MobiliseSME brings EU funding to Agribusiness

Paolo Sospiro is the director of a Belgian organisation that supports SMEs in the search for projects and tenders at European level, and Mauro Picardo is the representative of a pomegranate cooperative in Italy. These two professionals have been collaborating through the MobiliseSME programme since April 2021.

In March this year, Paolo registered his association EUAbout in the programme managed by the Chamber. He was looking forward to sharing his experience and expertise in European tenders and projects with other SMEs and to expand his network of contacts in the agribusiness sector at European level.

In the framework of the MobiliseSME programme, he decided to join forces with Mauro Picardo, head of Melograno Vita, a pomegranate cooperative in the Marche region that uses innovative technologies to harvest, process and produce pomegranate in the most environmentally friendly way.

At the beginning of their exchange, Melograno Vita was interested in developing a methodology for collecting data from the cooperative’s members and finding out how to enter EU projects.

Thanks to the collaboration with Sospiro, they have successfully submitted two calls for proposals at European level and one at national level, as well as partnering with the Polytechnic University of Marche to work on bio-packaging. As a result, Melograno Vita, the Polytechnic University of Marche and SIPREM decided to become the shareholders of the new spin-off of the cooperative, Melograno biotech, a start-up dedicated to R&D activities for the production and transformation of pomegranate.

In addition, they have met with regional authorities and companies in the value chain to prepare for new regional agricultural calls for proposals.

On the other hand, to meet the EuAbout objective of expanding its professional network in Agribusiness, Melograno Vita has shared its Italian contacts in the sector while supporting Paolo to improve his knowledge on the specific systems of organic circular economic production of pomegranate.

Paolo Sospiro and Mauro Picardo are great examples of a successful collaboration focused on innovation and the development of new products and services.

Click here to find out more about the MobiliseSME programme.

Contact us to register in the programme by sending an email to mobilisesme@e-camara.com

MobiliseSME programme, giving SME’s staff the opportunity to travel and develop cross-border partnerships in current times

Beata Vlnková and Rudi Verhoest are the owners of two companies who started collaborating through the MobiliseSME programme at the end of March 2021.  

Beata has travelled from Slovakia to Belgium to partner up with Rudi during six months in the wine business sector. 

They have joined forces to develop their projects, each bringing their own expertise to the table. Although it isn´t easy during the current situation, their collaboration is bringing out the best in both.  

Beata is the President of the Association of Sommeliers of the Slovak Republic and CEO of Wine Wave Travel, a wine travel agency based in Slovakia that wants to expand its activities to Belgium. 

Her aim is to promote and sell Slovakian and Austrian wines in the Belgian market and expand her network in the country, meanwhile acquiring new competences, such as the Dutch language. 

On the other hand, Rudi has thirty years of expertise in the bank and insurance sector in Belgium. He is a wine enthusiast and a cuisine lover who has decided to make a career change: from finance to wine. 

He wants to increase his knowledge on the wine sector, improve his tasting skills, learn all about wine sales and eventually, consider opening a future wine business. 

Both are currently collaborating on a market research in the region of La Roche, in Ardennes. Together they scout for potential customers and contact the tourist office and gîtes in the region. 

Since April, they have organized several wine tastings adapted to the Covid measures.  They started with only two attendees but were able to welcome fifteen people last week with the cooperation of the local agency Back-to-Nature. 

They have also been presenting their project to the Ambassador of Slovak Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and talked about a future event at the Embassy to put in contact Slovakian wine producers and Belgian customers.  

Through their alliance, both are exchanging their knowledge in their fields of expertise, sharing their practises and contact networks, while developing their abilities, even languages. 

Both are developing a business plan and setting up future collaborations to prepare a scenario after Covid, with the organization of wine tasting events and wine trips between these countries. 

Beata and Rudi have seen in MobiliseSME programme the opportunity to partner up and adapt to the current challenges. They are confident many more activities will come towards summer. 

Click here to discover more about MobiliseSME programme 

Contact us to register in the programme by sending an email to mobilisesme@e-camara.com.  

 

Webinar on “Boost your business in the EU: internationalization and capacity building for SMEs”

On March 10th, the  Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg and the  Fundación Equipo Humano organized in the frame of the launch event of the  MobiliseSME Programme, the webinar calledBoost your business in the EU: internationalization and capacity building for SMEs 

 The online event was welcomed by Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Chamber.  

He expressed the aim of the association to continue supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs through EU initiatives such as the MobiliseSME programme, where the Chamber is the coordinator of the project, and to join forces to face the current challenges and those that are yet to come.   

Denis Genton, Head of Unit of DG EMPL, presented the efforts, policies and legal instruments of the European Commission to maintain free mobility of workers in the Single Market. He explained the European Job Mobility Portal EURES and ended his intervention stressing the importance of the MobiliseSME programme to contribute to upgrade skills of European workers through free labor mobility during the recovery process post COVID-19.  

Crispin Waymouth, Deputy Head of Unit DG GROW, highlighted the three main objectives of the European Commission for SMEs: sustainability and the green economy, digitalization, and resilience. He mentioned Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) as a contact point for SMEs with experienced business consultants specialized in internationalization and presented the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) as one of the European projects to foster international cooperation among European entrepreneurs. The Chamber is also taking part in this programme as intermediate organization for Belgium and Luxembourg.  

During the panel discussion, Beatriz Rios, EU reporter, mediated the discussion and directed the attendees’ questions to the panelists.  

Jose Enrique Val, EU Project Manager and co-cordinator of the MobiliseSME programme at Fundación Equipo Humano, talked about the objectives of this European programme, being the main one to promote SMEs internationalization and to boost their capacity building, staff skills and knowledge. Participating SMEs can enjoy multiple benefits, such as international expansion, creation of new products or services, market research and wide their networks abroad, between others.  

Then, Noelia Sánchez, Project manager and coordinator of the MobiliseSME programme from the Chamber, explained the registration process for companies that want to participate in this pilot project, as well as the practical and financial support provided by the organizations that act as local contact points of the MobiliseSME programme.  

Lastly, attendees could enjoy the testimonials of the two first SMEs that have participated in the MobiliseSME programme. Marta Templado, CEO of Turiart, and Claudio Cristofori, CEO of J&K Viaggi, explained how they found in the MobiliseSME programme the perfect opportunity to further expand their business while their companies in the tourism sector had been affected by the COVID-19 crisis 

During the Q&A session, assistants had the opportunity to ask further questions regarding the MobiliseSME programme, with topics such as the future and scope of the MobiliseSME project to help European SMEs with their main challenges and barriers, tackling the current COVID-19 situation.  

After the webinar, a 1:1 meeting session took place for those participants interested in having tailored meetings with MobiliseSME local contact points to further information about the programme. 

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, we would like to thank Denis Genton, Crispin Waymouth, Marta Templado, Claudio Cristofori, Fundación Equipo Humano, and all the attendees for their participation. 

Presentation of the EYE and MobiliseSME programmes as part of the EU OPEN FOR BUSINESS day

On the 21st of October, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg participated in the event EU Open for Business which took place in Luxembourg.

This annual event, coordinated by the European Commission, aims to highlight European SMEs by promoting the business spirit and helping to create an environment more supportive for small and medium enterprises.

This edition was focused on the economic recovery post-coronavirus and how SMEs in Luxembourg can access to finance, find new business partners, and adapt for the future. This 2-day digital event presented the different EU programmes available for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Luxembourg. Additionally, the visitors had the opportunity to virtually visit the stands of the local supporting organizations and get first-hand information from their experts.

In the context of the event, Soraya Bravo, Project Manager at the Chamber, presented the general objectives, requirements and registration process of the programmes Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and MobiliseSME.

She highlighted that both programmes offer a great added value for entrepreneurs and SMEs, such the exchange of knowledge and experience in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs; or the possibility to boost the internationalization in the MobiliseSME.

Local organizations were very interested in promoting both initiatives and the participation of entrepreneurs and SMEs from Luxembourg, especially in the recently launched MobiliseSME programme.

They also stressed the opportunity that this crisis offers to small and medium-sized companies to reinvent themselves and internationalize, and invited them to take advantage of the European programs and projects at their disposal.

The Chamber thanks DG Grow, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for the invitation and looks forward to collaborating with these institutions to promote both projects.

 

If you would like to receive more information about the program Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs or MobiliseSME, please send an email to:

Contact people: Soraya Bravo | Noelia Sánchez Bravo

Email: erasmus4youngentrepreneurs@e-camara.com | mobilisesme@e-camara.com

 

Launch of the MobiliseSME pilot project, a mobility exchange programme between staff working in SMEs

The past October 5th, the kick of meeting of the MobiliseSME pilot project was held, a mobility exchange programme between staff working in SMEs, of which the Chamber is coordinator together with Fundación Equipo Humano.

The first meeting of the consortium took place electronically due to travel restrictions because of the Covid pandemic.

During this meeting, both coordinators of the programme, shared with the rest of the members of the consortium the main guidelines for managing the programme locally and promoting the participation of SMEs.

Furthermore, Fundación Equipo Humano presented its first experience of temporary cross-border secondment between a Spanish SME and an Italian SME. This secondment will be partially subsidized by the European Union. The host Italian company will enhance its business opportunities by establishing new contacts in the Spanish market, while the Spanish SME will develop the skills and abilities of its manager.

Companies interested in participating in this programme can contact one of the local organizations that manage this EU programme.

 

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

  • Sending companies

Employers with more than three years of professional experience who have worked for at least one year for a registered SME, who wish to internationalize, improve their knowledge of a specific market or get access to it through temporary cross-border secondments in another EU country.

  • Hosting companies

Owners or co-owners with more than three years of professional activity, who are active and present in the day-to-day business of the company, whether in an executive or non-executive position, and who seek the opportunity of expansion or consolidation in other European market.

For more information, visit here or contact the Chamber at mobilisesme@e-camara.com