SMEs are often faced with limited financial resources to invest in the improvement of their eco-innovative capacities. Support for developing SMEs capacities for resilient growth is needed at the regional and international level.
The INTERREG IVB NWE (North West Europe) Programme provides Public grant funding for demonstration, aiming to promote cooperation between European regions and the implementation of common solutions with regards to economic development and environmental management. The project ResilieNtWeb is co-financed by the programme, and has developed a Sustainable and Strategic Eco-innovation Toolkit to support SMEs in developing strategies on long-term sustainability.
Why did it work?
The ResilieNtWeb project aims to provide a free of charge strategic support program for SMEs to help them increase their resilience, i.e. the ability to anticipate and adjust to market changes, and improving their sustainability. The participating SMEs benefit from advice from the project partners with identifying commercial opportunities at local and/or international level and draw up a program of innovative actions and implement them. The project brings together expertise of organisations from south of England, Luxembourg, France and Belgium.
ResilieNtWeb offers customised support to business in the following steps:
- Quick Scan: SMEs are offered a quick scan of commercial challenges and opportunities. This tool allows them to identify issues they need to work on.
- Scoping with the company: issues needing work are further explored but also opportunities for improvement and opportunities for business growth are identified while setting the objective and targets to be reached.
- Design and realise the innovation: SMEs plan an “eco-innovation roadmap” to achieve the targets developed in previous step. The project trains SMEs in tools to implement the roadmap through workshops and expert support.
- Measure success, reflect and adjust: The ResilieNtWeb project measures the improvements as regards sustainability that the SME has made. The SME provides the feedback on its experience with the ResilieNtWeb tools and on the opportunities for readjustment.
ResilieNtWEB strategic support programme allows regional small businesses to achieve a resilient growth in local and international markets by preparing them for future market changes. The ResilieNtWeb project tools are tested by the SMEs free of charge and improved based on their feedback. The project is providing support to SMEs since March 2013 and will continue doing so through March 2015 when the project officially ends. As the full exploitation of ResilieNtWEB tools has not yet achieved, we estimated the maturity of this eco-initiative to be 7 on GML scale.