Conference on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Distressed Urban Areas, Rome, Italy, 7-8 October 2003


Joint Conference LEED/ City of Rome/ Risorse per Roma/ European Commission DG Employment and Social Affairs

Venue of the conference: Campidoglio, Sala della Protomoteca

Building competitive and sustainable cities means linking economic performance with social cohesion.  It is therefore important not just to create competitive territories but also to reduce internal disparities inside the same territory.  Today, many parts of cities and metropolitan areas do not share in the creation of wealth and well-being for individuals and communities. In many cases they are not attractive enough for private investors, in spite of efforts made over many years by public policies targeting these areas. The stimulation of entrepreneurship through the formation and development of new commercial businesses and social enterprises can play a key role in employing underused resources in the distressed areas of our cities and metropolitan areas.  This international conference has:

- Reviewed current policies and practices in OECD Member countries for fostering enterprise creation and development in distressed urban areas.
- Presented the strengths and weaknesses of the different policies employed and understand the critical success factors and obstacles to overcome.
- Debated the role of city development agencies in stimulating entrepreneurship in distressed urban areas.

The overall aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the particular issue of encouraging entrepreneurship in distressed urban areas and to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions currently being adopted at city level in OECD Member countries.

This conference was organised in the framework of the LEED Forum on Social Innovation and the LEED Forum on Cities and Regions. For additional information, please contact: or


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