Sharpening the competitive edge of Austrian SMEs

Mingo is a consultancy organisation recently created by the Vienna Business Agency with the aim of assisting founders of businesses and existing SMEs as they develop and grow.

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Projects such as this are helping the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020, as set out in the EU 2020 growth strategy. The EU is facing some tough challenges, including an ageing population, an insufficiently qualified workforce, the need for greater innovation, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental degradation, and ensuring secure, clean energy supplies. Regional policy projects across the EU are playing an active role in dealing with these and many other challenges, by undertaking projects designed to generate employment, raise educational achievement, develop renewable energy sources, boost productivity and give all citizens access to opportunities. The projects and the regions play a pivotal role in this, as they generate real results that contribute to achieving the strategy’s key goals.

In line with EU 2020 targets, Mingo is helping strengthen the competitiveness and innovation focus of SMEs by providing consultancy, personal coaching, sessions with experts, rental space at affordable prices, and a multilingual centre.

An inclusive approach to growth

Under the Mingo project, businesses are benefiting from a vast range of services developed and adapted to the needs of different business situations. The Mingo Neighbourhood Management strand supports urban development and innovative and sustainable projects. It identifies development potential in districts in an effort to improve a neighbourhood’s image and economy, ensuring an inclusive approach to local economic development. Companies having a migrant background represent 30% of companies and thus play a vital role in the economy of Vienna. An information point has therefore been set up for them: Mingo Migrant Enterprises.

Given the often high cost and low availability of rental spaces, Mingo Offices provides space at affordable rates, with flexible leases, mobile support staff, modern equipment, free use of common areas such as seminar and conference rooms, the reception, secretary and printers. Business can therefore avoid getting tied into expensive, long-term leases, which can often hamper their growth and development.

Coaching for careful planning 

Experts involved with Mingo Start-up Coaching support start-ups and young entrepreneurs (up to five years in existence) in a face-to-face setting as they establish and grow their businesses. Assistance can include business plans, financial planning and options, assessing market opportunities and threats, help with administrative procedures, advice on company structures, target groups and building up customers, social security, income tax, etc. There is also a Mingo Academy, which holds free 1-day workshops on various topics. Registration can be done online and people can attend up to 10 per year.

Taking innovative ideas forward

Businesses facing the challenge of innovation in a changing world can call on the experts at Mingo Innovation Management. Together, they work on improving ideas and concepts. Special innovation workshops and other events are also organised on daily basis.

Draft date

17/08/2011