The objective is to prepare the SME for export or other international activities, or to work with internationalisation in a more structured way than hitherto
• Lack of export-related competences in SMEs with little, sporadic or no export experience
• To be successful with export activities, internal skills and processes within the enterprise is fundamental
• Not a well recognised issue within most SMEs

• The target group is directors, department managers and export managers
• An export mentor is working together with the SME to structure export
• Export mentors could be former export employees, export employees from larger companies or export consultants

• Central Denmark Region is the overall leader of this service
• Business Development Centre Central Denmark is manager of the service

• Beneficiaries are SMEs (EU definition) which carry out international activities or have potential to do so
• There is particular focus on SMEs within manufacturing, food and food processing equipment, energy and environmental technology (including wind energy, biomass and water technology)
• Mainly targeted SMEs with little or no export experience

Resources needed

• Approx. 10,700 € per SME including 50 % co-funding from the SME
• It takes approx. 2 – 5 hours for a consultant per SME – both before, during and after the SME is using the service. The SME will use approx. 90 hours to go through the service, and the private consultant will be spending approx.

Evidence of success

• 10 SMEs participated in this activity in the one year program
• The Good Practice will continue in the new programming period and is considered fundamental
• 108 SMEs participated in the overall Program where this Good Practice was a minor activity. The 108 SMEs expect to increase yearly export by 71 – 117 mio. DKR.

Difficulties encountered

Easy to set up this service although it take time to build a corps of mentors
The mentor need to understand specific challenges and opportunities of SMEs
Can be difficult to get SMEs involved in, case stories can be useful
Biggest potential for development of SMEs with medium growth potential

Potential for learning or transfer

• Internal skills and processes within the SME is fundamental for success in export and other international activities
• By implementing this Good Practice, SMEs will have a higher success rate when starting to export
• The SMEs will be using less "trial-and-error" when starting to export
Main institution
Growth Forum Midtjylland
Midtjylland, Denmark (Danmark)
Start Date
January 2016
End Date
March 2017


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