2 July 2020
Test, diagnose and cure… The SME Hospital and European Network project
The “SME Hospital and European Network” project has been developed and implemented by Afyonkarahisar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey) in partnership with Siauliai Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts (Lithuania), Sibiu Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (Romania), Afyonkarahisar Commodity Exchange (Turkey), and Bingöl Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey). It is one of 19 partnership projects which is being supported by the European Union in the framework of TEBD.
SMEs are the backbone of European economy and play a major role in exports as well as employment, not just in Europe but worldwide. The SME Hospital and European Network project aims to diagnose financial problems of SMEs and create sustainable and permanent solutions for problems that they encounter as well as bringing Turkish SMEs to a position where they can compete on the same level with their European counterparts.
Within the scope of SME Hospital and European Network project, Afyonkarahisar Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organized field trips to Romania and Lithuania and conducted study visits. After the study visits, a B2B meeting was organized in Afyonkarahisar with the participation of local and international project partners, Romanian Ambassador, Romanian Counselor and Lithuanian Counselor. In this meeting, Romanian and Lithuanian representatives presented their countries and possible business opportunities.
During the 15 months of the project, multiple educations and seminars were organized within the scope of the project increasing the knowledge of SMEs in managing financial resources and mentoring visits have been performed to 80 SMEs in Afyonkarahisar (Turkey), Bingöl (Turkey), Sibiu (Romania) and Siauliai (Lithuania), analysing and surveying their financial needs and knowledge. The results of the analysis and surveys identified the SMEs strong and weak points, leading to recommendations. Also, a free E-learning platform available in four languages (Turkish, English, Romanian and Lithuanian) on which SMEs can find education modules on finance and financial management has been created.
As a result of this project, SMEs have increased their awareness and financial knowledge on managing their financial resources effectively and flourish in the future. Also, the project partnership has increased the mutual knowledge between Turkish Chambers and their counterparts in Europe.