An Andalusian Scale Up programme that develops and promotes SME business models in Europe

Last May, the region of Andalusia launched the third edition of their SCALE-UP 2021 programme to boost startups in the Andalusian Autonomous Community. This initiative selects 10 SMEs from the region that will work for half a year in a training and education programme on international scaling in order to replicate their business models in Europe.

With the ultimate aim of establishing a regional ecosystem of scale-ups and managing the coordination of programmes for entrepreneurs and actors providing services in the region, Andalusia has committed to SCALE-UP 2021. This programme, co-funded by the European Programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME), will provide advice and financial support to help Andalusian companies scale-up internationally.

This programme, promoted by CESEAND (Andalusian node of Enterprise Europe Network of the European Commission), has a structured and complete organisation of activities and training days for access to new markets, as well as advice and support in financing. Some of the specific actions that will be carried out are coaching and mentoring services and intellectual property.

After an arduous selection process in which the turnover, leadership and experience of the candidate companies are evaluated, a total of 10 SMEs will be chosen and considered by the Andalusian Regional Government as "the companies with the greatest potential to grow in Europe". The European Union is full of opportunities available to SMEs working at regional level across the continent. It is the regions, such as Andalusia, which are the key actors that can strengthen the competences of companies through specific actions and best practices.

This intense training programme will allow the awarded companies to present their projects to both national and international investors in November 2021. This opportunity, known as the third international investment forum, will be attended by entrepreneurs, stakeholders, venture capital or private equity firms and business angels, among others. Moreover, their projects can also be presented at the European Angel Investment Summit of the European Business Angels and Venture Capital Association (EBAN).

The region of Andalusia can be a source of inspiration and a model of good practice for other regions in Europe. Boosting the economic growth and business of SMEs at regional level is a challenge that requires constant effort and work. SCALE UP Interreg Europe works with seven different EU regions (Murcia, Spain; Northern Hessen, Germany; Attica, Greece; Lazio, Italy; Lubelskie, Poland; Nottingham, United Kingdom) that carry out the improvement of policy instruments linked to business growth and robustness to support the capacity of SMEs to engage in regional, national and international markets. Like Andalusia, these regions promote good practices so that the different SMEs in their regions can replicate their business models in Europe.

We should follow the example of these regions' best practices, so that the European Union's economy and industry can move forward in a coordinated way. We need to follow programs such as Interreg Europe or SCALE UP 2021 Andalucía, as they promote the cooperation of public authorities and regions for mutual exchange of knowledge, raise awareness on what they are managing, compare good practices in order to see what is efficient and copied, and differentiate from what have been failures to prevent them from being committed again. Thus, we are selecting what works best, and move forward at the same time and with greater speed. All this leads to a total acceleration of growth and mutual benefit.

Let's continue learning from good European practices!

More info (in Spanish) here.