A one-stop- shop for providing advice to SMEs, especially focused on a singleone foreign market
Maribor’s regional Chamber of Craft and Small Business (RCCSB) offers a one-stop shop providing legal advice to its SME members, especially focused on neighbouring Austrian market. Support consists of:
- legal and financial advice about doing business in Austria (not restricted to Austrian market only),
- support in establishing first business contacts (entering fairs, B2B meetings, linguistic support),
- providing pre-entry information,
- updated news with tenders and business opportunities
- online services for their members, matching the demand and supply.
Service was developed on identified main problems of SMEsentering the Austrian market; namely, the lack of knowledge about the Austrian legislation regulating their fields of work. RCCSB started tracking the changes in Austrian legislation regulating the fields concerning its SME members and started keeping records of interpretations provided by work inspectors in different regions in Austria.
Key aspect of the practice is a follow-up of consultancies, following the impact of the legal and financial advice provided.
SME members of RCCSB have access to support on other markets as well, either directly or through another chamber within the network of national umbrella of Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia (62 regional chambers).
Most active users of the services are SMEs from transport and construction sectors.
Main financial resources are staff cost for consulting, gathering and analysis of data. Staff is ensured, not to take financial risks deriving from possible unsuccessful consultation.
Service is primarily for chamber’s members and is funded through membership fees. Membership is voluntary.
Evidence of success
On average, service supports 30 SMEs per month.
An important result is also collected knowledge on specific legislative on the Austrian market, gathered throughout the years of conducting the service.
Potential for learning or transfer
With various possible legal interpretations of existing legislative regulating specific sectors and occasional legislative changes and updates on foreign markets it is very difficult for SMEs to be up to date. RCCSB offers not only initial interpretations of the legislative, but also practical examples of their interpretation and implementation through precedent cases.
Practice is focused on SME entering a specific foreign market. EU. The same principle can be applied to any market, where local/regional SMEs have a strong presence and experience (either EU markets or non-EU markets).
Practice is transferable in terms of organisational model / implementation process and risk management strategy involved.
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