ISSUE #04, December 2013 www.tok-toc.eu / www.tok-toc.biz
‣ July 2013 As we say goodbye to 2013, we look back in this e-Newsletter and we bring you some of the highlights that define what TOK-TOC is about.

From interregional study visits, seminars and workshops for business buyers and sellers, to the handbook of best practices, transferability report, e-platform www.tok-toc.biz and the model for running business transfer centres in municipalities, we are approaching our target for developing new policies in support of business transfer.

TOK-TOC is a project co-financed by INTERREG IVC in order to prompt the development of new policies in support of business transfer. The six partners of TOK-TOC have devoted their efforts on sensitising and bringing together different stakeholders through, workshops, information seminars and press conferences, business centres in three municipalities, the digital platform www.tok-toc.biz.

The events presented in this e-Newsletter have been organised by the partners and have been attended by representatives of Chambers, regional and local authorities, municipalities, associations of municipalities, university students, researchers, representatives of financial institutions, consultants, journalists and politicians. The partners have collected and promoted business transfer practices efficiently and effectively within and beyond the boundaries of the EU.

‣ August 2013 TOK-TOC bridging business communities
and local authorities in EU


The six partners of TOK-TOC finalized the procedures for the pilot operation of TOK-TOC BIZ Offices in Athens (EL), Kaiserslaoutern (DE), and Brasov (RO). Today these business centres operate under the principles outlined in TOK-TOC’s Model for creating sustainable business communities. The services offered by the operators of the three TOK-TOC BIZ Offices to potential business sellers and buyers are mainly based on digital tools.

The rationale of the Model designed by Dr. Christos Tzortzis is built upon successful practices, policies and case studies presented in the handbook “Supporting Successful Business Transfer in Europe: High-lighting the challenges and identifying solutions”. This document relies on business transfer “enhancers” recommended in the relevant “Transferability Report”.

Read more about this at the multilingual portal www.tok-toc.eu:

http://tok-toc.eu/?page_id=791

‣ September 2013 The partners of TOK-TOC gearing up for the
pilot testing of business-transfer tools


On September 2nd 2013 members of the Greek business community in Attica attended a regional workshop for potential business sellers and buyers organised by the Athens Chamber of Small-Medium Industries. Business owners and local stakeholders learned about the operation of the e-platform www.tok-toc.biz and the opening of the TOK-TOC BIZ Office in the Municipality of Aghios Dimitrios.

The President of the ACSMI Mr. Pavlos Ravanis spoke about the need for informing business owners about planning transfer from the very early stages of business development.

Dr. Odysseas Katsaitis, Economics Professor at the American College of Greece, told the audience that successful business transfer requires years of preparation and great psychological strength for a difficult decision that needs to be made by both the business buyers and sellers.

Graham Smith, lecturer at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Strathclyde, told the audience that the transfer of knowledge from sellers to buyer needs strategic re-engineering of the human capital and early planning.

Tasos Tzanikos, the operator of the e-platform www.tok-toc.biz, designed by Greek IT Prof. Christos Tzortzis, presented its easy use and connecting capabilities for buyers and sellers throughout the EU.

Lennard Drogendijk, CEO of Friesland Development Agency spoke about the need for becoming innovative in designing low-cost enhancers for business transfer.

The vice-president of the Athens Chamber of Small-Medium Industries, Dimitrios Tsatsos concluded that business transfer success relies on strong cooperation between the business community and state authorities.



Promoting the e-platform www.tok-toc.biz and the pilot operation
of the TOK-TOC BIZ Office in Attica, Greece


A press-conference that followed the workshop for potential business sellers and buyers held at the Athens Chamber of Small-Medium Industries on Sept.2, 2013, was attended by journalists who learned about the operation of the e-platform www.tok-toc.biz and the pilot testing of the TOK-TOC BIZ Offices in three partner regions: Attica (EL), Palatinate (DE), and Centru (RO).





TOK-TOC reaches the German business interest groups

On September 18th, 2013 IHK ZETIS presented the TOK-TOK project at a business fair in Kaiserslautern. Attached you can find some pictures. Viktoria Braun and Markus Bauer had interesting discussions with prominent German professionals, as in photo with motivation speaker and extreme sportsman, Joe Kelly

‣ October 2013 Business Development Friesland introduces a new
concept for business incubators in Leeuwarden,
Netherlands


In October, 2013 Business Development Friesland organised a Regional Workshop and Information Session targeting foremost potential buyers and sellers, future successors of family businesses and young local (start-up) entrepreneurs. The participants attended plenary presentations and workshops and had one-to-one sessions with experts.

20 guests attended the morning session at the Inqubator Leeuwarden and over a 1000 attended the information market at the WTC Hotel (hosted by the Chamber of Commerce) and visited the TOK-TOC exhibition stand of Business Development Friesland.

 At a subsequent information market at the WTC Hotel (hosted by the Chamber of Commerce), participants could have one-on-one talks with  staff members of Business Development Friesland and the Inqubator Leeuwarden learning about the business transfer process involving start-up and continuation, incubation and subsidy opportunities. A lot of people showed interest in the TOK-TOC.BIZ platform and they were encouraged to sign-up and to create an account. Interestingly, many potential buyers with potential investment ranging from €50.000 to €200.000 stopped at the stand.


Information Day in Kaiserslautern, Germany
“Please take over! - Opportunities and challenges
of business successions”


On October 2nd, 2013, the IHK Zetis GmbH organised in Kaiserslautern, Germany an Information Day for participants from the Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions and enterprise agencies as well as policy makers and employers. Over 20 interested participants discussed about aspects of business transfer und challenges. It was especially discussed the nature of the deliberations. You can summarize that there is an increased need for intensive, professional and cost-effective advice. The participants also would wish more support from the banks in the way of innovative financing models and advice. A best practice of a successful business transfer completed the event.

‣ November 2013 Information Day II: University of Strathclyde
at Glasgow City Chamber, UK


Scottish Council’s neighbouring Glasgow met at Glasgow City Chambers on George Square in the centre of Glasgow and exchanged views on how to connect local authorities and business communities to address the challenge of business transfer. The issues of energising business owners who have chosen not to deal with the matter were discussed. The audience heard Marjorie Miller present Glasgow City Council’s views on the issues facing Glasgow as well as George Chalmers from REM Ltd, a local SME, to hear the views on transfer and transition from someone who will go through it in the next 5 years.

Read more about this at the multilingual portal www.tok-toc.eu:

http://tok-toc.eu/?page_id=893


Links to relevant articles on the press::

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-24960739

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15m-plan-to-create-2000-new-firms-by-2017-142611n.22703150



Glasgow commits to supporting SMEs

A major regional development took place in Glasgow on the 15th November 2013, when the Leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson announced a commitment to support existing business through the transfer stage. The ‘Glasgow Business Transfer Loan Fund’ will see a commitment of £1m to improve the future viability of SME’s in the city, and in his speech, he made reference to the content of the Regional Handbook developed by the TOK-TOC partnership. This regional development is the first of its kind in Scotland and sees Glasgow take the lead in acknowledging the challenges faced by many businesses during a period of succession. The initiative is a direct result of extensive work between the University of Strathclyde, one of the key partners in the TOK-TOC project, and Glasgow City Council’s Development and Regeneration Services department, who have been involved as a strategic partner in the project.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=10891





A Workshop for Potential Buyers and Sellers at the
Chamber of Commerce in Glasgow


The University of Strathclyde organised a workshop for potential business buyers and sellers at the Chamber of Commerce in Glasgow (Merchants House) on 15th November 2013. The audience heard about new practices supporting business development and transfer.

Read more about this at the multilingual portal www.tok-toc.eu:

http://tok-toc.eu/?page_id=816





The IHK Zetis GmbH hosts TOK-TOC’s Technical and
Steering Committee Meetings in Kaiserslautern


Knowledge transfer methods and tools for helping business sellers and buyers of small, medium, and micro family firms were explored during TOK-TOC’s Technical and Steering Committee Meetings in Kaiserslautern on November 21st & 22nd, 2013. The partners exchanged views about the digital tools for business buyers and sellers in order to enrich the services provided by the TOK-TOC BIZ Offices in Athens (EL), Kaiserslautern (DE), and Brasov (RO).



Interregional Workshop for Buyers and Sellers in
Kaiserslautern, Germany

Business transfer - a risk for SMEs?
Pointing out challenges and solutions


On 21st November 2013 the IHK Zetis GmbH organised in Kaiserslautern, Germany an Interregional Workshop for buyers and sellers. The target audience were Buyers and Sellers of companies, Chambers of Commerce, policy makers, employers, educational institutions and enterprise agencies. The aim of the event was to inform the buyers and sellers but also the other participants which challenges exist on the topic of business transfer and what kind of help they can find on the spot. From science and practice the different approaches were discussed and the TOK-TOC Project was presented. During the event the need of action was explained from the national and the EU view. There was also presented the TOK-TOC Project and the handbook as one first result of the project. It was highlighted that the municipalities are an important partner of the EU concerning the implementation of the EU guidelines and aims. So the municipality of Kaiserslautern presented their work on business development and transfer advice. At last the representative of a bank gave a deep insight into the view of the banks on the topics of business transfer, he stressed that banks and entrepreneurs should early come together to talk about the future of the company and to develop a transfer plan with other experts. Around 60 participants attended the interregional workshop.

Read more about this at the multilingual portal www.tok-toc.eu:

http://tok-toc.eu/?page_id=817

‣ December 2013 The Brasov Metropolitan Agency invites Potential Buyers
and Sellers to a Workshop


Business seller and buyers from the wider area metropolitan area of Brasov attended a regional workshop held at the Vity Council room in Brasov on 9 December 2013. Greek and Dutch representatives participated at the workshop as well. Ms. Luana Popa, Director of the Association of Business Women and Top Managers in Brasov presented different ways for encouraging business transfer to female successors or buyers. The Romanian Business School Foundation presented also a very important aspect from a relevant handbook and argued in support of TOK-TOC BIZ Office in Brasov.

Read more about this at the multilingual portal www.tok-toc.eu:

http://tok-toc.eu/?page_id=819

The Brasov Metropolitan Agency organised an
Information Day for local stakeholders


Local authorities, business associations and research institutions were informed about the aims and goals of TOK-TOC’s consortium on 10 December 2013. A press conference was held at the Brasov City Call that was broadcasted on Romanian TV.

TV Show link:

http://www.mixtvbrasov.ro/23981-proiectul-tok-toc/




Local Stakeholders in the Metropolitan Area of Brasov
work on business transfer


The Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona eases the sale and purchase of Catalan companies The Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona organised regional workshop for buyers and sellers in Barcelona on December 12th, 2013. The audience heard that a third of business owners may have to transfer their firm to a new owner over the next 10 years. Since 2008, more companies are closing than opening, a situation that could have been avoided.

More than fifty participants from the metropolitan Barcelona heard that the lack of family succession, asset diversification and growth difficulties are the main reasons that cause the transmission of companies. The trend of destruction of businesses continues since 2008, resulting to more businesses closures than openings year after year.

Read more about this at the multilingual portal www.tok-toc.eu:

http://tok-toc.eu/?page_id=818


LEAD PARTNER:


• Athens Chamber of Small & Medium Industries



PARTNERS:


• University of Strathclyde


• Business Development Friesland


• Barcelona Chamber of Commerce


• Brasov Metropolitan Agency
Brasov Metropolitan Agency for
Sustainable Development



• IHK Zetis GmbH – Centre for Technology
and Innovation Consulting Southwest

We look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions on the special pages of our multilingual portal dedicated to the above events: www.tok-toc.eu

Copyright © 2013 TOK-TOC (1242 R4) PROJECT #4 e-Newsletter |  www.tok-toc.eu

Contact Details:
Athens Chamber of Small & Medium Industries
18, Akademias Street 10671, ATHENS , GREECE
Tel.: +30 210 3680700 | Fax: +30 210 3614726
www.tok-toc.eu / www.tok-toc.biz