Undoubtedly customisation is a trend not only in the private sector but it is also entering the public one. This customisation can be reached through different means: through the segmentation of audiences, analysis of their specific needs and being flexible in our offer of services for entrepreneurs.
Specific target groups
Our regional government is very aware of the importance of customisation of entrepreneurs’ services. This is why we involve them in the (re)design of the services aimed at them. For example we have created a sectorial group in which all the associations of self-employed are represented and they are participating in the codesign of actions that we will implement to support them. We are also taking especially into account the young people, designing mechanisms that ensure a correct and adapted guidance to those willing to undertake a (Business) Project. This action is being developed under the framework of the Gabinete de Iniciativa Joven, a regional project launched several years ago and that was a European reference for creating a whole ecosystem in the region to support young entrepreneurship.
Adapted financing tools
One of the main obstacles for companies is that of Financing (6th SBA principle). Extremadura has worked on a wide and flexible offer to adapt the needs of SMEs.
This is the reason why our region has decided to build a more solid, deep and inclusive financing structure by looking for complementary funding alternatives either on a short or long term. All these measures aim at fighting the lack of financial resources of self-employed and microcompanies to grow, innovate or be more competitive. The objective is aligned with the challenges of our RIS3 Strategy which seeks the development of a business environment able to grow internationally and be competitive and create wealth over time.
To reach these objectives, several tools have been implemented as the development of new funding instruments under the Jeremie 2 fund, or the creation of the SME initiative, business events between entrepreneurs and investors or private investment platforms as an alternative to bank financing, the Conecta Financiación project that deals with crowdfunding opportunities, specific agreements with banking entities or a specific funding tool (microcredits) aimed at women entrepreneurs that develop their business in Extremadura.
Training and innovation
Qualification and innovation are other of the pillars that contribute to the success and growth of companies and this is the reason why our government is implementing projects like Start-up Extremadura, the SMEs Innovation Plan or customised training programmes.
The mission of Extremadura Start-up is to consolidate an environment that can generate, welcome and develop innovative tech-based initiatives with a high growth potential and impact on the regional development. These companies face a high level of risk at early stages and need a specific action plan. Our programme offers incubation, advanced training, community work, and global connection. 114 start-ups have already beneficiated from the programme and 40 more will do so in 2016.
The SMEs Innovation Plan aims at giving support to microentreprises and SMEs so that they develop technological innovation projects and/or improve their competitiveness. They are given strategic or technological consultancy services and can even hire innovation experts for their company. They can also apply for innovation checks, which can help them learn technical or R&D solutions in the excellence areas related to RIS3.
The entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to access the large training offer of the Business Support Offices of the region, and specially the programme for advanced business training called IDEM that is aimed at managers, entrepreneurs and business owners.