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.
We continue sharing with you some of the interesting activities that the first participants in MobiliseSME programme, Marta Templado (Turiart) & Claudio Cristofori (Jabalito & Karma Viaggi), have carried out over the last few months.
A1- Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of the City of Bologna and delivering the MobiliseSME programme brochure to the City Council. The City of Bologna is very interested in the programme and has asked for a proposal to be approved before the end of the year.
In the same way, Valencia’s City Council is also interested in collaborating. It should be noted that both of them plan to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the twinning of València and Bologna, which took place on 3rd October 2020 but will be celebrated next year due to the current health crisis.
A2- Meeting with the Proloco Castel San Pietro Terme in Regione Emilia-Romagna, in order to share their interest in cultural tourism and agritourism, making the collaboration increasingly fruitful.
A3- Turiart is offering virtual tours, which are online proposals that provide information about the routes and guided tours that they usually offer around the Valencian Community in Spain.
A4- Language and cultural exchanges: meetings in Spanish as a preparation for travel in 2021, using samples of art and culture, among others, for all those who are living in Bologna but like to travel and want to learn Spanish.
A5- Professional meeting with Guide d’Arte Bologna, the association of licensed tourist guides of Bologna.
A6- Guided tours organised by J&K Viaggi and Turiart, around Bologna.
– Christmas tour: nativity scenes and carol singing, as a Spanish Christmas tradition. Discovery of the oldest nativity scenes in Bolonia.
– “Bologna Antica e Romana”: walk through the historical centre of Bologna with a stop at the Roman Theatre.
– Organization of a guided tour on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, in collaboration with the director of MEB – Museo Ebraico di Bologna, to learn about the Jewish history of Bologna.
Marta and Claudio have been collaborating in Italy until January 2021. However, in March they started another new relationship until May, being this time Marta the host. Such was the success of the first collaboration that they decided to continue it in Spain and continue working on some of the aspects that were pending.
Soon we will tell you how this successful collaboration came to an end and provide you with the main results.
The 10th of March 2021 was a key date in the consolidation of the European Single Market.
On that day, the official launch event of the MobiliseSME Programme –a new European business mobility programme for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises– took place.
What is MobiliseSME?
Funded by the EURES Axis of the European Commission’s EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), MobiliseSME is the first mobility programme specifically designed for SMEs. Based on a successful pilot project implemented between 2015 and 2017, the programme fosters international collaborations between European SMEs by funding employee secondments in another European country.
Thus, the main objective of MobiliseSME is to boost the internationalisation of European SMEs, to improve their competitiveness, and to establish a common methodology at the EU level for mobility schemes for SME employees.
In short, the programme aims to harness the full potential of the European Single Market, the free mobility of workers as well as one of its most valuable assets, SMEs, which represent 99% of EU companies.
During the webinar, the programme was introduced to the attending companies and business representatives, pointing out the opportunities and benefits it offers, including strengthening their international collaboration, knowledge, and skills, making them more resilient to future challenges.
The event –held online– was attended by a total of 153 participants, including companies from different sectors at the European level as well as business associations, incubators, and public and private entities representing European enterprises (Local Development Agencies, Trade Offices abroad, and territorial directorates). It was also attended by the various Local Contact Points (experts on mobility and business in the EU) and representatives of the two main business and SME branches at the EU level, the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion and the Directorate for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG EMPL and DG GROW).
Likewise, Marta Templado (CEO of Turiart) and Claudio Cristofori (owner of J&K Jabalito & Karma Viaggi), shared their experience and success story as a result of their participation in the programme. Both companies were in Valencia and Bologna, respectively, with the objective of designing new tourist routes, training in languages, and establishing new contacts. Their business collaboration has achieved great results.
A new opportunity for companies in difficulties
In recent years, the EU has developed several programmes and initiatives to support workers’ mobility and business-to-business collaborations, especially among SMEs.
Until now, there has been no specific programme to support employees to move to other companies outside their own country and exchange knowledge. This has resulted in the creation of MobiliseSME.
In the current context, where many companies are rethinking their business models, MobiliseSME allows them to gain perspective and gain new skills and knowledge. Thanks to MobiliseSME, companies can redirect and rethink their strategies, especially those severely affected by the constraints of the current health crisis.
That is Marta Templado’s opinion, CEO of Turiart and participant in the programme: “When I heard about the MobiliseSME programme, I saw it as an opportunity to get to know the Italian market better, learn a new language and get future clients, especially now that everything is at a standstill in Spain”.
In the same vein, José Enrique Val, EU Project Manager of Fundación Equipo Humano pointed out that “the MobiliseSME programme has become a new impulse for European SMEs, as it is allowing them to reformulate their way of doing business as well as to develop and update the skills and knowledge necessary for the post-COVID reality”.
Alfonso Cadenas, EU Project Coordinator of Fundación Equipo Humano highlighted “the importance of the strategic approach to the internationalisation of SMEs through the development of the competences and skills of their employees, while the MobiliseSME programme can achieve great synergies with other regional, national and European programmes as in most cases it is complementary”.
The European Commission representatives, Mr. Denis Genton (DG EMPL) and Mr. Crispin Waymouth (DG GROW) agreed that the MobiliseSME programme adds to “initiatives that strengthen labour mobility within the European Union” as well as “the resilience of SMEs and the autonomous strategy of the European Single Market”.
Advantages of participating in MobiliseSME
The programme offers international technical and financial assistance to SMEs by organizing and supporting short secondments (1 to 6 months) in companies in other EU countries. These secondments are co-financed by the European Commission with monthly grants of up to €1,100.
At the same time, MobiliseSME also offers tailor-made sessions on how to internationalize products, so that participating companies can take advantage of the extensive networks to which the Local Contact Points belong, thus increasing their visibility on a European scale.
The programme also provides SMEs with various tools and information to find business partners in the EU, to expand their business, products, and services, as well as to improve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of their staff.
How to participate in the programme
Participating in MobiliseSME is easy: start by visiting the official MobiliseSME website. In addition to SMEs, freelancers, self-employed and one-person companies can also participate. The next step would be to contact one of the Local Contact Points in the EU. They guide, register, and support SMEs during their participation in the programme.
It is important to remember that registrations are allowed on the matchmaking platform until mid-2022.
MobiliseSME is a business mobility pilot programme that seeks to strengthen European SMEs’ skills and capacities development, by supporting short-term cross-border secondments for their staff.
This programme follows an approach that combines learning objectives for employees, managers, and (co-)owners of companies and international business opportunities for SMEs.
Many businesses see in this programme the opportunity to strengthen their international collaboration, to join forces, and to adapt their business to the challenges that are yet to come.
During this online event, companies and business associations will have the opportunity to discover how the EU funded initiatives can be a great added value for them, not only by helping to boost their growth and expansion in the EU but also the skills of their employees.
The webinar will gather experts in internationalization, mobility of workers, SMEs, and EU bodies, in order to discuss the current situation of SMEs, their role in the EU single market and its opportunities.
It will also be a chance for SMEs to meet face to face with other counterparts and build up new collaborations. The event will act as a meeting and matchmaking point for future business opportunities.
SPEAKERS AND FURTHER DETAILS
Local Contact Points (chambers of commerce, incubators, business associations, and experts in mobility and business at the EU level) from the MobiliseSME programme will attend the webinar.
Moreover, the webinar will also be attended and presented by representatives of the two main branches of business and SMEs in the EU, concretely:
– A representative of Labour Mobility, Free Movement of Workers, EURES Unit from the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, DG EMPL;
– And a representative of SME Internationalisation Unit from the Directorate- General of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG GROW.
The webinar will be held in English.
You can check the full programme of the webinar here.
You can sign up for this webinar through this reply form.
The first secondment carried out under the Mobilise SME programme involves two companies: one from Spain and the other from Italy.
The working relationship between our participants began in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Both are taking advantage of the current situation in the tourism sector to create new synergies, collaborations and projects for the “post-COVID” stage, thanks to their participation in the Mobilise SME programme, which gives them the opportunity to continue growing professionally.
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