Support to the internationalisation of SMEs

Two complementary EU projects funded under the COSME programme are supporting the internationalisation of European SMEs via international fairs.

The first project - Business beyond Borders - builds on the existing participation of European businesses and clusters in international fairs inside and outside the EU, to add value with organising matchmaking and information sessions.

The second project - Increasing SME's readiness to internationalise - focuses on coaching a few number of European SMEs with interest in but no experience of internationalisation, so that to help them in the process and derive a training guidebook. The red line of those 2 projects is the use of international fairs as a tool for business internationalisation.

Business Beyond Borders 

COSME programme, October 2016 - April 2019.

2016 call for tender "Organisation of EU -Third Country B2B, C2C and C2B centred events at the occasion of Major International Fairs inside and outside the EU". 

Project members

  • Eurochambres (consortium lead)
  • EMECA (European Major Exhibition Centres Association)
  • UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry)
  • Low associates


The objective of the project is to help EU businesses, in particular SMEs and clusters, to operate internationally by exploiting business opportunities. In particular by providing additional support to companies participating at International Fairs establishing and increasing a series of brokerage events.


10 EU-Third Countries events will be organised in the framework of major international fairs inside and outside the EU and two-day events will be organised. 

Targeted international fairs


1 28 February - 3 March 2017 Genera Madrid, Spain Energy IFEMA, Feria de Madrid Spanish CCI
2 16-18 May 2017 AUW – African Utility Week Cape Town, South Africa Energy, water Spintelligent Cape CCI
3 18-21 September 2017 Texworld Paris, France Textile and clothing Messe Frankfurt CCI Paris
4 20-24 October 2016 HOST Milan, Italy Food FIERA Milano PROMOS
5 29 November - 1 December 2017 Trustech Cannes, France Solutions for payment, identification and mobility COMEXPOSIUM French Riviera CCI - CCINCA
6 February 2018 Fensterbau Frontale India New Delhi, India Window, door and facade technologies NURNBERGMESSE INDIA EBTC
7 03-08 April 2018 FIDAE Santagio de Chile, Chile Aviation, defence, space technologies FIDAE EUROCHILE
8 24-27 April 2018 AMB Iran Teheran, Iran Metal working & cutting machines, precision tools, automation technology Messe Stuttgart Iran CCI
9 May 2018 CeBIT Australia Sydney, Australia ICT Hannover Fairs Australia NSW Business Chamber 
10 6-8 November 2018 VISION Stuttgart Stuttgart, Germany Machine vision Messe Stuttgart Stuttgart CCI


More information

Business Beyond Borders website



COSME programme, October 2016 - December 2018. 

Call: 2015 call entitled “Supporting SME Internationalization - Increasing EU SMEs Readiness to Internationalise in Target Markets".

Project members

Promos-Agency of the Milan Chamber of Commerce (consortium lead) plus 11 national chambers of commerce.


The objective of the project is to provide concrete assistance to SMEs in helping them develop their activities in target markets located in third countries. 


The aim is to select a proportionally representative number of enterprises in the EU and other COSME participating countries and assist them from the very first steps of the process into achieving concrete, measurable and documentable result(s) in expanding activities with one or more partners located in one or more Third country markets.

Therefore, the target SME audience of this call for tenders will be SMEs that have a potential and show an interest to "go international" but that have never developed any experience beyond the COSME participating countries. 5 third country markets are targeted and the participation of around 20-30 selected SMEs is planned. The ultimate objective for the project subject is the production of a Guide Book on Internationalisation training for SMEs not having yet developed relevant experience.

Target countries

  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • India
  • USA

More information

Project website


Enterprise Europe Network B2B events

The Enterprise Europe Network sets up fast and effective business matchmaking events at international conferences and trade fairs. 

Check the Enterprise Europe network Matchmaking events calendar


Share this page: