Mid September 2014, the Erasmus+ “IBrave”- project (Improvement of Branding for Rural Areas through Vocational Education) was officially approved. RESOC Mid-West-Flanders/Midwest Development, together with several other European partners, started up this project by the end of 2014.
Motivation: Many (mainly small and medium sized) municipalities in Europe suffer from a lack of knowledge/methodology with regard to the clear and accurate definition of their own economic profile and also struggle with the development and implementation of a correct and positive way of marketing their strengths and challenging their weaknesses.
The participating IBrave municipalities in Spain (Ceuti), Sweden (Tranemo), Denmark (Lemvig)and Belgium/Flanders (15 authorities within the region of Mid West Flanders, including the cities of Roeselare, Izegem and Tielt) joined hands , in order to exchange expertise, experiences and good practices. They all have a fairly similar socio-economic profile (often a rather industrial environment, cities that are rather small in size and often quite close to bigger cities (which increases the danger of brain drain), and, in marketing terms, a sometimes rather vaguely expressed or promoted economic profile,…). Through the implementation of the IBrave project, the partners want to assist the local (and regional/national) authorities in developing a higher and more effective/professional way of making themselves and their companies more attractive to inhabitants, newcomers and visitors.
They want to create a ‘toolbox’ which will allow the participating authorities to clearly analyze their own situation (SWOT)and to develop a logical, honest and future oriented, attractive marketing plan for the city or the region, based on actual strengths. Ideally the cities will be able to present themselves as a great place to work in, live in and recreate in.
The goal of IBrave is to provide the participating local governments with this user-friendly set of tools, in order to be able to independently develop and refine, a sustainable and effective local branding policy, always in accordance with the regional, national and European strategic priorities.
RESOC Mid-West-Flanders is one of the active partners within the project and will be organizing the third of four project-IBrave seminars, in november 2015. The goal of the seminar will be to promote interaction between Mid West Flemish local authorities and the participating IBrave partner organizations and authorities.