SMEs AFRICA: the internationalisation programme on progress
‘SMEs AFRICA’ is an initiative that aimed at developing and promoting Copernicus Earth Observation data access to end-users in 4 African countries (Gabon, Senegal, Ethiopia and South Africa) to help face climate change and sustainable development issues.
First phase successfully completed!
CNES and Aerospace Valley have already finalized the first step of their internationalisation program, which is to foster the use of Copernicus based products and to support the export business of European SMEs.
The selected companies* have been supported by Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, during the first 6 months to define the best strategy to enter one country.
After three webinars addressing the markets of each country, the companies have received two accurate export diagnostics, which provided CEOs with sectorial opportunities and recommendations in the target countries. In addition, SMEs have received a comparison tool allowing each SME to select the country most relevant to their export development.
Following this phase, Business France provided each SME with a detailed roadmap with advices and recommendations on intercultural aspects, marketing tools, market access constraints, competitors, potential partners and business events.
From this stage of the project, participants are satisfied at 92% of the programme and are now awaiting the next step, which will liaise with local stakeholders.
Business connections & B2B
SMEs AFRICA now enters in a second phase that will allow business connections with potential partners and clients in the selected countries. We hope to undertake two B2B missions in Senegal and South Africa before summer 2022. In parallel, Copernicus workshops and digital events will be organised in the different countries to sensitize stakeholders to the use of space data.
Some feedbacks of participants:
”SMEs AFRICA is a great programme to better understand new markets, identify potential users and avoid pitfalls.” - Spacesense (FR)
”It has been greatly informative. The team was incredibly engaging and knowledgeable about South Africa.” - Space4Good (NL)
“Till now the experience is positive. The webinars were interesting and stimulating. The meeting with Business France people was very good. We have the opportunity to describe our business model and our interest in the African market. We are waiting for the next steps.” - Planetek (IT)
“The program is very interesting and is a good entry point to Africa in general, and Senegal in particular.” - Murmuration (FR)
SMEs Africa has been launched on June 2021 by CNES (the government agency for shaping France’s space policy and implementing it in Europe). The operation is financed by the FPCUP project of the European Commission and operated by Aerospace Valley (the world’s first aerospace cluster, based in Toulouse, France).
*VisioTerra, Pixstart, Action Air Environnement, Noveltis, Murmuration, TerraNIS SAS, SpaceSense, LuxCarta Technologie, DIGINOVE (France); Planetek Italia (Italy); Omanos Analytics (UK); Detektia Earth Surface Monitoring S.L (Spain); Big Terra (Czech Republic); Space4Good (Netherlands) and Soilwatch (Belgium).