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EU4Business: Connecting Companies

Project Description
The "EU4Business: Connecting Companies" project aims to promote trade between the EU Member States and the six Eastern Partner countries, focusing in particular on five sectors of economic activity with a significant potential for SME export growth – Organic Food, Creative Industries, Textiles, Tourism and Wine-making.
Specific Objective
- Contribute towards the development of sustainable and equitable economic growth models in the Eastern Partner countries, which can generate more investments and improve socio-economic conditions and employment opportunities for citizens.
- Support the capacity of sectorial Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to enhance SMEs’ internationalisation, export capacities and access to new markets.
- Support SMEs towards trade, more specifically export towards EU countries.

Expected Results
- Business to Business matching: a call for proposals has been launched and SMEs will be selected by European Sectoral Consortia though a transparent procedure based on eligibility criteria in accordance with EU rules. The aim is to explore opportunities for cooperation, working on the creation of a common product or service.
- Study visits: these will offer the possibility to learn “on site” from other BSOs, build understanding on the Eastern partner countries within the EU business community and vice versa, and offer an opportunity for networking. Each study visit will have a specific focus, which can be thematic (e.g. Internationalisation service, women entrepreneurship), or sectoral (e.g. agri-food, textiles).
- Twinnings (defined as Capacity Building / peer to peer learning for BSOs, Coaching) in order to establish direct links between the EU BSOs and Eastern partner BSOs. The idea is to increase knowledge on the trade environment and investment opportunities, to allow for peer-to-peer exchanges, sharing of best practices and knowledge, mutual cooperation and knowledge expanding on both sides.

Within the same activity, visits to industrial areas, companies and SMEs of the sector, to local clusters and innovation poles will be encouraged, in order to expose BSOs to the local context and business environment.

There will be around 59 re-grant schemes for third parties at €60,000 (maximum).
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Priority Area:
Partnership that creates
Economy & trade
EaP Countries:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine
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