“There are quite a number of great initiatives that promote business internationalization, but very few people know about them”, adds Joachim. A few special mentions that he highlights are Erasmus Entrepreneurs (unrelated to the student exchange program) which facilitates exchange between European entrepreneurs, EIC Accelerator and Fast Track to Innovation, which are collaborative initiatives run by the European Commission, and even startup “coaching” provided by Business France.
More regional programs include Quatre moteurs pour l’Europe which groups together the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bade-Wurtemberg, Catalonia and Lombardy regions to promote mutual support and add an international profile to the projects in each of these areas, particularly when it comes to setting up a business. While many entrepreneurs from other member states are capitalizing on this program, the French represent a minority of users, much to their disadvantage.
One last piece of good news: due to the rising use of video-conferencing tools, Covid-19 has almost eliminated the need for physical proximity. Many international conferences have decided to go 100% online, which presents yet another opportunity to find new partnerships. Keep in mind, however, that “while these digital tools allow us to make initial connections, one still ought to go and meet people in person to further solidify the relationship”. It’s impossible to go international without some element of immersion in the target country, even in 2022.
You can find out more about the CPME Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes programs on their website: whether it’s network updates, events, trainings, webinars...and (soon) workshops organized by Qonto about how to start your business online, how to compose your articles of association, and how to deposit your share capital.