EU-funded Project Encourages Ukrainian IT SMEs to Enter EU Market

One of the main objectives of the EU-funded Project “Support to the Development of Business Capacity of Ukrainian SMEs – International Dimension” is to help companies to establish business links with EU companies. The Project helps SMEs to find potential customers, investors and other partners. An important step in this process is to become familiar with EU market developments and business opportunities.

A workshop on “Key Success Factors for EU Market Entry” was held on Friday, 11 December, 2008, at the State Committee of Ukraine for Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship, in Kyiv, for 22 SME owners/managers selected from information technology (IT) pilot sector of the Project.

Olena Ivanova, Marketing Director, of “Gris”, an IT company, said: “This Project is very timely for us. The workshop was very well organised, and Mr Billson properly understood our situation and used practical examples relevant to us. There was an interesting exchange of experience during the discussions. Now I plan to use this information to update our own strategic and export development plans in order to expand my business in the EU market.”

The workshop focused on:

  • enhancing knowledge on the IT market in the EU: actual market requirements, distribution channels, customers’ preferences and trends, how the industry responds to buyer’s trends;
  • key success factors for EU market entry, particularly, in UK, Scandinavia, Germany;
  • practical advice on developing company strategies and marketing plans;
  • tools for export planning;
  • practical advice on identifying useful business contacts in the EU;
  • practical methods on approaching potential customers.

Carl Billson, IT Expert (UK) and key speaker at the workshop, said “he was most impressed by the level of commitment of the IT companies actively involved and their strong potential”. His presentations stressed the importance of these provider companies adopting a customer-centric view when developing their export plans and the need to conduct focused research into their chosen markets, countries and competitors.

The workshop brought together 30 participants: owners/managers of selected IT companies, the State Committee of Ukraine for Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship, and the Project.

The participants were acquainted with: what foreign customers are looking for in terms of information and preparedness of a company; whether the own company is already prepared to enter and/or expand business in EU market.

After the workshop IT managers are able to assess potential of their companies to export to the EU, to determine the EU market entry strategy, target groups and countries for exporting. Selected IT companies are confident now and ready to create or assign and oversee creation of new international strategic and marketing plans, which fully meet customers’ needs.

Participants highly appreciated the workshops. They are very excited to collaborate within the Project and to find EU partners for their businesses.

Carl Billson said that “international research suggested that Ukraine was well-placed to increase its volume of nearshore outsourcing work, especially with mid-sized companies, who are even more motivated to outsource as a result of the current global economic pressures”.

Workshops on “Key Success Factors for EU Market Entry” for SME managers from the two other Project priority sectors – woodworking/furniture and machinery/equipment are planned for January and February 2009.

CATEGORY: Press-Releases

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