Access to international markets can open up new perspectives for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). East Invest 2 organises for SMEs from the six Eastern Partnership countries a series of dedicated training seminars, called SME Academies. The East Invest 2 SME Academies offer SMEs from the EaP region a better understanding of the EU, particularly in terms of business opportunities and challenges, to enhance their knowledge and capacities about DCFTA and EU acquis as well as internationalisation. The objective is to make the SMEs more competitive and better prepared to develop business with/in the European Union.
The SME Academies, besides training SMEs from the six EaP countries, serve as test training for representatives of business organisations from the six Eastern Partnership countries interested in becoming SME trainers and wishing to transform the SME trainings or parts of it into a regular service their organisation would offer to SMEs.
A minimum of twelve SME Academies is organised across the EaP region, ideally two academies in each country. If time and budget allows and there is demand from the SMEs in the EaP countries, twelve more sessions may be organised.
Each SME academy is hosted by an EaP BSO. It lasts about 2.5 days and welcomes up to 30 SMEs from the agro-food sector, selected based on a pre-defined list of criteria. After the training, and depending on the evaluation of their internationalisation potential, selected SMEs are offered to take part in another phase of the project, the so called Road shows (Study Visits of EaP delegations to the EU).
The SME Academies offer concrete tools for the entrepreneurs to evaluate the export potential of his/her company and to develop his/her skills in doing business with the EU.
The following five topics are covered by the SME Academies.
1. DCFTA Roadmaps – Acquis communautaire
2. EU Regulations and Technical Standards, with regard to the priority sector
3. Export Readiness of the EaP businesses
4. Marketing – how to present products at foreign markets
5. Participation in Trade Fairs, Networking with Potential Business Partners, Intercultural Communication
The courses of the first SME academy in each country are delivered by experienced course leaders from the EU. During the second round of SME Academies, the trained EaP representatives deliver themselves the specific courses together with the EU experts. Time and budget allowing, they may then organise and deliver additional trainings for interested SMEs from the region.
So far, SME Academies have been organised in Tbilisi/Georgia, Chisinau/Moldova, Kyiv/Ukraine, Yerevan/Armenia, Baku/Azerbaijan.
For further details please contact Doris Rabetge – SME Key Expert: email@example.com