As part of the Growth Initiative for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Euler Hermes Switzerland is supporting the export activities of so-called “High-Potential SMEs” in the form of comprehensive advisory services in the area of risk management and subsequent exclusive contract terms for bonding products.
Launched in 2012 as a collaboration between the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF), the leading Swiss business platform for SMEs, and UBS bank, the objective of the initiative is to promote SMEs considered to have high growth potential. In addition to the original focus on capitalization aspects, risk management considerations have also been taken into account since 2013, prompting Allianz Suisse and Euler Hermes to join the initiative, with the former providing insurance, and Euler Hermes supporting through guarantees and accounts receivable protection.
As part of the initiative, SMEs with high growth potential are invited to review and optimize their growth strategy with experienced entrepreneurs and experts in an SQS-certified process, after which the companies will receive an expert external assessment and valuable input in the form of a detailed report. Once the company demonstrates a promising business model, it is awarded the SEF “High-Potential SME” quality label, something which 20 companies have received since 2012.
One such “High-Potential SME” to have received the accolade is Velobility AG, which aims to revolutionize e-bike rental in public and semi-public spaces. After taking part in the initiative, a consultation with Euler Hermes indicated that Velobility AG’s export activities can be facilitated by bonding and guarantees.
Within the short timespan of just under two weeks, Velobility received a loan commitment in the framework of bonding cover, which gave the company additional flexibility within its existing credit line. Euler Hermes was able to offer Velobility AG advantageous contractual terms.
“This gives me crucial leeway in order to quickly drive forward our planned export activities,” stated Philip James Douglas, founder & CEO, Velobility.
The SEF “High-Potential SME” label provided the company with extensive benefits. In addition to attractive growth modules with easier access to growth capital, advantageous advance payment guarantees, expanded risk and insurance protection, the label also strengthened the company‘s acceptance in the market by customers and investors. In addition, “SEF High-Potential SMEs” such as Velobility can benefit from sound strategic coaching by a qualified team of experts individually adapted to the needs of companies.
“Strategic coaching by an experienced entrepreneur set my company and me on the fast track,” Douglas emphasized.
SMEs can apply for certification by visiting www.sef4kmu.ch.