Yesterday, Peter Kievoet (Director of Economy, Mobility and Spatial Planning of the Municipality of The Hague) gave the starting signal for the fifth edition of the International Market Entry Coaching (IMEC) programme. In this free course, 18 SMEs from The Hague region are preparing for nine months to achieve international success.
International market support for and by entrepreneurs in The Hague
The IMEC programme started for the first time in 2018. After the success of the first round, the program repeats every year. This year again, a new group of ambitious SME entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to develop internationally. In the 5th year, participants can also choose Denmark as a target country. To celebrate the occasion, the ambassador of Denmark, Jarl Frijs-Madsen, came to the opening to wish the entrepreneurs success with their entry into the Danish market.
The selected companies receive intensive, personal guidance that prepares them for success on the foreign market in Germany, the United Kingdom or Denmark. The program consists of joint workshops, networking opportunities and personal guidance from experts from The Hague Business Agency, InnovationQuarter and knowledge partners from the target country of the entrepreneurs. In this way, they gain the appropriate knowledge needed for international success.
In addition, the program has gathered a diverse group of partners; MKB Den Haag, Economic Board The Hague, The Hague Tech, Ondernemend Nederland, NLinBusiness, Greenport West-Holland, WTC The Hague, Worldstartup, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and VNO-NCW. Here too, participants can make contacts and gain insights to enrich their knowledge.
Low-threshold knowledge sharing
In recent years, the program has already helped 60 companies expand abroad. Previous alumni confirm that in addition to insight, prospects and development, building new networks are particularly valuable. For that reason, the IMEC programme has opted for an expansion this year in the form of low-threshold knowledge sharing. “This year, we will start organizing alumni meetings. Here, experiences about international business are shared, and everyone gets a chance to expand their network. Naturally, we ensure that valuable insights are also shared on our IMEC platform, which every entrepreneur can visit themselves. In this way, entrepreneurs with ambitions abroad can learn from their predecessors”, says Elisa van Maanen, project manager of IMEC.
IMEC alumnus Valentijn goes for the second round
Valentijn Koppenaal from vBoxx already participated in 2020 and registered again this year. “Last time, I got a lot out of the programme. In particular, the legal tips and tricks and the personal guidance I received were priceless. That’s why I decided to participate again. After Germany, my ambition is to enter the Danish market.”
The companies participating in the 2022 edition are vBoxx, Iron Roots, Tiller, Six Dogs, Novasole, BonCode Software Remediation, InnoSer International, Human Insight, Laveen, Interactive Robotics, Wholy Greens, Lytho, Semansys Technologies, Hop en Stork, Isuna , Buro BRAND, Naïf and Zarttech.
The IMEC programme is part of the SME deal ‘international entrepreneurship for and by entrepreneurs’ that InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency are carrying out on behalf of the Municipality of The Hague and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. “It is fantastic that we can already offer this successful program for the fifth time,” says Saskia Bruines, alderman for Economy. “This SME deal contributes to strengthening The Hague economy and the trade position of the Netherlands.” The Municipality of The Hague states that entrepreneurs who are active internationally are also usually more innovative, grow faster and spend more money on research. They are also less dependent on local market developments and have greater resilience and competitiveness.
Do you also want to expand abroad?
Are you an SME entrepreneur in The Hague region, and are you also interested in expanding your business abroad? InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency are happy to help ambitious entrepreneurs. Contact Elisa van Maanen, Project Manager Internationalization & Trade via: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Or register directly via www.innovationquarter.nl/imec.
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