MobiliseSME wants to hear from you!

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You are registered in the MobiliseSME programme but have not yet participated? Or you have heard about it but you have not yet registered?

We have prepared a survey for you, which will help us to improve the MobiliseSME pilot programme so that we can better adapt to your needs.

The survey consists of 5 short questions, which will take you no more than 2 minutes to answer.

ACCESS THE SURVEY HERE!

We have had many success stories and best practices from all our participants, but we also want to hear from those who have not participated yet.

If you have any suggestions for the improvement of MobiliseSME, we would very much like to hear from you.

We want to make this programme an opportunity worth taking up for all SMEs in the European Union. 

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There are many benefits you can get from being part of our programme, and no disadvantages. Plenty of testimonies from various European SMEs, freelancers, self-employed and liberal professions endorse what we say!

Your opinion means a lot to us and to the future of this European cross-border labour mobility programme.

Because MobiliseSME does not end here and we do not want anyone to be left behind!

LET’S KEEP MOBILISING!

«MobiliseSME is an excellent opportunity to create new strategic alliances for sustainable change»

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Isabella Mavellia is the CEO of GreenerEU, an SME based in Germany that has recently collaborated with Sergio Pascolo and his organisation, Venice Urban Lab, which has hosted GreenerEU for 6 months in Italy thanks to the support of MobiliseSME.

– Hello, Isabella, tell us a bit about your company and your professional path. Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?

Our mission is to create a greener European Union. The defining task of our time is to address inequality and environmentally related challenges.

GreenerEU multinational team of experts is passionate about contributing to this dynamic, by providing education and guidance in the transition to a green and circular economy, with ecological, economic, and socio-culturally sustainable outcomes.

Hence all of our projects aim at using technology to create a bridge to the understanding of cultural heritage.

We decided to participate in MobiliseSME as Sending Company because it provides an excellent opportunity to work beyond national borders and create new strategic alliances for sustainable change.

I also wanted to be involved with Sergio, who recently published the book Venezia Secolo 21 and has a vision to create greener and more sustainable cities.

– How about you, Sergio

Venice Urban Lab (VUL) is a non-profit association operating as an independent civic organization that deals with the sustainable transformation processes of the city with a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.

Alongside renowned European universities, institutions and organizations, VUL is an official partner of the New European Bauhaus and strives to tackle global challenges with local solutions.

We decided to participate in MobiliseSME as Host Company with the goal of international cooperation and deepening the opportunities of EU programmes.

– From a business point of view, how did the collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company, Isabella? Would you repeat the MobiliseSME experience?

The collaboration with VUL was very beneficial and fruitful: it was a great chance to work alongside the professionals within the organisation.

The aim of our collab was to accompany professionals to realise their projects (both urban, architectonic, as well as project development).

Furthermore, our company was able to present our projects at the National Conference of Architects alongside with national ministers, professors, governmental representatives and professionals.

I would definitely recommend participating in MobiliseSME if the participant is willing and eager to explore, conquer new territories and markets, and is not scared to let the circumstances shape their growth and trust the process.

– Sergio, please, briefly describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with Isabella. How did it go?

The mission of GreenerEU is an overarching goal that we share along with initiatives to encourage good practices in the direction of the green economy and overcoming inequality.

We knew each other before, during a previous MobiliseSME experience of Isabella in Venice. At that time, we checked possible synergies as we aim to promote the development of different economies to counteract the tourist monoculture that is leading to the depopulation of the city.

Supporting the artisan economy is one of the directions of the development that we are looking to increase.

– Isabella, how has this collaboration helped your professional development?

On the one hand, I was able to learn how to professionally communicate with institutions, governmental representatives and professionals in Italy.

Furthermore, I learned the legal and administrative processes in which architectonic projects are developed and how they are planned, thought and then carried out.

I really appreciated and had a lot of input from this experience!

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– And with which knowledge, techniques or information have you contributed to the Host Company?

Being informed about the current EU funding schemes such as the Recovery Fund, the Next Generation and the Pact for Skills of the New European Bauhaus, I have contributed to the Host Company by informing and building awareness on current opportunities, such as funding and partnership activities.

– What about you, Sergio? How do you think this collaboration with Isabella contributed to your company and personal development? Would you recommend participating in MobiliseSME?

GreenerEU, through Isabella’s knowledge, proposed to do research in European programmes to support our initiatives in the field of education (longlife learning) and, in particular, the dissemination of Baukultur in citizenship.

I would definitely recommend the MobiliseSME programme. We would certainly repeat the experience since this collaboration enabled us to gain more knowledge of EU programmes and the potential for opening up virtuous international cooperation.

– Do you plan to continue the collaboration after the experience with the MobiliseSME programme?

Isabella: Yes, we would love to continue the collaboration from our side by creating EU projects together for sustainable living and youth involvement in shaping the future of Europe, by moving from theory to practice and knowledge transfer.

We are looking out for European grants, projects and opportunities; thus, we hope to create long lasting partnerships for the transition towards green, circular and sustainable economies.

The links and ties among actors and organisations is crucial for the success of this mission.

Sergio: The search for EU programmes to support our activities has been set. We want to continue collaborating to identify concrete programmes and results for our activities, as well as for the development of services.

Our focus on the theme of Baukultur, and the principles of the New European Bauhaus, require a holistic approach, since it concerns the quality of life and living.

This is a reason of universal interest, but it is still little known by citizens and city administrations. Thus, knowledge transfer is one of our goals to be pursued through further collaboration.

– Isabella, last but not least, did you improve your knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU after your participation in MobilisSME? Which role had the Local Contact Points in sharing this information?

Yes, most definitely we, as GreenerEU, learned many things about the mobility of workers starting simply by mobility and transport of train system and the discount schemes they have for frequent travellers for employees.

However, when I tried to receive an Italian health insurance card they informed me that, since I am a resident abroad and I do not have an Italian working contract, they couldn’t treat me as a resident, so I did not have the same rights to see doctors and, in case of need, I should directly go to the hospital. These problems should be tackled urgently at EU level to facilitate mobility and exchanges of workers within the EU.

On the other hand, this experience was a great chance to work internationally, which would have been very difficult without the practical information and the financial support provided by MobiliseSME through its Local Contact Points, which in our case were WKO and Forum AIC.

«MobiliseSME might be an enlightening passing experience for some or a life-changing one for others»

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Myriam Dehmous is a freelance translator from France who has participated in MobiliseSME in order to collaborate with Marcello de Bartolomeo, Board Advisor in the company DBA Consulting srl, based in Italy.

Thanks to MobiliseSME, Myriam has spent 6 months in Rome working together with Marcello. We interviewed them to find out what benefits and results they have gained from their participation in our programme:

– Please, Myriam, tell us a bit about your company and your professional path. Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?

I come from a linguistic background and have a master’s degree in Translation and Intercultural Communication.

I have been working as a freelance translator since 2019. I provide translation and revision services from English and German into French.

In addition, I specialised in institutional and redactional translation, whereby I mainly translate amendments to proposals for a directive, regulation or draft reports from the European Parliament.

For the past three years, I also translated many legal content, many product brochures and more creative content, such as exhibition leaflets and marketing materials.

I travelled a lot during my post-secondary education, whereby I had the opportunity to live in several countries for more than six months, namely in Germany, in the Netherlands and in Malta.

Self-employment has been allowing me to maintain this practice as I am not bound by any subordination link nor schedule.

However, this also means that, unlike my previous experiences abroad, I do not really have access to any institutions or companies when I travel nowadays, thus preventing me to capture the broader picture, educational and corporate institutions being cultural mirrors of everyday society. It is almost as if I could not merge with the country I am travelling in.

This is one of the main reasons why I decided to participate in MobiliseSME as Sending Company, not to mention the desire to start learning a new language and discover a new business sector for the purpose of vocational retraining.

I found about MobiliseSME programme through DBA Consulting’s team who saw an opportunity to deepen our collaboration.

– How about you, Marcello

DBA Consulting was established in 2002 and currently is amongst the leading national providers of consulting services in the field of cross-border VAT payment & refund, excise duties recovery and management of posted workers in Europe.

In the first decade, our activity focused mainly on consulting road passenger transport companies, taking advantage of the experience gained by the collaboration with trade associations of national importance.

The continuous exchange of synergies with other professionals has allowed to steer the consulting activity also on other economic sectors, from industry to trade, services and the third sector.

We found out about this opportunity thanks to a webinar arranged by MobiliseSME on March 2021.

Our desire to take part in the programme as Host Company was driven by our intention to exchange experiences with young and dynamic new resources for our Italian office, and possibly set up a company branch in northern Europe when time is ripe, and the right entrepreneurial counterpart is found.

– From a business point of view, how did the collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company, Myriam? Would you repeat the MobiliseSME experience?

As a freelance translator willing to gradually retrain, I gained a valuable business experience from my collaboration with DBA Consulting.

By helping the host company with linguistic matters, I surely acquired a sector-specific and broader terminology and phraseology that gives me the legitimacy to potentially specialise in the translation of tax-related content.

Furthermore, I gained practical knowledge that would facilitate my return to higher education or training in the field of VAT compliance, whereby I learned the difference between passive and active invoices, how to calculate VAT refunds, how to comply with the VAT recovery procedure in different EU countries and how to post workers in different EU countries.

Having the legal status of “self-employed”, I am entitled, under French regulation, to a VAT exemption as long as my yearly revenues do not exceed the relevant threshold above which I have to charge and pay VAT.

It seems that I am approaching this threshold and my stay at DBA has been a wonderful opportunity to understand the whys and wherefores of VAT and to apply the knowledge gained very soon.

I can only recommend participating in MobiliseSME as it provides a significative opportunity to discover a new country, a new language, and a new culture from the “inside”, allowing to link with people that one would have never come upon otherwise and to discover a new business sector on the practical level first, thus reversing the paradigm “first theory,  then practice” which seems outdated.

This programme might be an enlightening passing experience for some, or a life-changing one for others, as our main common outcome with DBA is the opening of a France-based branch in the medium term.

– Marcello, please, briefly describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with Myriam. How did the process go?

The matchmaking process was smooth and fast as we had already been collaborating with Myriam prior to our participation in MobiliseSME for around twelve months, but we did encounter some kick-off issues only with respect to our exchange preparation.

These mainly involved complications around the exchange starting date which were, however, readily solved by Forum AIC, our Local Contact Point.

We have originally contacted Myriam for sporadic collaborations as she presented herself as an experienced professional in the field of linguistic translation and interpretation.

Due to Covid-19, some company staff was dismissed leaving a technical gap for what concerns German foreign administrative practices.

We were immediately able to apply her linguistic services to our core business and uphold our collaboration, making us of her fiscal representation services for the primary purposes of having our clientele comply with social legislation in France (posting of workers certificates).

– Myriam, with which knowledge, techniques or information have you contributed to the Host Company? Which functions and responsibilities did you have during this collaborative period?

During this collaborating period, I can say with certainty that I did contribute to the host company by deploying my linguistic and documentary research skills.

DBA Consulting was facing some challenges with the German tax authorities and we managed together, and thank to my knowledge of German, to re-establish contact with the German tax office, allowing us to settle many issues resulting from misdeclaration or delays in the declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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We also managed to cut significative costs associated with the posting of workers.

During my stay, besides working on my deliverables that will serve DBA in the near future, I mainly assisted the team in declaring VAT in France, Germany, and Austria, which encompasses calculating the refundable VAT using a specific software, gathering all client’s invoices through DBA’s portal, inputting tax-related data into the relevant national declaration platforms and monitoring the adoption of new legislative requirements by countries.

– What about you, Marcello? How do you think this collaboration with Myriam contributed to your company and personal development? Would you recommend participating in MobiliseSME?

We can say with absolute confidence that our collaboration with Myriam, in particular in the framework of MobiliseSME, was indeed successful.

During her stay in our Italian office, she has mainly supported in establishing, maintaining, and facilitating communication flows between foreign tax authorities on behalf of our clients. She has contributed massively with improving our outdated VAT declarations filing mechanism through our company portal, as well as with modernizing tax refunds requests submitted to several administrations in the Benelux countries.

The benefits we obtained from our collaboration range from being able to offer better services to our clients to having earned potentially new ones, thanks to her geographical and cultural ties and links with foreign companies with whom we will establish future relationships.

For these reasons, we would most certainly repeat the MobiliseSME experience with her or other like minded professionals.

– Do you plan to continue the collaboration after the experience with the MobiliseSME programme?

Myriam: I do plan to further collaborate with Marcello and his company. As the deliverables show, there is a significant growth potential to harvest in France.

In fact, it is worth pointing out that France shares borders with Belgium and Luxembourg in the northeast, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy in the east, the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco, Spain, and Andorra in the south. Passenger road transport is therefore fairly well-developed, not to mention the high prices of rail transport that could lead, if not already, to a modal shift to road transport.

In the medium term, DBA’s team and I aim at establishing a branch in Paris, which would be wholly owned and controlled by the mother company in Italy – DBA – although it must be a distinct and separate legal entity fully able to operate and undertake legal obligations under French law.

The branch will take the form of a “succursale” that operates via a manager – me – subordinated to the mother company acting under his control and dependence.

Our strategy towards building up a customer base still has to be discussed. There is also a market in the sector of translation, whereby we could also offer translation services to foreign companies willing to establish themselves in France and needing several corporate documents to be translated. In that case, we would have obviously to look into ways of certifying our translations.

Marcello: As a matter of fact, we do plan to collaborate with Myriam after this collaboration and are already undertaking concrete steps in that direction, as Myriam previously mentioned.

The resulted branch could be particularly valuable in supporting the mother company in performing core activities, including development and consolidation of commercial relationship and recruit young and dynamic resources for the Italian office.

The participation in MobiliseSME only accelerated our intention to set up the company branch in Paris.

As project partners, we have equally concluded that the creation of the branch is a mutual favourable outcome. On our side, Myriam had appeared to be the right profile considering her previous work and professional experience, and we are wholeheartedly happy about the choices we made.

She has completely understood and internalized our corporate values and methodology, and has integrated with our staff and clients showing abilities to undertake responsibilities and meet all deadlines.

– Myriam, last but not least, did you improve your knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU after your participation in MobilisSME? Which role had the Local Contact Points in sharing this information?

I surely improved my knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU as I did not know – before participating in MobiliseSME – that an Erasmus-like programme for small and middle enterprises existed.

CCI Nouvelle Aquitaine, the French Local Contact Point, fulfilled its basic role, although there had been a lack of communication at the beginning, whereby I was awaiting a written confirmation of my participation, which I did not receive, leading to my delayed departure. As the host company and I were very flexible, this was not detrimental to our collaboration.

MobiliseSME’s website, including testimonies of former participants, was also a great source of content that helped me understand the whys and wherefores of this programme.

«MobiliseSME shows you that we do not need to confine ourselves to our area and stay inside the box»

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This time we bring you the interview with two of our SMEs participating in MobiliseSME, belonging to the sustainable tourism and audiovisual industries.

Andrej Curk, owner of the Slovenian SME Videoprodukcija, Andrej Curk s.p., has participated in MobiliseSME as Sending Company.

For 6 months, Andrej has been collaborating with Barbara Visintin, Sales Manager of the Croatian company Apartmani Barbara Split, which has participated in the programme as Host Company.

Read on to find out how their time at MobiliseSME went and what benefits can be gained from joining forces between these two fast-growing industries!

– Please, Andrej, tell us a bit about your company and your professional path. Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?

My company actually provides three services to three different consumer groups: independent video production, agency collaborations and wine wellness equipment supplying.

I was already part of another international project led by the Slovene intermediary organization (BSC Kranj) when I was acquainted with the MobiliseSME programme.

Thus, I had a good experience and trusted the project manager’s judgement – it was an easy decision to participate in MobiliseSME!

I chose to participate in the programme because I have always been drawn to international collaborations and working experiences, and I saw it as a great opportunity to do and see interesting things abroad.

– How about you, Barbara? 

Since 2012, I am an entrepreneur in tourism with a special focus in green hospitality and sustainable tourism.

I am also participating in marketing of Turrium Heritage Apartments in Kaštela, where we are implementing sustainable materials and zero waste concept into architecture and everyday business.

I have 10 years of experience in working with tourists from all over the world, which is helpful in marketing and communication. I also have several years of experience with journalism, as I was performing my job in Bologna, Italy.

In addition, I am an expert in decoration for photography and videography.

I decided to participate in MobiliseSME to gain new knowledge and fresh ideas from a professional videographer, to join forces in filming and decoration, to increase the visibility of Turrium Heritage Apartments and to prolong the season from summer months to all-year round.

My business partner, who works for the largest platform of sustainable accommodations, had mentioned the MobiliseSME programme to me and put me in touch with Andrej. This is how our collaboration has started.

– From a business point of view, how did the collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company, Andrej? Would you repeat the MobiliseSME experience?

My business has acquired new contacts that could potentially turn into new clients regarding video production.

I, as an employee and the company’s representative, have gotten priceless experience of conducting international business and another aspect of customer service.

I would absolutely recommend this experience to everyone as it broadens your horizons and encourages you to think outside the box.

I think we like to think that cross-border or international collaborations are difficult, complicated or sometimes even impossible, but initiatives like this change that mindset into normalizing going international.

As far as repeating the experience goes, I would also love to further participate. At the moment, I am in the process of registering for a MobiliseSME exchange as a Host Company.

On the other hand, the main results and benefits obtained include a promo video to be used in the next tourist season; lots of materials for social media posts and ads; development of soft skills (mostly customer-related); improvement of networking skills and two new actual clients.

– Barbara, please, briefly describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with Andrej. How did the process go?

During the matchmaking process we were communicating via Zoom and WhatsApp.

Andrej prepared the activity plan based on our discussions, needs, desires and future plans.

Basically, he was searching for a Host Company in charge of sustainable accommodation, in order to learn videography tactics for eco hospitality.

My goal was to practice interior decoration, as well as to participate in video scripting and video editing to refresh my knowledge obtained during my work in Bologna.

– Andrej, how has this collaboration helped your professional development?

As I have been the one to bring knowledge regarding promotion and multimedia, I have found to evolved most in the tourism aspect of the experience. In short, I have evolved and improved as a tourist service provider.

The experience also gave me another insight into their services, which I will be able to implement into my own service of supplying wine wellness equipment.

That also includes a higher level of communication with higher-end eco-tourism clients and the option of expanding our services into marketing said eco-tourism.

I have been granted lots of networking and, consequently, potential business opportunities.

– And with which knowledge, techniques or information have you contributed to the Host Company? Which functions and responsibilities did you have during this collaborative period?

We have provided audio-video support to their marketing campaign efforts, combined with software development implemented in the new webpage design.

Therefore, we were crucial in making their marketing materials and, by that, in acquiring new clients for the next season.

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We have led an entire set and recording session, which resulted in providing existing and potential customers with proof of high-quality accommodation and added value the Host Company possesses.

We have developed their knowledge and skills in digital and social media marketing, communication, niche marketing, storytelling, while applying the green tourism angle to all of it.

– What about you, Barbara? How do you think this collaboration with the Sending Company contributed to your company and personal development? Would you recommend participating in MobiliseSME?

My collaboration with Andrej resulted in an authentic script for video that enhanced Turrium Heritage Apartment market differentiation and positioning in the green hospitality industry.

We also created an innovative video based on creative storytelling and improved digital marketing by targetly promoting the video towards the segment of responsible travelers.

Andrej gave me new ideas based on green tourism scheme in Slovenia and recommended some of the accommodations in Slovenia for our benchmarking.

I would definitely recommend participating in MobiliseSME and repeat this business experience!

– Do you plan to continue the collaboration after the experience with the MobiliseSME programme?

Andrej: Yes, we are planning to further expand the offer and to prepare for another season. However, we do not have a definite plan yet as it is still in the talking stage.

Barbara: Yes, I am planning to collaborate with the Sending Company also after this collaboration by continuing filming videos  and decorating interiors/exteriors for different tourism providers in Split Dalmatia county and Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

It was a great collaboration, full of positivity and new ideas. We really enjoyed the entire process, so thank you for this lovely opportunity!

– Andrej, last but not least, did you improve your knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU after your participation in MobilisSME? Which role had the Local Contact Points in sharing this information?

Yes, my knowledge of possibilities regarding the mobility of workers within the EU has absolutely expanded.

It all seems much easier now; such experiences let you know that we do not need to confine ourselves to our area and stay “inside the box”.

Finding new opportunities suddenly does not sound scary anymore, especially in tourism, as it is very international because of the nature of the business itself.

Our Local Contact Points, BSC Kranj and TERA Tehnopolis, had a crucial role in the whole process, since they were so kind to share all the necessary and additional information needed to open our eyes to all the options, helping with the bureaucracy and easing the transition.

MobiliseSME Success Story · Yepso! and Mondeguitta Produções

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Sending Company

Yepso Solutions SL is a training company that aims to help people pass the EU competitions and get a job in the institutions. It uses technology and educational tools of its training programme to help the candidates boost their performance.

Carlos Gil, CEO of Yepso!, knew about MobiliseSME through a collaborating entity. From a couple of years, the company wanted to explore distance learning, but it could not advance in this field due to various circumstances.

However, the pandemic was the perfect scenario to fully use the potential of distance and online learning – Carlos and his team thought MobiliseSME could be a great opportunity to find a business collaboration to implement it.

Yepso! knew very well Mondeguitta Produçoes (the Host Company) and their projects due to the great work with online videos that they do.

HOST COMPANY

Sociedade Unipessoal LDA, commonly known as Mondeguitta Produções, is a company that provides audio-visual communication services to companies at a global level.

They focus on help companies building strong relations with potential clients through videos, humanising the essential tools to achieve effective communication.

Mariana Figueira da Silva, CEO of the company, found out about MobiliseSME through Yepso! (the Sending Company).

They thought MobiliseSME could be a great experience to obtain a holistic vision of the EU market; to favour their introduction in other countries, such as Spain and Belgium; as well as to enter to a market niche they were interested in: audio-visual communication linked to e-learning training.

Activities developed

Both Carlos and Mariana, with all the team of Mondeguitta Produções, collaborated developing a successful online course that will help Yepso! implementing a distance learning platform.

First, Yepso! adapted the script following the recommendations of Modeguitta Produções team and, after they did some translations –all contents were recorded in English–, they finally proceeded with the video recordings. 

In addition, Yepso! contributed to the training course with the technical knowledge and the training materials.

In this process, they implemented some new innovative techniques and got familiar with very specific audio-visual components related to the area of training. 

MAIN RESULTS

Skills gained for Yepso!: Management tools obtained, recording skills, teamwork skills and language skills (B1 in Portuguese).

Skills gained for Mondeguitta: Video-recording innovative techniques and audio-visual components specific in the area of training. 

Number of new countries covered: Spain, Portugal, and EU countries.

New services created/improved (Yepso!): Training online course – distance learning course in English.

New services created/improved (Mondeguitta): Audio-visual pilot of a training programme.

Type of collaboration

– Research and collaboration to find possible clients in foreign markets;

– Development of new products and services;

– Training and knowledge transfer.

 

MobiliseSME reaches 435 business exchanges!

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From August 2020 until now, 435 collaborations between European companies have taken place in the framework of the MobiliseSME programme.

This means that we have achieved 85% of our objectives!

Do you want to be part of the remaining 15%?

If so, do not wait any longer! You can benefit from the programme until 31 March 2023.

From MobiliseSME we can finance your secondment so that you can carry out that business collaboration, business idea, product and service development, internationalisation process, skills development, research activity… that you have been thinking about for a long time and for which you have not yet dared to take the step.

If we have not yet convinced you, we encourage you to look at our News section where you can discover the numerous positive experiences of our participants.


You can also visit our official website where you can find helpful documents, such as the MobiliseSME Guide, the General Leaflet, Host Company Leaflet and Sending Company Leaflet; as well as links to the matchmaking platform and information on financial support, among others.

In addition, you can contact us via email at support@mobilise-sme.eu and through our social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook), although email contact will always be prioritised.

Do not forget to look for your nearest Local Contact Point for a closer and more personalised communication.

Let’s keep mobilising!

MobiliseSME Success Story · Turiart and J&K Viaggi ed Eventi

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Sending Company

Turiart SL is a travel agency and a small private company based in Valencia (Spain), which has offered cultural, family and agricultural tourism services in the Valencian Community for more than 20 years.

Turiart heard about MobiliseSME thanks to Fundación Equipo Humano, the Local Contact Point in Spain and the co-coordinator of the programme.

Due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 that led to a serious crisis for Turiart, its CEO, Marta Templado, thought of looking for an opportunity to invest in the future of her company by looking for clients abroad.

In that regard, she found the MobiliseSME programme a very interesting and appropriate tool for these complicated times in which the tourism sector and her company were immersed.

HOST COMPANY

Jabalito & Karma Viaggi ed Eventi, represented by Claudio Cristofori, is an Italian travel agency specialized in tailor-made tours to the main cities of Spain that are well connected by low-cost direct flights from Bologna. This company also creates cultural itineraries in Italy and Europe.

Claudio decided to participate in MobiliseSME because he saw it as a great opportunity for the agency to improve and enlarge the relations with Spanish partners in order to prepare tourist, cultural, social and artistic itineraries for both countries.

He knew little about Marta and Turiart before the programme. However, they had a few calls, saw that both businesses had interest and services in common, as well as that the understanding of a business relationship could work.

Activities developed

Turiart implemented marketing and market research activities that allowed the SME to understand the demands of potential clients in Italy.

Marta, Turiart’s CEO, also met with representatives of different sectors to organise touristic trips to Valencia.

On the other hand, Claudio organised together with Marta events and meetings with different areas of interest (cultural, historical, art and cooking) for both countries and regions.

Both companies were able to organise joint thematic tours in Italy that celebrate the twinning anniversary of Valencia and Bologna, such as the Spanish Bologna, the Jewish Bologna, and the Ancient Roman Bologna.

They have also managed to celebrate joint events for women entrepreneurs from both cities, highlighting the cultural and historical connections between these regions.

Type of collaboration

– Research and collaboration to find possible clients in foreign markets;

– Development of new products and services;

– Training and knowledge transfer.

«MobiliseSME is a wonderful and productive learning experience that results in practical and strategic knowledge transfer»

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Zuzana Palovic is an academic whose work focuses on migrations in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the founder and co-director of Global Slovakia, which has participated as Sending Company in MobiliseSME.

Thomas Willomitzer is the founder and CEO of Snapscreen, a company based in New York with offices in Austria, which has participated as Host Company.

Zuzana and Thomas have been collaborating for 6 months in Austria thanks to the opportunity provided by MobiliseSME.

Here you can find the interview we had with them following their participation in our programme:

– Please, Zuzana, tell us a bit about your company and your professional path. Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?

Global Slovakia is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation whose stated purpose is to share Slovakia with the world.

Our objective is to uncover and communicate to global audiences what makes Slovakia unique.

Thus, a critical part of this endeavour has always been to educate Slovak youth and to reconnect the Slovak diaspora with their ancestral roots.

In this way, we seek to cultivate a healthy, heartfelt, and strategic bond between Slovaks of all ages, including those whose families left their ancestral homeland.

Global Slovakia has produced and published a number of books and has been widely represented in national and international media.

The organisation has also played a key role in recent changes in the Slovak Citizenship Act, giving Slovak descendants easier access to become Slovak citizens.

On the other hand, we decided to participate in the MobiliseSME programme because we wanted to learn how to become more economically empowered and self-sustaining.

Even though our organisation is a non-for-profit, we still need to generate profit in order to cover our costs and pay our salaries. Hence, we wanted to learn, shadow and knowledge-transfer from a tech startup that is more advanced than us in fundraising, but also in generating products and services for B2B sales. 

We found out about the programme after completing an Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs exchange via our Local Contact Point – the Slovak-Italian Chamber of Commerce.

– And how about you, Thomas? Please, tell us about your company and how you found out about the MobiliseSME programme.

Snapscreen’s SnapOdds technology helps sports media and sportsbook operators in the sports gaming industry to quickly convert viewers into betters during live game feeds.

The individual bettors get an upgraded betting experience, which also boosts the ROI in the sports betting lifecycle – for prospective clients.

We were established in 2016 and operate in the high tech sector, with support from the Austrian government and a body of international investors.

We decided to participate in MobiliseSME upon being approached by Global Slovakia. We viewed it as a good opportunity for skill and knowledge exchange.

– From a business point of view, how did the collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company, Zuzana? Would you repeat the MobiliseSME experience?

It was a wonderful and productive learning experience that resulted in practical and strategic knowledge transfer.

We would certainly repeat this business experience and equally recommend participating in MobiliseSME for other businesses interested in growth enhancing experiences. 

The main benefits we received from the exchange was the expansion in our economic scope and understanding, by learning first hand how a successful and emerging company manages their finances and investor relations, as well as fine-tunes their products and services to cater to business and customer demand, so as to sustain themselves with the end goal of generating profit.

This for-profit orientation of the Host Company offered a new perspective and lens through which Global Slovakia could view her economic activities or lack thereof. And, therefore, strive to make more profit from the wealth of already established materials, by funnelling the unique content into appropriate packages that speak to the end consumer.

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In the process of the 6-month exchange, Global Slovakia produced a 5-year strategic plan, alongside developing new products and services for the explicit purposes of revenue generation – such as tourism retreats and Global Slovakia Academy courses.

In addition, we have learnt to approach traditional patrons (non-profit investors) with more clearly defined ‘asks’. Borrowing and building on the knowledge acquired from the Host Company, particularly vis a vis business relations with venture capital investors. 

– Thomas, please, briefly describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with Zuzana. How did the process go?

After a conceptual layout covering the course for the 6-month MobiliseSME partnership was produced with the Sending Company, we found the matchmaking and on-boarding process straightforward and easy.

Global Slovakia had an interesting profile, both in terms of a R&D skillset as well as marketing and branding skills, particularly in regards to the brand storytelling.

As an Austrian company focusing on the US and global market, we welcomed the opportunity to work with a native speaker with a marketing background, specially in product storytelling. 

– Zuzana, how has this collaboration helped your professional development?

The exchange was extremely valuable because it allowed me to shadow, observe and learn from the day-to-day operations of the Host Company, including the tasks and responsibilities of Thomas as its CEO and founder.

This experience offered a privileged insight into what it is like to create, build, manage and execute an emerging tech startup, alongside the daily short-term and long-term operations.

That is not only backed by the founder’s own money, but also that of investors – including venture capitalist funds in the 1 million + range, with their own high performance demands, including that of return on investment. 

I was very inspired by the new, practical and hands-on-learning I received by observing and learning from Snapscreen – both at home and in terrain, that is in operation in Vienna, but also at several international trade shows, including New Jersey and London.

It was equivalent to an economic crash-course and business upgrade, also in terms of helping me change perspectives from a non-for-profit approach towards a for-profit approach to business and services, resulting in future organisation self-sustenance but also in new job creation. 

– And with which knowledge, techniques or information have you contributed to the Host Company? Which functions and responsibilities did you have during this collaborative period?

As I already mentioned, I have been involved in direct knowledge and skill transfer throughout my participation in MobiliseSME.

This includes consistent and active feedback and suggestion making on numerous aspects of the Snapscreen’s business, including improvements in the products and services messaging, alongside its overall communication strategy. 

I, as a 4x published author, academic and speaker, had previous experience with personal storytelling and business narrative creation. Thus, I applied my know-how and experience at the Host Company – for the purposes of improving their communication strategy.

I made suggestions for improvement both in corporate messaging, as well as media storytelling and outreach, encouraging Thomas to get more involved in media, interviews and podcasts -as a means of transmitting to wider audiences the use value of his company’s unique value proposition and tech. 

I have also participated in direct B2B and B2C product and services sales, also via participating in several international trade shows for the global sports betting industry.

These high density clusters of relevant stakeholders offered me unique opportunities to meet with numerous industry experts, investors, company competitors but also end to end customers.

After shadowing, listening and observing Snapscreen team execute product demonstration and sales calls and meetings, I engaged in direct sales meetings alongside Snapscreen employees but also solo. 

In conclusion, it was an invaluable experience in a new industry that allowed for rich knowledge transfer into Global Slovakia’s own operations.

Global Slovakia

– What about you, Thomas? How do you think this collaboration with the Sending Company contributed to your company and personal development? Would you recommend participating in MobiliseSME?

We found this partnership beneficial, as both Zuzana and Global Slovakia were also able to participate in two trade shows, internationally.

Zuzana provided excellent in-person representation of our product and services, and even hosted several B2B meetings due to a scheduling conflict.

However, the main result obtained from this exchange is the prospect of an ongoing narrative branding service between the Sending Company and us. 

Therefore, we would repeat this business experience as it was a value-add to our company, despite the short-term nature of the MobiliseSME experience.

– Do you plan to continue the collaboration after the experience with the MobiliseSME programme?

Yes, we plan to once again collaborate, since we welcome the value-add of fresh eyes and skill sets that are from outside the parameters of our companies and sectors.

For example, the creative and non-for-profit lens of Global Slovakia is refreshing in terms of providing new insights and perspectives as to how Snapscreen business can position itself as an innovation catalyst in the tech/ gambling sector.

Secondly, we have enjoyed the reward of participating in a knowledge exchange, whereby we can help mentor others, in the challenges and opportunities of working in a dynamic and cutthroat sector.

– Zuzana, last but not least, did you improve your knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU after your participation in MobilisSME? Which role had the Local Contact Points in sharing this information?

As a trained scholar in international migration, I thoroughly enjoyed this international cross-border opportunity to strengthen ties with a community (tech start-ups) and country (Austria) that I previously had little engagement and exposure.

This was an incredibly enriching experience that not only upgraded my knowledge base and further developed my business skills, but it also gave me new horizons of international exposure in a fast and emerging industry.

That enhanced my personal business network, as well as inspired me to become more economic minded in Global Slovakia’s own operations and future. 

On the other hand, the Local Contact Points, both in Slovakia (the Slovak-Italian Chamber of Commerce) and Austria (WKO) were incredibly helpful and supportive throughout the entire process, from on-boarding to contract completion. It truly felt like they were there for us, and would look for ways to help me overcome any future problems or barriers. I am very grateful for their assistance. 

If I may make any future suggestions for improvement of the MobiliseSME programme, it would be to make a more far-reaching information campaign across Europe, in terms of raising awareness of this valuable exchange opportunity that also includes financial compensation.

I personally believe that this programme is a wonderful channel to not only improve industry knowledge and develop new skills for our businesses, but also a platform and means to build-bridges across companies, communities and countries –  this transnational / intercultural engagement is truly the future of Europe.

Thank you so much for allowing me and Global Slovakia to be a part of this valuable exchange and programme!

«MobiliseSME broadens our understanding of how others work and think, making us more tolerant and inclusive»

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From January to April 2022, Susanne Jorde Lunde, from the Norwegian company Storm Communications, and Angelo Marina, from the Italian company Telemaco s.r.l, have worked together in Florence thanks to MobiliseSME.

How did their collaboration go? And what did they get from this experience? They told us in the following interview:

– Hello, Susanne. Please, tell us a bit about your company and your professional path. Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?

Storm Communications is a Norwegian communications and public relations agency, specialised in corporate and crisis communications, and established in 2018.

Our goal is to be the best communications agency in the market focusing on corporate and public affairs.

We decided to participate in the MobiliseSME programme because we hoped it would allow us to strengthen our network in the European Union, help us prepare for international expansion and expand our knowledge on how other agencies operate.

– How about you, Angelo? Please, tell us about your company and how you found out about the MobiliseSME programme.

Telemaco is an innovative SME specialized in web and software development, as well as in online and offline communication, which provides creative solutions to help companies expanding their business using our technical, communication and consultancy skills to achieve their goals.

When we found out about MobiliseSME through our Local Contact Points (Fundación Equipo Humano and Forum AIC), we decided right away to be part of it, being our main goal to help the company building an international network of business partners.

– From a business point of view, how did the collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company, Susanne? Would you repeat the MobiliseSME experience?

Our collaboration contributed the company in many ways.

Not only the several meetings with relevant businesses that I had when living abroad would lead to new businesses opportunities in the future, but also it has helped strengthening our attractiveness as an employer, because this opportunity does not often exist for smaller organisations like ours.

Additionally, the project we collaborated on for the exchange involved several digital tools that I did not have a lot of previous experience with, allowing me to gain some knew knowledge on how to set up and optimise things such as Google ads campaigns and YouTube ads. Not to mention the new and great experience of managing cross-border projects.

We would not hesitate to recommend the MobiliseSME programme to other companies, believing that many businesses in our situation would benefit from this experience.

Also, we would repeat this business experience if the opportunity presented itself again.

– Angelo, please, briefly describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with Susanne. How did the process go?

The whole application process has been seamless, carried with great enthusiasm from both parts.

We started working with Storm Communications a couple of months before the SME application, as we both were involved in an EU-funded project promoting fruit and vegetables across European countries.

We even started discussing a potential partnership at the beginning of July 2021, but we had to pause the process until early November 2021.

Since the beginning, we have been interested in companies in the same business sector as ours, but with different strengths.

– How do you think this collaboration contributed to your companies and personal development? Would you recommend participating in MobiliseSME?

Susanne: The collaboration contributed to my development also in several ways.

Firstly, the months spent in Florence created numerous opportunities for networking building, having participated over the course of the three months in several meetings, launches and events that provided many opportunities to get closer to the local businesses. 

Secondly, by being integrated into a new agency, with different culture, management structure and ways of doing things, I gained a lot of new perspectives on agency best practices.

The insights derived from this exchange was inspiring and helped me to provide recommendations and suggestions for areas for improvement in the home agency.

Lastly, Telemaco has a broader service offering and working in the technical sphere than Storm Communications, which helped me gaining a better understanding of how one can incorporate digital tools and marketing to help clients to reach their communication objectives.

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Angelo: During her stay, Susanne contributed with her skills within project management, public relations, communication expertise and industry knowledge about the food industry.

For the “I LOVE FRUIT AND VEG FROM EUROPE” campaign, her understanding of the food industry, the consumer preferences, trends and communication efforts in this field came in handy.

Also, I have to outline the completion of an exclusive press event with 80 industry professionals, ambassadors, CEOs and influences focused on food and sustainability. 

Besides, Susanne has had a positive impact overall on the work environment of Telemaco, from both morale and skill-sharing point of view.

From our direct experience, we can only recommend participating in MobiliseSME and, hopefully, we will also be able to repeat this experience with other companies around Europe.

– Angelo, do you plan to continue the collaboration with Susanne after the experience with the MobiliseSME programme?

Yes. During our collaboration, Susanne had several conversations with our project leader regarding future collaborative opportunities.

We are yet to confirm any concrete projects, but we are still exploring opportunities in the food and tourism space as this is the interest of our SMEs.

– Last but not least, did you improve your knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU after your participation in MobilisSME?

The exchange highlighted the importance of opportunities that exist when workers can move across borders.

The European Union is highly dependent on a the sense of unity and belonging among its member states, and we believe that the best way to achieve this is to break down some of the boundaries that exist between us.

MobiliseSME does not only give us friends for life and teaches us about different cultures, but it also broadens our understanding of how others work and think, which in our opinion makes us more tolerant and inclusive.

«MobiliseSME is an opportunity to generate additional income and expand our business»

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Dejan Viduka is the representative of the Serbian company Konsalting agencija FAMACOM, which has participated in MobiliseSME as Sending Company.

Davor Vrandečić is the owner of the Croatian company Grimizni cvijet, which has participated as Host Company in our programme.

Dejan and Davor have been collaborating for 6 months in Osijek (Croatia), thanks to their participation in MobiliseSME.

We interviewed them to find out how they have been doing in our programme:

– Hello, Dejan! Could you tell us a bit about your company and your professional path? Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?

We are a company that develops software for education. Our main product is kEDIS, an information system for universities, faculties and colleges.

Our goal is to offer this software in other markets from the close environment with which we share a similar way of working and language, namely: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro.

In accordance with our plans, we came up with the idea of participating in the MobiliseSME programme, trying to offer the product and service on the Croatian market.

We found out about the programme from contacts with the staff from Business Incubator Novi Sad, with whom we had the pleasure of cooperating before.

– How about you, Davor? Please, tell us about your company and how you found out about the MobiliseSME programme.

Our company builds web apps and web sites for various client types, such as high education institutions.

During our professional path, we have established strong connections with our partners, so our range of services is not focused just on the web, but also on various services in the field of desktop publishing.

Thus, participating in MobiliseSME is a great opportunity to spread our activities and gain experience in the fields of software development and programming.

Information about MobiliseSME was provided to our company by Tera Tehnopolis d.o.o., one of the Local Contact Points of the programme.

– From a business point of view, how did the collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company, Dejan? Would you repeat the MobiliseSME experience?

The cooperation within MobiliseSME was excellent and we believe that it will continue to our mutual satisfaction.

Based on this experience, we would recommend everyone to participate in this programme – if there is an opportunity to repeat this mobility experience, we would be happy to be part of it again.

From this business collaboration, we got everything we planned and much more!

For example, we established new acquaintances in the field of our business, as well as we improved the product or rather adapted it to the new market, which will be of great benefit to us in the fall, when we start offering our services and product in Croatia.

– Davor, could you briefly describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with Dejan? How did the process go?

In general, the matchmaking process and the preparation was fluid, thanks to the staff of our Local Contact Point.

As we had worked with Dejan Viduka before, we decided to boost the collaboration already taking place.

In our previous project, we helped to set up the business. This time, we just wanted to deepen that cooperation with the new product they offer in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, trying to adapt and improve it in order to be offered in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

– Dejan, how did this collaboration with the Host Company contribute to your company’s development?

As part of the programme and our stay in Osijek, we had the opportunity to see and learn something about business that we were missing, as well as to improve the product and services we offer together.

Our product has received another dimension and we believe that this knowledge will prove itself well in the market.

We are always looking to learn new things, especially if we have the opportunity to learn from an experienced professional, such as Davor, the owner of the Host Company.

Davor is a great professional and it was a great pleasure to work with him in all aspects of our cooperation, and we hope that it will continue even after this experience.

No matter how busy a person is, there is always something new to learn. Especially for us, it was to delve deeper into the field of design and to study how it affects the user experience and, therefore, the satisfaction of our clients.

– What about you, Davor? How did the collaboration with the Sending Company contribute to your SME?

The cooperation allowed us to participate in the creation of a new market for both companies.

Thus, MobiliseSME was an opportunity to generate additional income and expand our businesses.

The concrete news is that we improved the project and created a base for new business; we also used our contacts from the education sector, and now it has become a new market for us.

If this cooperation proves to be successful in Croatia, there is a possibility to offer the same product together in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In this situation, we would be happy to repeat the experience in this programme.

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– Dejan, with which knowledge, techniques or information have you contributed to the Host Company? Which functions and responsibilities did you have during this collaborative period?

We both had the opportunity to develop ourselves and our services/products.

The Host Company had the opportunity to acquire new knowledge regarding educational software and to participate in its adaptation to the Croatian market.

On the other hand, we (as the Sending Company) were able to visually improve the product and create a strategy that will be applied in the future, which is to visually adapt the product to each user or, in other words, to brand the product according to the wishes and needs of the user.

We believe that this detail also sets us apart from others and can help us find new clients on both sides of the border.

– Do you plan to continue the collaboration after the experience with the MobiliseSME programme?

Dejan: The plan is to continue our cooperation and offer our product together on the Croatian market.

The product is now tailored to that market and the Host Company has excellent contacts with potential users of our product and services.

We believe that, in addition to kEDIS, we can jointly design new products for the same target group and, thus, enter the Croatian and surrounding markets.

Some of the future plans are to create a software for generating schedules that would facilitate the work of educational institutions.

This new project would rely heavily on kEDIS and could be offered in pairs or separately.

Davor: As we already said before, if this cooperation turns out to be good, then together we would try to conquer new markets, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina or Slovenia.

In addition to this, the plan is to visually adapt the project to each new client to be unique and according to their wishes, and that would be our part of the job.

All of the above may lead to the development of a joint product for a similar target group, such as the schedule generator we have mentioned.

– Dejan, did you improve your knowledge of mobility of workers within the EU after your participation in MobiliseSME? Which role had the Local Contact Points in sharing this information?

The wish of every employee and employer is to spread their knowledge and products to other markets, especially if they are more developed than those where they have provided their services so far.

In European countries such as Croatia, which is located in our neighborhood, it is available to us linguistically and culturally, and it has improved many trends in business compared to Serbia, where we come from.

A big role in our participation in MobiliseSME was played by our Local Contact Points (Business Incubator Novi Sad and Tera Tehnopolis d.o.o.), which provided us with all the useful information at the very start.

This programme is one of the few that we have come across that enabled business development and progress in any country of the European Union.