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Supporting the internationalisation of SMEs - good practices brochure

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Author:
European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General.

A good practice brochure, presenting a collection of national and regional policies that tackle some of the main problems SMEs face when operating or considering to operate in foreign markets or considering doing so.

This booklet contains a selection of 27 national programmes collected during the BEST project ‘Supporting the internationalisation of SMEs’. The project runs from November 2007 to October 2008 and is based on the contributions of a group of experts from the European Union, European Economic Area, and candidate countries. These selected practices were chosen out of the more than 90 programmes from 23 different countries presented by the experts.

The different practices are presented in nine areas devoted to topics identified as essential with regard to the internationalisation process of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):

  1. Raising awareness
  2. High value information
  3. Human resources’ development programmes
  4. Supporting the financial needs of internationalisation
  5. Promotion of networks
  6. Supporting the internationalisation of services
  7. Using internationalisation to enhance competitiveness
  8. Individualised support
  9. Border zones and cross-border cooperation

The main criterion used for the selection of practices in each of the nine areas was the capacity of each chosen programme to support SMEs to effectively tackle one or several of the issues highlighted in that area. In addition the practice had to be existing and operational and should be easily transferable.

This does not mean that the programmes are area specific. In most cases the practices cover a wider spectrum of SME support that is not merely confined to the area for which they were chosen

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