About this good practice
The Covid 19 pandemic has greatly increased e-commerce and online promotion, resulting in new needs, skills and adaptability. This has helped raise awareness of the opportunities for structural change in promotion and international trade, by adopting specific e-commerce tools and strategies. Moreover, the capacity of companies to evaluate the impact of digital export on their own organisations has to be strengthened.
How objectives are reached:
Through the techniques learned during the training modules, companies acquire a conscious and professional approach to better manage every aspect of the digital strategy within business to business contexts.
The program includes 5 short training workshops (4 days each) and 1 open event.
The training workshops are mainly planned through a digital platform provided by the Italian Trade Agency. 4 of the 5 training workshops, in addition to training, provide a short personalised advice for each SME.
The main stakeholders are:
Beneficiaries: SMEs, with a specific focus on manufacturing companies.
Key actors: Emilia-Romagna Region, Italian Trade Agency, Business associations
(€ 140.000 by Emilia-Romagna Region plus a in-kind co-financing by Italian Trade Agency of € 70.000)
Evidence of success
Out of the 5 training workshops, 1 was realised in 2021 with 150 enterprises participating in the 4 days-long activity. The second training realised in march 2022 had a similar success. During the courses and at the end of the program, feedback is expected from the participants together with a subsequent monitoring and evaluation of the possible impact.
Potential for learning or transfer
The idea of the program is to address not only the tools of e-commerce but to focus specifically on exports through digital means and strategies, also promoting cultural and organizational changes. We also expect positive results for the mix of training and short consultations that will be provided in training workshops.
Furthermore, this program belongs to a broader and more coordinated digital internationalization strategy which aims on the one hand to understand the needs of SMEs and on the other hand to support them with actions not only aimed at often fragmented financing.
The good practice is easily replicable. Collaboration with the National Agency is essential to have a broader and more updated vision and therefore to have up-to-date and competent experts.
Furthermore, it is useful to evaluate the potential of SMEs for export and to work in close agreement with trade associations.