Enterprise Europe Network: local companies are looking for international opportunities
The Enterprise Europe Network is an information and advice centre that was created in 2008 by the European Commission. With this framework, 3,000 experts from 60 different countries support SMEs who wish to develop international business and project partnerships.
The network relies on local branches, most of which are located in the regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry. For the French border region Grand Est, for example, there are two contact points, the regional ‘Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie’ (CCI) and Grand E-Nov+, which in turn is a branch of the CCI. The geographical location of this region, on the border with three countries, creates an special, international openness. For Ursula Martin, lawyer and consultant, “the natural market for these companies is cross-border”. “For an Alsatian company, for example, Germany is closer and easier to reach than some regions in the south of France,” she continues.
The challenge of EEN support is to take these companies even further, both geographically and in terms of their ability to innovate. The accompaniment begins with an assessment, which is then used as the basis for the accompaniment. Together with the companies, the consultants work on a strategy by offering training courses, particularly in the area of legislation, but also providing assistance in applying for financing or in preparing (international) applications. When they are ready, the companies are put in touch with potential business partners.
More information: https://een.ec.europa.eu/