• How to balance the need of stimulating economic development against the need to preserve outstanding natural areas?
  • How different European regions are dealing with entrepreneurship in natural areas?
  • What lessons can be learnt? What mistakes should be avoided?

These were the main questions which the B2N project was addressing. B2N stands for “Business to Nature”, a new initiative co-financed under the INTERREG IVC programme. It was created as a contrasting term to B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2G (business-to-government) in order to emphasize key relations between businesses and the natural environment.

While links within the cooperation B2B and B2G are often discussed by business practitioners, the relations between business and nature are a new subject. It is still not usual to think not only in terms of barriers but also in terms of the potential that can be offered by enterprise development in natural areas.

Partners of the B2N project believe that economic development can become the victim of its own success if it does not develop in a sustainable way. This is particularly visible in vulnerable natural areas, where some regions already face problems connected with an unbalanced development. However, the central emphasis of our strategy lies in understanding that economic development can also contribute to the creation and strengthening of protected areas. This can be achieved by building on local skills, the attractiveness of the natural environment and best practices in entrepreneurial initiatives in natural areas that have already proved to be successful.

What did we want to achieve?

  • support the EU entrepreneurship and environmental policy on local and regional level;
  • prove that business and nature can co-exist in a harmonious way, sharing its values for the succesful sustainable EU development;
  • give tools to local authorities for stimulating economic development in most vulnerable natural areas.


The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.