Press Release: MobiliseSME – New EU Mobility Programme for SMEs
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.
The MobiliseSME consortium is led by the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg and co-led by Fundación Equipo Humano, along with 11 other international organisations. Any company from any member state can participate. Other eligible countries would be Iceland, Norway, Albania, Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Republic of North Macedonia.
10M: Launch Event
On the occasion of the official launch of MobiliseSME, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg together with Fundación Equipo Humano, have conducted the webinar “Boost your business in the EU: internationalisation and capacity building for SMEs“.
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.
For any questions, SMEs can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you missed the webinar, you can find all materials in the next post of the MobiliseSME website MobiliseSME programme: did you miss the webinar?