The meeting with the SME United’s Early Warning Project in Spain was hopefully the first of many as there are several opportunities for collaboration. It was interesting to get an insight into the situation the SMEs in Spain are facing, where 15,5 % of the work force are self-employed. It is not a career choice always made voluntarily as in some areas it is the only possible form of employment as there are no jobs to get.
The connection between SMEs and the ECDN might not be obvious at first. But when a person is deeply involved in his or her own company and the times are hard, you are more at risk of getting your personal economy and the economy of the company mixed, which might make it difficult to untangle the private debt from the company debt, and this is where the ECDN can help.
The SME United Early Warning Project already assists and advice the SMEs in Spain in how to avoid bankruptcy and at the same time the members of the ECDN can advice the self employed regarding their private debt, and make sure no individuals are left to their own devices.
Furthermore, we were informed about another one of the projects the SME United’s Early Warning Project in Spain are working on. In this project they reach out to vulnerable self-employed people in the society for example entrepreneurs originating from Morocco or Romania. They offer them financial advice and assistance and furthermore if they wish to return to their home country, they can advise them on how to start a business similar to the one they have in Spain.
In the future we hope to have a collaboration with the SME United in which we can refer to each other organizations and support each other with information if needed.
Hopefully this is just the first step in the greater collaboration across borders for the benefit of all Europeans.