Co-internationalize. It’s too complex out there.

BY Fernando L. Mompó on 12 / 06 / 2015

Internationalization benefits are already well known. Exporting can open a business to new markets. It spreads risks by reducing dependence on the local market too. Most of times, it compels to increase competitiveness. But as benefits of internationalization make the effort to pay off, the global marketplace is becoming more complex and challenging than ever. Successful exporting takes careful planning and commitment. Even having both, it frequently also takes assets (from capital to Know How) that not all companies can easily access to.

As in so many other business activities, collaboration can be a key element to answer to this increasing complexity. Some companies have already realized about the need to be working together to compete on the international stage. A number of local governments and businesses are starting to work in partnership to build capacity to compete and succeed in today’s global environment.

Co-Society has been collaborating with one of these local authorities, the autonomous government of Navarra region (Spain), which recently implemented a program called “Co-internacionalízate” (Co-internationalize). The program, aimed to SMEs interested in joint internationalization projects with other companies, is part of a more extended plan to increase the export capacity of small and medium-sized businesses and to enhance their global competitiveness to positively impact the economy of the region.

“Co-Internacionalízate” unfolded in several workshops. The one led by Co-Society aimed to make visible the assets of all participants SMEs to the rest of companies. This way, in a second part of the workshop, different organizations could try and discuss hypothetical combinations of their assets for a internationalization collaborative project where weakness of some SMEs could be cancelled out by strengths of others and vice versa. The program finished several weeks later with a participation of more than 30 companies and 10 new collaborative projects on exporting generated.

It’s too soon to explain in which way the companies participating in these projects will collaborate. Meanwhile, as an inspiration to others, a list of some of the benefits that international collaboration could include:

  • Peer learning and mentorship to leverage the expertise of current exporters. Sharing international knowledge and developments.
  • Establishing networks in export markets or accessing networks and international partners
  • Providing international sources of inspiration and new ideas
  • Allowing business access to sources of global funding
  • Co-innovating to create a new value proposition that makes special sense in an international market
  • Reduce the initial business costs to reach new markets by facilitating access to promotion services, transportation and more

 ‘Co-internacionalizarse’, la última tendencia para exportar  (in spanish)

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