Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Coaching Academy in Badajoz – a connected province of SMEs worth investing in

As part of the InvestHorizon Project and in the framework of supporting activities for innovative companies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Badajoz, Spain organized on 8th June 2016, a Coaching Academy on Sustainable Growth in Innovative SMEs. 

Advantages of the Region

Badajoz is located in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The province is positioned, between the two major capital cities of the Peninsula:  Madrid and Lisbon, making Badajoz the center of many routes. In addition, Badajoz is a great hub to access Spanish and Portuguese markets through its connections with most important Atlantic seaports of the Iberian Peninsula (Lisbon, Aveiro, Sines, Algeciras, Huelva, Seville). The region has also the largest number of kilometers of inland coast in Spain and one of the longest in Europe, with four river basins and forty dams. It has low levels of pollution or other environmental problems.
Moreover, Badajoz has the lowest square meter price of housing in Spain and is also located in the only Spanish region (Extremadura) that provides financial aid to investments projects promoted by large corporations. This aid is offered within the framework of the National Regional Aid for the 2014-2020 period.

Sectors worth Investing in

The main sectors represented in the regions are agriculture and food processing, clean energy, tourism, healthcare, and ICT. These SMEs would particularly need more information on how to access to finance, how to disseminate innovations in all sectors and how to apply scientific and technological domains of a cross-cutting nature. The main aim of the coaching academy was to tackle the challenges linked to access to finance for SMEs. But, it is also important to spread innovations and apply more scientific and technological knowledge to sectors that support the economy: agro-food sector, cultural tourism, catering trade, green energy, IT and the health and life sciences sector.

Coaching Academy Training

During the coaching academy day held at the Co-Creation Convent Space, more than 25 companies from varied sectors such as consulting, engineering, health, marketing, ICT, and energy exchanged best practices. Most SMEs were seeking to accelerate and consolidate their growth by redefining their business model and finding new financing alternatives. The day was structured in such a way that each lecture was followed by a workshop to apply the theory previously learned. It has primarily focused on topics relevant in stages of growth: Redefinition of Business Model, new financing alternatives and internationalization.

The training started with a lecture on Growth Marketing Business Model Redefinition taught by Ramón Oliver from ESIC Business & Marketing School. This lecture was followed by a workshop on Increasing your customer base and finding new segments.    

The second lecture by Mrs. Belén Tubio - Manager Executive Education from the AFI School Finance, was on the different Financing options for growth stage. It was followed by a workshop on Business Angels, Equity Capital and other instruments to redefine your financing strategy.

The afternoon was on Internationalization: New program CRECE lectured by Mrs. Isabel Balbontin - Head of strategy and business development Department from the Badajoz Chamber of Commerce. The seminar was concluded by a workshop on human resource strategies and team completion.