Telecenters and Small Business Service Centers

Telecenter Programs/Projects


  • The Acacia Initiative is an international effort led by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to empower sub-Saharan African communities with the ability to apply information and communication technologies to their own social and economic development.
  • Business Support Centres and Programs in Russia -- Contains links to a number of programs that support business support centers or business information centers in Russia, including:
    • The Business Collaboration Center --Established in 1995, the BCC supports the development and stabilization of small and medium sized private business in Russia. With funding from the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID), BCC achieves this objective by strengthening and serving the business development community which in turn supports Russia’s emerging private business sector.
  • The Business Communication Centres List -- contains links to BCCs in the CIS supported by TACIS, including:
    • The Business Communication Centre Tashkent was established in 1994 by Consortium with the involvement of several European organisations. Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is a leading contractor responsible for provision of necessary technical support. Consultants, Engineers and Designers of LDK, Greek Institute, and Cologne Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Germany, are the main partners of the Consortium. The BCC is established in the framework of Tacis programme with the aim of assisting the development of small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in Uzbekistan.
    • The St. Petersburg Foundation for SME Development
  • The Information Society Initiative Programme for Business is a partnership between industry and Government to help UK business thrive in the emerging information-based economy. DTI's Information Society Initiative (ISI) aims to encourage businesses to take full advantage of the explosion of new ways to access, use and send information. It brings together a whole range of programmes in support of UK companies, particularly those who may be inexperienced in the use of new technologies. In fact, many of our activities focus specifically on the needs of smaller firms who feel they lack the right information to make informed decisions about adopting information and communication technologies in their business.
    • Local Support Centres -- The core part of the ISI is a national network of Local Support Centres. These will allow firms - particularly small ones - to try out, first hand, new information and communication technologies such as the Internet, e-mail, videoconferencing and the World Wide Web, and to get expert guidance tailored to their individual business needs.
  • I.S.L.A. -- The Information Society in Local Areas--I.S.L.A. is a transnational project carried out in Austria, Finland and Spain to monitor the use of Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T.) by Local Authorities/Municipalities ranging from 5,000 to 120,000 inhabitants. I.S.L.A. is aimed at fostering the construction of the European Information Society at a local level by identifying the best practices, and by creating a network to follow up the initiatives of Local Authorities, publicizing them among the Municipalities within the EU.
  • The Local Business Service Centre Programme in South Africa -- An LBSC is an accredited organisation delivering non- financial business support to small and micro enterprises. The target market of the LBSC are viable and potentially viable micro and small enterprises. It is a community based organisation. An LBSC is accountable to a board of directors. The latter should ideally comprise of relevant role players and stakeholders from the local business community.
  • The Powys Telecentre Development Project -- Powys is an upland region covering roughly a quarter of Wales. Although one of the largest counties in the UK, it also has one of the lowest populations. Powys currently has fifteen Telecentres all set-up in a variety of ways and with differing origins. This currently amounts to 10% of all those in the UK. Powys Telecentres are made up of 5 Community Businesses Limited by Guarantee, 4 Community Enterprise Resource Centres, 2 Social Services Project, 1 Private, 1 Community Support Project and 2 Powys Training Projects. Each model has slightly different goals but the overall shared objective is to provide low cost, high quality, flexible access to modern computer and communications technologies to all members of the community. This shared common objective has given rise to a network of Telecentres who work together to ensure every effort is made to support the rapidly growing demands of our rural communities upon modern technology. It is this co-operation that will provide the necessary skills, range of equipment, supported development and efficiency to support the rural communities The following documents contain additional information about this project:
  • RITE (Regional Infrastructure for Telematics in Europe) is a research and development project partially funded by the European Commission under its Telematics Applications Programme. The project is carrying out a series of pilot experiments in the area of small business networking, taking a regional approach.
  • Project SCOPE -- Project SCOPE establishes telecenters which ensure universal access for all to education, training, community redevelopment, public health, and economic development programs via appropriate technology.
    • COMMUNITY-BASED TELECENTERS --The essence of Project SCOPE's innovative, comprehensive community redevelopment concept is the community-based telecenter--the location of the telecommunications equipment and therefore the source of access to information and resources for all in the community.
    • Project SCOPE Telecenter Development --more information regarding Project SCOPE's approach to the creation of telecenters in rural/low-income communities worldwide
  • TeleMart -- The TeleMart Project, partly funded by the European Union, brings together a number of for-profit and non-profit organizations with the intention of developing a trans-European on-line work agency for teleworkers.
  • WREN Telecottage--Warwickshire Rural Enterprise Network (WREN), a project of the National Rural Enterprise Centre (NREC), is Warwickshire's first telecottage, established in 1991 with private sector and TEC grants, to provide support to local businesses and communities. The telecottage aims to provide under one roof a range of local services based around computers and telecommunications, with staff to help you use the equipment. Integrated services - training, a computerised workplace and childcare; business services, business incubation and IT support; a marketing and sub-contracting function; social events and networking opportunities - all create synergies to stimulate small rural enterprise and new ways of working.

Funding Sources:

  • Sources of funding in International Affairs --links to organizations that provide funding, broadly speaking, in the area of international affairs. The list includes: contact information, a mission statement, funding limitations, geographical focus, and specific awards for international affairs funding.

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