Black Sea Success Story: 4BIZ - Boosting the Blue Economy in the Black Sea Region

Black Sea Success Story: 4BIZ - Boosting the Blue Economy in the Black Sea Region

Author: Black Sea Assistance Mechanism

Photo credit: ©Calin Stan via

Black Sea SMEs and start-ups face a lack of funding resources for investment and often have to deal with inflation, instability, and other vulnerabilities. In this context, investors are hesitant to develop projects in the region, which might prevent them from achieving the goals of the Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) for the Black Sea. Therefore, coordinated business support activities are needed.

The goal of the 4BIZ project supported by the EMFAF is to boost innovation, digitalization, and investment in the Black Sea blue economy by addressing local capacity building needs. The main beneficiaries of the project are Blue Economy Businesses active in the sectors of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Coastal and Maritime Tourism and Maritime Transport from target regions in Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Georgia.

The project specifically interlinks with Goal II of the CMA: A competitive, innovative and sustainable blue economy for the Black Sea, although indirectly it supports all the other goals and related priorities.


Main achievements/ expected outcomes:

150 SMEs and start-ups are expected to participate in the 4BIZ ecosystem, 15 of which will receive direct assistance in business development and support services. By generating a snowball effect, more companies, and stakeholders from the region and from across the EU will be attracted. It is estimated that around 300 business entities will be registered as ecosystem members by the end of the project's implementation in 2024.

After 9 months of implementation, the project has reached an important milestone, which is the mapping of the status of the blue economy business sector in Romania, Bulgaria, Türkiye, Georgia and Ukraine, compiled in Country Reports. The Country Reports are based on an overview analysis of the blue economy in the Fisheries and Aquaculture, Coastal and Maritime Tourism, and Maritime Transport sectors. Each report focuses on a specific region and business sector, presenting the state of the art and the needs to effectively ensure next steps further develop it. These reports are being distributed to different authorities at national level of the participating countries.

Based on the Country Reports, a Regional Report has been developed putting emphasis on common aspects, similarities, and complementarities between business actors in the target regions. Moreover, support services are identified and will be offered to SMEs and start-ups in order to empower them in boosting the blue economy in the region.

Statement from the Project Coordinator:

4BIZ project consortium plans to develop a unique set of activities to support SMEs and startups specialised on Fisheries and Aquaculture, Coastal and Maritime Tourism and Maritime Transport covering some of the signatory countries of the CMA”.  - Prof Dr. Eden Mamut, BSUN Secretary General and 4BIZ Project Coordinator.  


Further information about the Project:

  • EU contribution: € 510,484.15 (80% funding rate)
  • Fund: European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF)
  • Duration: 24 months (01.06.2022 – 31.05.2024)


Channels to know more about the project