Small and Medium Enterprises constitute the backbone of European economy. Therefore it becomes evident that improving the adoption and efficient usage of ICT solutions by SMEs should be a primary goal for all involved stakeholders. Such a strategy becomes even more challenging in regard to SMEs that operate in rural areas, due to specific constraints they have to confront with. Rural Inclusion, a project supported by the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme of the European Commission, aims to adopt, adapt, and deploy a Web infrastructure, in rural settings, combining semantics with a collaborative training and networking approach, offering e-government services that will be supported by a rigorous and reusable service process analysis and modeling, and facilitating the disambiguation of the small businesses needs and requirements when trying to carry out the particular transactions. The approach is complemented by a number of other applications that support the creation of communities of learning, practice and experience exchange, in rural settings, thus enhancing the uptake of e-government-based innovation process throughout rural areas.
Contributed by Axel Maroudas, Nikolaos Marianos, Pantelis Karamolegkos, Alexios Dimitropoulos
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