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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Access to markets

COSME, the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), funds many initiatives that help small businesses access new markets.

Enterprise Europe Network

The Enterprise Europe Network provides resources to all businesses wishing to expand into new markets. SMEs can approach the local partner in their region for advice and information. Over 600 partner organisations in 54 countries have the capacity to reach out to more than 2 million SMEs.

The services the Network offers include

  • information on EU legislation and participation in EU programmes (Horizon 2020, regional funds)
  • assistance finding business partners abroad, in the EU or worldwide
  • advice on access to finance within the EU
  • support for innovation and technology transfer
  • obtaining the opinion of SMEs on EU legislation

Additionally, if your company is looking to access new markets abroad, the Your Europe Business Portal gathers all the services provided by national authorities you might need in one place.

IPR Helpdesks

COSME also funds IPR SME Helpdesks for China, ASEAN countries (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and Latin American countries (to help SMEs deal with intellectual property rights (IPRs) issues in these countries.

The helpdesks offer free services including the registration of formal IPRs (such as patents, trademarks, or utility models), confidential first-line advice on how to deal with intellectual property rights infringements or how to manage intellectual property as business assets, awareness raising, training, and the provision of materials on relevant topics.

Thanks to COSME, the multilingual China IPR SME Helpdesk has answered more than 400 direct enquires from SMEs that would like to operate in that country and supported thousands of SMEs through events and online services since 2011.

EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation

Created in 1987 by the European Commission and the Japanese Government, the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation is a non-profit organisation which manages support activities for EU companies that foster trade, investment, and R&D cooperation between the EU and Japan.