approaches to working with other micro-enterprises leading to increased job opportunities. The project offers the potential for ongoing and further sustainable development of coastal tourism micro-enterprise clusters. 

For updates on Blue-C project progress, follow the Facebook page: @BLUECeurope or across the IDP social channels.

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