The entrepreneurial spirit of new Estonian-Latvian SMEs in the project B-idea was facilitated by a sustainable, result-based, and cross-border approach. Altogether project partners organized 8 joint cross-border events with 134 unique participants.
29 SMEs were involved in the Export Express support programme, including 12 from Estonia and 17 from Latvia. The project focused on the new (up to 3 years old) product and service SMEs, which had sales in the home market and had not or had limited export experience. Their main interest and the need was to further develop the business and get first export sales. The range of sectors where the SMEs operated varied from the food and beverage products, furniture, tableware, and interior elements to IT service and application providers. 19 SMEs graduated from the programme and participated in the final and follow-up events.
As a result of trade missions, 3 SMEs got their export deals in Sweden and Finland and 4 SMEs in other markets. At least 5 SMEs became active in export markets. The participating SMEs developed their export intelligence and businesses based on the skills obtained in the Export Express programme.
Activities carried out in the project:
- branding and preparation activities of the support programme Export Express
- the marketing campaign to attract SMEs with no or limited export experience
- selection of SMEs for the programme Export Express
- implementation of the 1-year long Export Express support programme, with Bootcamp, trade missions, final and follow-up events, follow-up support to export activities and business development mentoring
The added value of the cross-border events and activities is sharing the experience and expertise among SMEs from Estonia and Latvia, and spill-ver effect stemming from the mingling of different background, cultures and perspectives of SMEs from the two nations in joint events.