Connect SME Plus

Pospeševanje internacionalizacije obmejnih malih in srednjih podjetij s potencialom za inovacije in rast / Förderung der Internationalisierung von grenznahen Klein- und Mittelunternehmen mit Innovations- und Wachstumspotenzial

Connect SME Plus is a follow-up of a previous project that analysed the cross border cooperation of small and medium sized companies (SME). The research shows that more than two thirds of these SMEs are not exporting. Among them 89% shares the opinion that an external support would be needed to consider eventual neighbouring or third market entrance. Regardless the fact that some of SME products have market and innovative potential, fear, lack of ambitions, language, occupancy with local market, lack of time, staff, finances or networks as well as isolation from dynamic urban start up milieu represent the main reasons for weak or even no of international activity of SMEs. Key challenges is activation of border SMEs while exploiting and networking existing institutional and research framework, their R&D, networks, existing training programmes as well as taking advantage of new market and digital trends. General project objective is to strengthen cross border and global business connectivity of peripheral border SMEs that demonstrate the highest growth and innovation potential and thus contribute to their long term competiveness. Results, changes and innovativeness: Through empowering competences of SMEs for traditional and digital internationalisation, the project will influence change from local to global mind-set across 300 border SMEs. By practical cross border school of internationalisation, mentoring and concrete experience in neighbouring or foreign markets, 40 SMEs will raise their competences to be able of carrying internationalisation activities independently. Earlier, the promotion of cross border business cooperation depended mainly on external consultants, Connect SME Plus builds on companies and our own human resource potentials. At the same time the project creates a cross border network which will be able to provide support to SMEs in accessing neighbouring and other foreign markets also after the project is completed.

Priority axis 1

Investment Priority 1b
SO 3: Increasing the level of internationalization of enterprises, epecially SMEs in the programme area

Project duration

1 April 2018 – 31 March 2020

Contracted ERDF

531.210,05 EUR

Project Partners

Območna obrtno-podjetniška zbornica Kranj (Lead Partner)

NETS, podjetje za storitve, d.o.o., Kranj

Slovenska gospodarska zveza v Celovcu / Slowenischer Wirtschaftsverband Kärnten

FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH

trinitec IT Solutions & Consulting GmbH