Network Business Incubator Vrelec is the outcome of the project “Network Business Incubator of Obsotelje and Kozjansko” which was carried out by municipality of Rogaška Slatina with its partner municipality of Šentjur. The investment of the project was co-financed by European and national funds through priority “Regional Development Programs” under the Operational Programme for Strengthening Regional Development Potentials for Period 2007–2013, development priority “Development of regions”.
Our vision is the incubator to become the focal point of entrepreneurial and innovative environment in Obsotelje and Kozjansko region for new innovative, technological and knowledge-based companies.
Mission of the incubator is to establish an active and visible supportive environment with the aim of fostering the establishment of new companies and helping them develop and grow, so they will contribute to greater competitiveness, better employment opportunities and modernization of the economic structure in the sub-region. By offering new infrastructure and advanced, user-oriented services we want to raise the level of innovation, technological development and research in the Obsotelje and Kozjansko region and consequently raise the added value of economic entities and prosperity in the region. We want to facilitate the access to knowledge, research results, new technologies and other advanced services for all economic entities, operating in the Obsotelje and Kozjansko region.
The purpose and reasons for establishment of the incubator are:
• uncertainty and lack of knowledge when entering the entrepreneurial world,
• underdeveloped entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial competences and skills,
• undeveloped entrepreneurial culture and,
• above average unemployment rate,
• poor competitiveness in Obsotelje and Kozjansko region, and
• lower economic development of Obsotelje and Kozjansko compared to Savinjska region and Slovenia.
Incubator will contribute to improvements of ensuring adequate supportive environment for development of entrepreneurship and companies. The incubator helps the potential entrepreneurs with interesting business ideas, it helps new companies which need professional support and business premises for lower price; and it also helps already existing companies with its consulting, informational, educational and spatial function. One of incubator’s objectives is also to attract young trained professionals to return to the region and gain new business knowledge, develop business skills and gain experiences which might help them in their business professional career. Vision of the incubator is to establish a “youth business incubator” which would be operating as part of the incubator; its purpose would be encouraging youth for entrepreneurship, since there is a lack of jobs especially for young professionals in the Kozjansko and Obsotelje region which causes the young professionals leaving the region; and for the region this is a great loss. Incubator will also focus on encouragement of female entrepreneurship, since women are underrepresented in this sphere but also represent a disproportionate part of the unemployed labor force.
Gradually and in close cooperation of the business incubator, local community and other existing supportive institutions the conditions for business development will improve and favorable conditions for the development of business ideas, establishment of companies and initial operation of companies will be created. Also the human potential of the region will be strengthened in the area of business consulting which is a necessary condition for the Obsotelje and Kozjansko region to meet its objectives set in the field of economic development, since without domestic human resources the sustainable development is not achievable.
The goals of the incubator therefore are:
• to assist to start-ups and to raise the survival of companies,
• to provide modern technical and infrastructural support to innovative companies and research groups,podpora razvoju obstoječih podjetij,
• to support the development of the existing companies,
• to promote research and development activities in companies and networking with knowledge institutions,
• to strengthen the local and regional economy by increasing the number of small and medium-sized companies with higher added value,
• to improve the corporate competitiveness in the region,
• to promote self-employment,
• to support youth entrepreneurship and to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge among young people,
• to support women entrepreneurship and to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge among women,
• to improve the entrepreneurial skills among the population,
• to promote the development of the entrepreneurial culture,
• to develop a positive business climate,
• to obtain additional funding from various sources, and
• to raise the level of economic development in the Obsotelje and Kozjansko region.
Target groups of the incubator are:
• already existing companies younger than 3 years,
• individuals with business ideas,
• young people eager to learning about entrepreneurship,
• women eager to learning about entrepreneurship and
• others wishing to avail different services provided by the incubator.
Preferential business activities
Among the newly established companies, priority will be given to following business activities:
• environment-friendly production and services,
• intellectual and business services,
• activities related to information and communication technologies (ICT),
• environmental protection,
• development oriented activities with higher added value.