EU4Business: Connecting Companies

about eu4bcc

EU4business: Connecting Companies (EU4BCC), is a project managed by Eurochambres and financed by the EU under the EU4Business initiative.

EU4Business is an umbrella initiative encompassing all EU support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The European Union supports SME growth by improving access to finance and business development services, and by promoting better business regulation. The role of EU4Business Facility is to monitor and analyse the impact of EU’s private-sector support actions in the EaP and maximise its visibility. The EU is currently supporting the private sector in the EaP region through 110 projects with a total budget of € 956.71 million. Read more:

  1. Contribute towards the development of sustainable and equitable economic growth models in the EaP countries, which can generate more investments and improve socio-economic conditions and employment opportunities for citizens.
  2. Support capacity of sectorial Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to enhance EaP SMEs internationalisation, export capacities and access to new markets.
  3. Support SMEs towards trade, more specifically export towards EU countries.

EU4BCC is designed to benefit two target groups at two different levels :

  • BSOs from the 6 EaP countries with a potential to work in partnership with EU counterparts in a peer-to-peer approach. This includes sectoral organisations, women entrepreneur organisations, chambers with a sectoral focus, clusters, among others.
  • SMEs from the EaP, especially those with an international potential; they will receive training, coaching and opportunity for matchmaking with business from the EU.
In order to ensure a deeper impact of the actions, the project is organised on a sectoral basis, focusing on five sectors/areas. This allows for a more strategic approach targeting the specific needs and opportunities of each sector, and allowing the creation of alliances between EU and EaP businesses. The selected target sectors are:
  • Bio-/organic food
  • Creative Industries
  • Textile
  • Tourism
  • Wine

5 Sectorial Consortia were selected through a call for proposals to manage the activities developed under each of the sectors and to implement a long-term strategy to improve the competitiveness of the sector covered. Each Consortium comprised 4 Chambers of Commerce, 2 Chambers based in a Member State of the EU and 2 others based in the EaP.

The activities that have been developed since the launch of the project, back in December 2019, were tailored to support the business community in the EaP and include:

  • 59 sub-granted actions of max. 60 000 to organise: B2B matching, twinning actions, and study visits. See here report on results.
  • 5 Sectoral Study Visits for SMEs from the Eastern Partnership (EaP).
  • 1 BSOs’ Tour conceived as a discovery mission in Estonia for EaP-based BSOs.
  • 1 Online academy for SMEs with matchmaking sessions to help SMEs from the EaP grow their business internationally.
  • A pilot Mobility Scheme programme targeting both SMEs and BSO. See here factsheet report.

The outcomes of these initiatives are detailed in the infographic below: