Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Paper presented at the XVIII ISPIM Conference: Warsaw, Poland (2007) Innovation for Growth: The Challenges for East and West - ISBN 978-952-214-388-4


: An EFER report in 1995observed that little of the growth of Europe’s top 500 companies came from existing products in existing markets, but almost two-thirds of the growth came from entering new markets [1]. A large majority of Europe’s 500 are active in export markets, with exports accounting for 40% of their turnover as opposed to the 10% export share for SMEs overall. One of the critical reasons for the poor performance of SMEs within the international arena is their ignorance of local business cultures. This paper is based upon the work of an EU initiative with the project title “Passport to Trade” whose primary objective was to improve the existing vocational training materials in business culture for SMEs, incorporating material across the whole EU. A needs analysis was conducted across the EU and qualitative testing in three markets. The on-line delivery method used allows SMEs and their employees to access training materials remotely at their convenience.