11 June 2021
Taking Local Business to International Level
“Mediterranean Business Dialogue for SME Coaching and International Trade” is a project that has been developed and implemented by Uşak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey) in partnership with Cáceres Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Spain), Viterbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Italy), Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Greece), Kütahya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey), and Manisa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey). It is one of 19 Chamber Partnership projects which is being supported by the European Union in the framework of the Turkey-EU Business Dialogue (TEBD) Project.
The “Mediterranean Business Dialogue for SME Coaching and International Trade” Project aimed to develop the capacities of coaching and foreign trade services for SMEs in common Chambers in the TR33 region and in the EU region. However, this project is more ambitious than it looks at first sight and strived to, besides increasing the capacity of SMEs in the field of commercialization and economic development support in the TR33 region, to boost opportunities of networking and exchange of best practices between Chambers from Turkey and the EU. All this whilst supporting young women entrepreneurs in the TR33 region.
To do this, the project, which took place between April 2019 and September 2020, consisted of 4 main work packages, such as: project preparation activities, selection of coaches and training activities, coaching activities and the establishment of international communication, and cooperation activities. Along with study visits to places such as Spain and Greece, some of the main activities varied from consulting services, to coaching teams for SMEs. This last one, introduced a holistic approach to the SMEs coaching, which resulted in enabling such SMEs to develop in their internal processes not depending on people, but depending on institutionalization.
Additionally, Single Spot Support Offices (SSSO) were established established in Manisa, Kütahya, and Uşak Chambers. Through these offices, SME coaches serving in a wide range from company establishments, government incentives, export/import processes to institutionalization were able to successfully complete the activity. Coaches who tried to support young female entrepreneurs, have exceeded the target of 80 companies in total at least 10 companies per month per province, which was one of the project goals.
Many are the benefits that can be taken from this project. Not only were Government supports supplied for 82 firms, but 250 units of awareness and information brochures about single spot consultancy offices and 25 units of posters for Uşak, Manisa, and Kütahya were given.
Nonetheless, as it happens with all projects, not only are the (many) benefits to be taken into consideration, but also some lessons for the future. Due to the long coaching process, the importance of Human Resources stout in coach studies and health risk factors are to bear in mind for the future.
Overall, the “Mediterranean Business Dialogue for SME Coaching and International Trade” project resulted in a major success, completing all of its goals and ensuring the capacity development of coaching and foreign trade services for SMEs in the TR33 region.
Find more information on the “Mediterranean Business Dialogue for SME Coaching and International Trade” project HERE.