3 stories (positive ones) that explain why cities should communicate better with SMEs


2 cities, one in Slovakia, another one in Croatia, and 1 European project. These are the examples that we want to tell you about today. Stories in which municipalities and cities have worked with and for small and medium-sized enterprises, creating jobs and growth.

But let’s start from the beginning, from small and medium-sized enterprises.

SMEs are considered the main engine for creating jobs and growth in many European cities. Although in many cities SMEs are working successfuly, in others there are still some things to be improved: there’s a need for better support structures on a regional and on a national level, and a need for fundings.

That’s why cites and SMEs should communicate more

To achieve these goals, the communication between municipalities and SMEs is fondamental. We, as ELIPS are convinced of this.

The municipalities should be the first in contancting the small and medium-sized enterprises. The cities, in fact, thanks to the local legitimacy and their public status, play a central role in designing and implementing projects that integrate the vision of the city with that of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The desire of ELIPS Slovakia is to help SMEs and municipalities to simplify their communication. How? By entering into the logic of municipalities and  by making sure that the auditors understand better the needs of their city.

Sometimes you just need to communicate and, as far as we know, it’s free.

Because of all this, the team of ELIPS Slovakia is working on several methods to figure out how to strengthen the communication between municipalities and small and medium-sized enterprises, but also to encourage municipalities to collaborate with SMEs.

A fiber-optic network and a multilingual portal for the country of Kechnec, Slovakia

The first story takes place in the municipality of Kechnec, a village in the south of Slovakia, on the border with Hungary.

In this municipality, the mayor has developed considerably different infrastructures to help SMEs to work better.

For example:

  • he has build a fiber-optic network covering the whole country
  • he has created a website in three languages
  • he has built  roads, sidewalks and driveways in the industrial area
  • he has secured industrial zone with a surveillance system
  • he has improved esthetics of the country
  • he has created a complex dedicated to gastronomy within the sport center
  • he has rebuilt the village center

In Croatia, where the European funds have financed a business incubator

We now move to Croatia, to the town of Belišće, to find another good example of cooperation between municipality and SMEs.  There the mayor has made​​:

  • a business incubator, funded by European funds
  • a new cycle paths
  • a new indoor swimming pool and a hotel
  • a new asphalt road

The European project in which cities help SMEs

Our last good example is the project FIN-URB-ACT, sponsored by URBACT, the European program promoting sustainable urban development.

The project FIN-URB-ACT has allowed, in several European cities, to develop an efficient support structures for local SMEs.

  • the city of Aachen, Germany, has used the FIN-URB-ACT to create a cross-border cluster in the field of high technologies
  • the city of Maribor in Slovenia, has revitalized the small shops and the craft sector in the historic center of the city
  • the city of Reims, in France, has promoted communication activities for the local network REIMS CREA. This network supports the development of SMEs through trade fairs and events.
  • the city of Aveiro  in Portugal, has developed a package of support for SMEs that includes various support activities, which cover the promotion of entrepreneurial culture, entrepreneurial education in school, business incubation and consulting services for enterprises , finances and communication.
  • the city of Linz in Austria has institutionalized a roundtable of services to support local SMEs

Photos from here: flickr / A boy called Bi

Leave A Comment

Follow us on our socials:
LinkedIn Facebook Twitter RSS Feed