Discover the story of these two European SMEs that are collaborating in the energy management sector through MobiliseSME.
Who are the protagonists of this successful story?
Luka Gabrić, owner of the Croatian micro company Domino Ltd., decided to participate in MobiliseSME programme as Sending Company to collaborate for 6 months with the Host CompanyFTN IDEEA Ltd.,represented by Filip Kulić.
What does it mean for them to participate in MobiliseSME?
The main idea of this collaboration is to improve practical knowledge in the field of energy management.
Luka is the owner of Domino Ltd., specialized in energy management, so for him this secondment represents an opportunity to gain knowledge about determining the thermal properties of a building, testing the properties of the building and approaches related to the certification process.
For the Host Company, FTN IDEEA Ltd., based in Serbia, this exchange means hosting a self-employed person who will help to acquire knowledge about various rules and regulations in Croatia regarding energy certification.
What activities do they plan to carry out?
Both SMEs will work together mainly to:
– Exchange knowledge and practices, especially because the Host Company has spin-off entrepreneurial concept through collaboration with University of Novi Sad;
– Conduct market research;
– Testing the methods, procedures, deadlines and qualifications of professional staff required to perform tasks of determining thermal properties.
What results are expected from their collaboration?
Both SMEs expect to get acquainted with the current situation in the field of energy efficiency, both in the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia, in terms of regulations, institutional requirements of practice and engineering approach. They also expect the possibility to expand the company’s business model by adding new skills.
But the main expected result of this secondment is the possibility of acquiring an experienced partner and cooperation by the end of next year.
For Luka and Filip, future cooperation means energy audits of buildings, which includes public lighting, industrial plants and all public buildings.
MobiliseSME programme helps European SMEs to take advantage of the opportunities given by the EU single market, and develop cross-border partnerships.
If you want to experience it first hand, our Local Contact Points will accompany you through the whole process – that’s what we’re here for!
Do you feel that you and the SME you work for or manage are prepared to work in a hybrid way?
Have the changes brought about by the pandemic in your work environment altered the way you work? Do you feel that you have adapted optimally to these changes?
Would you like to continue teleworking several days a week? Or are you more of a daily office worker?
Whatever your answer, EURES has published an article on how companies and their employees can adapt to this new hybrid work model, which -it seems- is here to stay.
According to a new survey by Eurofound, after the pandemic, most EU workers would prefer to work from home at least several days a week. In this context, as the article mentions, “this hybrid model presents new opportunities for companies to establish novel ways of working”.
But what does it mean to be “hybrid” in this context? How can workers and companies adapt to this new trend?
As the article points out, “for most companies, the introduction of hybrid working will require a significant shift in the work culture and developing new policies and practices. Businesses who do not support flexible forms of working risk having increased employee turnover and reduced employee engagement. They can also seem less attractive to jobseekers and potential hires”.
At this point, what can companies do about it? Here are some keys:
– “Doing a risk assessment to explore the potential impact of hybrid working not only on their staff, but also on their company”.
– “Ensure equal treatment, making sure the company’s guidelines are fair to all employees and do not discriminate against anyone”.
– “Build employer−employee trust. This means ensuring your employees are safe and completing their tasks is more important than tracking how many hours they spend actively working”.
At MobiliseSME, we have promoted hybrid work and, with it, the flexibility of the measures, so that collaborations continued to take place during this year marked by COVID-19.
A health crisis of this magnitude has not prevented many people and SMEs from joining us during this first year of MobiliseSME. We have all contributed to this and, certainly, the hybrid work and the great versatility of our participants have been the key.
Here we bring you the interview that we conducted with Marta Templado, owner of Turiart – an SME based in Valencia (Spain), regarding her collaboration, from March to May 2021, with Claudio Cristofori, owner of Jabalito & Karma (Bolonia, Italy):
– Tell us a bit about your company (services, sector, and projects) and your professional path.
I am the owner of Turiart, which is a travel agency and a small private company based in València, that offers cultural, family and agricultural tourism services in the Valencian Community for more than 20 years.
– Why did you decide to participate in MobiliseSME?
Due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 that led to a serious crisis for my company, I thought of looking for an opportunity to invest in the future by looking for clients abroad. In this sense, I found the MobiliseSME programme very interesting and appropriate for these complex times in which the tourism sector and my company are immersed.
– Describe the matchmaking process and the preparation of activities with the Sending Company (SC). How did the process go? Did you know each other previously? In case of an affirmative response, in which projects have you collaborated before?
The latest collaboration with Claudio Cristofori from the Italian travel agency Jabalito & Karma Viaggi arose from my previous stay in Bologna, as well as from the good relationships we established with many counterparts, with whom we are already working organizing trips based on the twinning of the cities of València and Bologna. For example, meetings with women managers and entrepreneurs from València and Bologna, or meetings with musicians or cookery students.
My previous stay in Bologna has greatly facilitated Claudio’s activity plan during his stay in my company Turiart.
– How did the collaboration with the SC / the seconded person contribute to your company? Please, mention the main results and benefits obtained after the collaboration (new services, projects, knowledge, contacts, skills, business lines or similar).
The work and collaboration between Claudio’s company and mine has been very interesting, because we have been able to better understand the demands of potential clients from both countries, as well as their preferences and the type of tourist product they are looking for.
These business relationships have been very useful since in any service company human relations are essential, and we have had many opportunities to meet a lot of people from different professional fields, who have brought knowledge, new perspectives and experiences to our way of doing things.
On the other hand, there are customs about time and gastronomic preferences that are very important to take into account, in order to serve tourists properly. In this case, Claudio informed us what is more attractive or interesting to be able to sell more easily. In this respect, learning Spanish and Italian is essential to establish good business relationships, so I decided to improve my Italian language skills by enrolling in a course while working with Claudio.
Also, in the context of the pandemic and the limitations that it entails, Claudio and I have thought of giving a twist to our guided tours (which are one of our main services), carrying them out online.
Another highlight of our activities during this period has been the meetings we have held with key contacts in our sector. For example, the meeting with the Proloco Castel San Pietro Terme in Regione Emilia-Romagna, in order to share our interest in cultural tourism and agritourism, making the collaboration increasingly fruitful; the professional meeting with Guide d’Arte Bologna; or the visit to Parma airport in order to look for new air connections between València and Bologna.
In addition, we had the opportunity to share our experience in MobiliseSME on the Valencian television channel À Punt Mèdia, as well as to attend the International Tourism Fair (FITUR), held in Madrid.
Of course, we have also been able to organise several excursions during this period, always keeping safety measures in mind, demonstrating that culture is, and can be, safe.
– Do you plan to collaborate with the SC after this experience? If yes, how so? (Development of products and services, projects within the sector, knowledge transfer, new business lines, market research activities…).
Of course, we plan to continue our collaboration beyond our participation in MobiliseSME, because we have realised how many synergies are created by working together. Moreover, in a sector as affected by this health and economic crisis as the tourism sector, being able to collaborate with SMEs from other parts of Europe and build projects together can literally be the salvation for your tourism business.
During our participation period, we have already been able to invoice both services thanks to the programme. As an example of this, we have the first event that we organised during this period (January-May 2021), which was the online meeting “Entrepreneur and professional women in times of COVID”, held between female entrepreneurs and professionals and sponsored by the Valencian City Council, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the twinning between València and Bologna. During the meeting, the president of EVAP/BPW Valencia and the associates shared successful practices applied in their SMEs during the COVID pandemic.
In connection with the organisation of activities around the twinning of the two cities, we are translating some books from Italian into Spanish.
Finally, we already have a planned travel schedule that we will begin as soon as it is possible to travel without restrictions and there is more health security. We are confident that it will be soon and that we will finally be able to fully provide our services.
Marta and her company Turiart are a clear example of a Host Company that has participated in a very satisfactory way and has made the most of MobiliseSME programme.
If you want to become the protagonist of the next successful collaboration between European SMEs, contact our Local Contact Points and do not miss this great opportunity!
Carlos has a degree in Law and a degree in Legal Sciences of Public Administrations, as well as a solid background in European Affairs. Meanwhile, Iván holds a degree in Law and a master’s degree in European Law. Both are co-funders of Yepso!, a micro-enterprise in the education and training sector that is participating in MobiliseSME as a Sending Company,and which defines itself as the materialisation of an innovative project: developing a digital e-learning infrastructure to favour access to the European civil process as permanent officials.
Mariana has a degree in engineering, with notions in content marketing and training in television direction and presentation, as well as in radio voice-over. She is also the director of Mariana Figueira da Silva Sociedade Unipessoal, a micro-enterprise that participates in MobiliseSME as Host Company through one of its two brands, Mondeguitta Produçoes, which is dedicated to providing audiovisual communication services to companies worldwide, particularly in the production of corporate videos.
What are their objectives?
The two micro-enterprises are collaborating with the following objectives in mind:
– Mondeguitta wants to obtain a holistic vision of the European market, favour its introduction in other European countries and enter a market niche of interest, especially the audio-visual communication linked to e-learning training. The company expects to develop a collaboration that would serve as a pilot to, later on, offer these services to other companies in the EU market.
– In Yepso!, they expect to improve the technical audio-visual components of their educational activities and, at the same time, to learn a lot about how to develop an international audio-visual strategy, in which the video tool would be in the centre of their daily work.
What is the purpose of their collaboration?
Our participants are working together in the development of a new learning audio-visual product (e-learning online course) that will help both to offer new innovative services to potential clients around the EU market.
During the COVID-19 crisis, challenges have showed up for companies like Mondeguitta and many of them, such as Yepso!, are in full transition towards new models, offering a service that has become a growing trend in times of pandemic, demonstrating that adaptability to change is essential in order not to disappear from the map. Continuous improvement and reinvention are necessary more than ever; our participants are fully aware and have been able to develop an activity plan geared towards this.
If you also want to see first-hand the opportunities offered by participating in MobiliseSME, it is as simple as starting by taking a look at our web sections How to participate and Local Contact Points.
Let’s introduce a new collaboration between European SMEs!
Salvatore Greco, from Sikanamente, and Yoselin Chicasaca, from AIE International Business, have decided to work together in the field of rural tourism in Sicily (Italy) for 3 months, in the framework of the MobiliseSME programme.
Who are our protagonists? What are they seeking by participating in MobiliseSME?
Yoselin Chacasaca is the CEO of AIE International Business, focused on the digital transformation advice related to online marketing, tourism and development of entrepreneurship projects, with high experience in the rural and cultural sector. Yoselin provides services to other companies in business management and she would like to learn about the features and characteristics of tourist companies, since she is opening a new business line among her services. As a consequence, she is quite interested in how to create tourist products, in order to implement them on a local level.
On the other hand, Salvatore Greco is the co-founder of Sikanamente, whose aim is to promote cultural and environmental heritage of the Sicani Mountains Prizzi. Salvatore was interested in collaborating with a company that could give them the main clues to understand the tourism behaviour and develop new services.
In this respect, both SMEs are closely connected since their experience helps to support their goals.
What results do they expect from their collaboration?
Both companies are focused on the rural touristic routes in both Sicily and Galicia, so they can find some synergies among their daily work tasks, and set new common methods that allow them to be more efficient in the approaches and client services.
While Yoselin will acquire new market knowledge in a region with high rural touristic rates, Salvatore and his team will learn how to better manage his company thanks to the tips and experience on business management from AIE International Business.
Also, they will improve their marketing techniques and boost their communication skills throughout an exchange of knowledge and best practices to catch the correct target group.
Moreover, both sides could establish a lifelong collaboration due to the exchanges of knowledge related with their common lines of business.
At this point of their MobiliseSME relationship, they are currently sharing ideas on how to improve the cultural heritage marketing strategies from both companies, and reach the right target groups. Moreover, they are developing new approaches on how to offer high quality services standards, so rural tourists have a good experience.
In this sense, they also require the development of new entertainment ideas that suit both lines of business, as well as the development of new tourism materials.
In addition, they are improving their social network skills to boost these communication goals, as well as studying the adaptability of each activity or idea in their own business.
For sure, this experience will allow both companies to increase their management skills, as well as their internationalisation opportunities focused on the development of their know-how in the tourism sector.
If you also want to participate, whatever your sector, our Local Contact Points will accompany you through the whole process.
Christian Battiferro & Alberto Pla are two professionals from the audiovisual sector, who started collaborating through the MobiliseSME programme at the beginning of May 2021.
Christian has travelled from Italy toSpain to partner up with Alberto, and they are currently working together in València.
They decided to join their forces during this uncertain time in the audiovisual industry, and are taking this opportunity to develop their projects, each bringing their own expertise to the table.
Who are our protagonists and what are their objectives?
Christian is a filmmaker and director from Coopspettacolo.it, a cooperative operating in the field of entertainment, show and multimedia which wants to collaborate with a Spanish partner who is interested in developingnew ideas to apply to the audiovisual world related to tourism and culture.
Christian’s aim is to create a series of audiovisuals that promote cultural exchange and tourism showing the soul of Spain (Valencian Region in particular), meanwhile acquiring new competences, such as the Spanish language. He represents the Sending Company (SC).
On the other hand, Alberto is a photographer, documentary maker and the director of the Social Communication Agency-Alberto Pla, a Communication Agency that works for organizations, public institutions and companies that develop social projects.
He wants to develop a new idea of video format focusing on the promotion of sustainable tourism, in order to use it as a propaganda addressed to both national and international tourists and, accordingly, strengthening the already existing relations between the cities of València and Bologna. He represents the Host Company (HC).
Both are currently collaborating on a social projectthat will result in a pilot video, promoting rural and sustainable tourismin the area of València. Together they identified key social, cultural and environmental issues which they will be exploring during their collaboration.
They observed the phenomenon of Street Art in its transversal use in urban development and embellishment.
They have also identified, in the tradition of cultivation of rice, the recurrent theme of the promotion of rural and sustainable tourism.
Through their collaboration, both are exchanging their knowledge in their fields of expertise, sharing their bestpractices and contact networks, while developing their abilities (including language skills for the SC).
In addition, both are developing their skills in an equal exchange of knowledge and setting up future collaborations to prepare for the post-Covid period, with the potential visibility of the pilot video that the SC will replicate for the area of Bologna.
Christian and Alberto have seen in MobiliseSME programme the opportunity to partner up and adapt to the current challenges.
MobiliseSME programme gives SME’s staff the opportunity to take advantage of the opportunities of the EU Single Market and develop cross-border partnerships.
If you also want to have this opportunity, our Local Contact Points will accompany you through the whole process – that’s what we’re here for!
What are they seeking by participating in MobiliseSME?
Gonzalo is a self-employed worker specialised in piano maintenance and restoration. For him, this collaboration primarily means expanding his client portfolio and being able to offer high quality services not only in his country (Spain), but in most of Europe.
For Queen’s Pianos, it would mean hosting a self-employed person specialised in the repair and restoration of grand pianos that may offer an added value to its staff, by sharing and exchanging their knowledge, in particular on piano restoration techniques.
Both European SMEs will work together mainly to:
– Conduct market research;
– Exchange knowledge and practices (training);
– And internationalise their products, with the main focus on restoration of pianos.
The activities contain an important part of job shadowing.
What results do they expect from their collaboration?
Both SC and HC expect to have acquired enough knowledge to complete the restoration of a total of 20 grand pianos, and learnt new techniques on mechanics of pianos, the installation of silence systems, keyboards, as well as the regulation and intonation process to optimize the sound qualities of instruments.
However, depending on their experience and role in MobiliseSME, each company expects different results for their particular case:
For the Host Company
– Learn new techniques on mechanics of pianos;
– Introduce the partnership of both companies in the Belgian market;
– Assess future collaborations with the SC, in both the Belgian and the Spanish market.
For the Sending Company
– Improve skills and knowledge of restoration techniques;
– Expand its market in the host country (Belgium) and networking;
– Improve selling, research and language skills.
At MobiliseSME, we are convinced that our participants will achieve amazing results and will benefit from this collaboration throughout their careers.
In one of our previous posts, we explained that there are tools such as Re-open EU that are very useful for labour mobility within the EU in times of coronavirus.
Recently, the European Commission has approved a new system that will make it possible to provide health information in a simple and secure way, and which will allow for better mobility management in the context of the current health crisis.
What is the EU Digital COVID Certificate?
It is a digital certificate that will facilitate safe free movement of citizens in the European Union during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will prove that a person has either:
– Been vaccinated against COVID-19
– Received a negative test result
– Recovered from COVID-19
Countries can start issuing and using it already and it will become available in all EU Member States as of 1 July 2021.
Beata Vlnková & Rudi Verhoest are the ownersof two companies in the wine business sector, who started collaborating through the MobiliseSME programme at the end of March 2021.
Beata has travelled from Slovakia toBelgium to partner up with Rudi during 6 months.
They have joined forces to develop their projects, each bringing their own expertise to the table. Although it is not easy during the current situation, their collaboration is bringing out the best in both.
Who are our protagonists and What are their objectives?
Beatais 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.She is the Sending Company (SC).
On the other hand, Rudihas thirty years of expertise in the bank and insurance sector in Belgium. He is a wine enthusiast and a cuisinelover who has decided to make a career change: from finance to wine.
He wants to increase his knowledge on the wine sector, improve his tastingskills, learn all about wine salesand eventually, consider opening a future wine business. He is the Host Company (HC).
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 15 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 (including 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.
MobiliseSME programme gives SME’s staff the opportunity to take advantage of the opporutnities of the EU single market and develop cross-border partnerships.
If you also want to have this opportunity, our Local Contact Points will accompany you through the whole process – that’s what we’re here for!
During the event, FEH participated in a working group comprising companies in the cybersecurity sector from all over Spain, but especially from the region of Castilla y León. The working group discussed various local, regional and national initiatives that promote training and talent retention in companies.
MobiliseSME can help the development of competences, skills and knowledge in the cybersecurity sector, through training stays in other EU companies. In addition, the current context of COVID-19 is serving to redirect strategies and train in skills needed for the new reality.
Thus, MobiliseSME contributes to SMEs’ talent retention and attraction strategies by:
1) Creating an internal incentive for growth and continuous training within the company;
2) And attracting new European talent for obtaining new synergies and knowledge (processes, management, innovation, products…).
In this working group, FEH shared space with AETICAL (Federation of ICT Companies Associations of Castilla y León), CONETIC (Spanish Confederation of ICT Companies) and Fundación Goodjob, specialised in the integration of people. Other companies, universities, associations and clusters of the sector also attended.
MobiliseSME would like to thank AEI for the opportunity to give us a voice at their event by allowing us to present our programme, demonstrating that their initiatives can also be ours. We hope this is the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.
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