Refer an SME®!

Presenting a gold opportunity to give a boost to European small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

The “Refer an SME®!” initiative represents your chance to make a difference in the growth and prosperity of an SME with outstanding potential!

Refer an SME®!

It’s through innovation that European enterprises will develop their difference and will demonstrate their superiority to serve the most demanding clients.

You have detected an SME in your ecosystem with a real potential that only needs to develop further?

Refer an SME®!

It’s through collaboration, with their clients, in a spirit of co-creation, that European enterprises will stand above their “low cost” competitors from emerging markets.

Contribute to put in the spotlight a European SME that is eager to win!

The SMEs, your country and Europe need you. Now!

It is urgent to exercise your influence for the benefit of a carefully selected European SME. Our common goal? Increase its confidence in its innate capacities and its attractiveness to entrepreneurs and decision makers from all European countries.

More than ever, you represent the “antidote” to the harsh economic reality our region has faced for some time. And the benefits you confer are very real – they’re not just words! Large and intermediate-sized enterprises – maybe like yours – tend to be more protected from fluctuations in the economy and the job losses that may occur as a result. By “mentoring” a small- and medium-size enterprise through the “Refer an SME®!” program, you are shining a spotlight on a business you know and you recognize the potential. Help us to help it!

Why now? It's a question of survival!

In both the public and private sectors, supply base downsizing has become the rule due to shrinking budgets and an increasingly competitive marketplace. The survival and the development of our small- and medium-size enterprises require fresh, efficient, fast and economical initiatives.

By promoting both the potential of SMEs and collaborative innovation (1) to European entrepreneurs and decision makers, the “Refer an SME!” initiative provides a pragmatic answer for countering the detrimental effects of the current economic crisis.

(1) collaborative innovation is the fact for a company to participate into innovative projects with other players of its ecosystem (clients, suppliers, partners), this participation being not limited to a financial contribution.

The program

“Refer an SME!” represents an unprecedented initiative that we ambition to deploy into the 31 European countries of the EEA plus Switzerland, with the primary objective to underscore the importance of SMEs in our economy and assist them as they try to emerge from the repetitive economic downturns that impact our countries.

Your participation in this program is individual and your contact details will only be disclosed to the participating SMEs. But you may also want to spontaneously share our initiative to other enterprise leaders who could refer a European SME as well.

Revealing the invisible: the intangible assets that really count

While the link between innovation and economic growth has been demonstrated for a long time (innovative organisations grow faster, export more and are less exposed to economic crises - Robert M. Solow, 1957, Paul M. Romer, 2002, Robert E. Lucas, 1995 - Nobel Prizes in Economic Sciences), while innovation can only be collaborative, because a large part of an enterprise value relies outside its boundaries, very few SMEs know how to reveal and value essential intanglible assets such as their capacity for collaborative innovation.

The “Refer an SME!” program is designed to highlight such hidden assets. Thanks to an in-depth organisational assessment based on a first-of-its-kind methodology, we are able to “sequence” the collaborative innovation DNA of any company. The detailed insights, diagnosis conclusions and recommendations provided to each participating SME can then be used to build a personnalised improvement plan, as well as to promote the SME potential on its market.

The program goes beyond the traditional criteria used for assessing the potential of a company (finance, economics), focusing on “hidden assets” that are not often addressed, but are so essential for revealing the very DNA of a company. Our process helps SMEs projecting toward the future rather than relying on the past as a guide.

As a key player in the value chain, step forward and be an example to the other European entrepreneurs and decision makers

Fertilize the ground of your future and provide a helping hand to an SME!


Keep reading, learn more about the program “Benefits”

Your participation in this program gives honor to you

One of the important benefits of referring a European SME is that, finally, the SME will gain the success it so richly deserves! And you reap the satisfaction of initiating that virtuous cycle. Additionally, when you shed light on your selected SME, you’re increasing its chances of being discovered by potential new clients (and the other referrers as a start), experiencing growth and creating employment.

The “Refer an SME!” program offers you (as a referrer) a multitude of benefits, but most of all your active participation in this program gives honor to you because it is a sign of solidarity within your ecosystem, and a great show of strength for SMEs striving to make their mark on the world.

Other program advantages and benefits
  • • Become a “referring member” of a European business community made up of thoughtful entrepreneurs and influential decision makers.

  • • Provide the European SME of your choice the opportunity to gain new understanding of itself thanks to a unique approach: sequence its collaborative innovation DNA, uncover its actual organizational profile, assess its talents and leaks, build and execute a personalised improvement plan with your active involvement if you wish.

  • Get a full access to all referred European SMEs contact details, sorted by activity sector and by country. A unique reference for sourcing innovation throughout Europe and within a circle of trust.

  • • Provide your chosen SME the opportunity to spot the radar screen of large organisations thanks to our indices, indicators and “Recommended innovative and collaborative SME” accreditation.

  • • Be the first to receive the White Paper “Valuing Enterprise Intangible Assets” when available.

  • • Receive the Evaluation Report (1) of your chosen SME following completion of its evaluation.

  • • Receive the benchmarking Report (2) of the dual survey conducted in participating European Economic Area state members and in Switzerland. The objective of this anonymous survey is to understand where today's European SMEs and intermediate-sized and large entreprises leaders, stand on hot topics related to their collaborative innovation practices, relationships and respective positioning in the value chain.

(1) We will not be able to issue the Evaluation Report of your referred SME in the following cases:

  • • The SME has refused to jump into the program and/or has not completed its evaluation on our online platform.

  • • The SME has completed its diagnosis but has chosen to not publish its assessment results.

(2) To receive this exclusive Report, you will need to participate in the survey that immediately follows the “Refer an SME!" procedure.

Take action now!

You know, better than anyone else, that SMEs have a tight launch window to demonstrate their capacities and potential in such a competitive landscape and within global markets, mainly due to lack of time and resources. Refer a European SME and watch it grow, at no cost to you!

The “Refer an SME!” program is available through invitation only. Don’t wait another minute to let us know your SME of choice! You are free to participate on either an individual or a professional basis.

There’s no reason to wait when there’s so much to offer and to be gained!

I join the “Refer an SME!” initiative for free!


Keep reading, learn more about the “Process”

SMEs are now able to reveal their hidden development potential

The “Refer an SME!” program has been designed to provide enterprises with limited resources (time, money, human resources) – typically SMEs – invaluable insights and a thorough diagnosis of their innovative capacity according to non-technical criteria, and their collaborative capacity according to the industry best practices and the most recent academic research.

The program relies on the Enterprise DNA Sequencing solution and provides an objective, measurable assessment of a company’s intangible assets, helping an SME emerge from “below the surface” advantages to tangible benefits ready for enhancements. The result? A greater confidence in its innate capacities and potential for development, but also the identification of paths to improvement that will help the SME fighting the economic downturn and unforeseen crises, regardless of its age, size or sector of activity.

The method

The developers behind this program went to great lengths over a period of 18+ months to create a well-researched scientific methodology based on an expertise acquired in more than 120 leading manufacturing and service companies throughout the world. The methodology, assessment criteria and correlation algorithms have been co-designed and peer-reviewed by experts in strategy, operations, human resources, procurement and sales.

They continually work to enhance and enrich the methodology through the dedicated efforts of community members with a co-creation spirit. In order to ensure the highest standards of effectiveness and accuracy, the methodology is validated by a Scientific Committee comprised of high-level academics and industry and service professionals.

We would like to invite you to read a few excerpts from a book that made an impact on the field of collaboration practices: “Collaborative Procurement - Why and how to collaborate with your suppliers”, co-written by one of our founders.

Download excerpts from the book “Collaborative Purchasing” (in French)

How does it work?

The operating process for the SME is straightforward: first, the information required for assessing the company is provided collectively by its leadership team by means of a thorough interactive exercise completed in a few hours. The selected analysis dimensions are: vision & strategy, products & services, human resources, ways of morking, organisational processes, motivation, sharing, maturity, ecosystem relationships, and commitment.

Second, our algorithms correlate this confidential data - which remain the SME's property - and compute the SME's Collaborative Innovation index based on carefully selected criteria. The computed results are then used to anonymously benchmark in real time the SME in relation to other small- and medium-size businesses in its country and market sector.

Third, based on a personalized evaluation report produced at the completion of the process, featuring the company Collaborative Innovation DNA, organizational profile, talents and leaks, the SME can then opt to develop an improvement or transformation plan in response to the insights contained therein.

Confidentiality of data and results of the referred SME

The information provided by the referred SME on our platform is strictly confidential and remain its property under contract. The indices calculated for the SME will be visible by the referrers, unless the SME desires to make them invisible on simple request (“stealth mode”). By participating in the “Refer an SME!” program, the SME agrees that its name and contact information to be shared with the referrers of the SMEs in the participating European countries. This is one of the major advantages of this program, which provides better exposure of SMEs with potential new clients, in new business sectors and new countries.

Help now an European SME get noticed!

How much time will I need to commit?

Not more than a few minutes:

  • • Identify in your ecosystem an European SME you’d like to refer (you don’t need to tell us for what reason)

  • Complete and submit your referral form

  • • Your referred SME is automatically notified by email. You've just taken the first step, it is now up to the SME to take the second and accept you referral offer.

What is the operating mode?

When you submit your referral form, your referred SME is instantly informed about it by email (you will be cc:ed). This email contains a web link to a website dedicated to the referred SMEs, explaining in full details the advantages and benefits of this program. The head of your referred SME can then make the decision to accept your referral offer, knowingly and without obligation. This is probably the perfect timing for you to place a call to your SME.

If your referred SME has not accepted your referral offer after a few days, you will be notified by email and we will liaise with your SME and report back to you. You may indeed legitimately want to understand the reason why your SME has chosen to ignore such an opportunity.

You will also be notified when your referred SME has completed its company evaluation on our platform.

What is the nature of my commitment when I join this initiative?

You do not take any commitment with the SME you refer, neither contractual nor moral. Your referral needs to be understood as a “step up” provided to the chosen SME, your implication can stop at this stage or – but this is your call – be prolonged if you wished to provide more help or advice to this SME.

Will you charge me for anything related to this program, now or in the future?

Your participation in this program is absolutely free of charge and grants you a priviledged access to all participating SMEs, as well as the benchmarking report of the exclusive survey conducted with all referrers and referred SMEs - if you have accepted to participate in it (the survey is made of only 6 questions, it is offered to you right after you have submitted your referral form).

Nevertheless, may I financially support your initiative?

Your support will be welcome to fund this solidarity initiative, either on your own behalf, on behalf of your organisation, or on behalf of an endowment fund or a corporate foundation. You may be eligible for a tax deduction..

Will you charge something to the SME I refer?

We ask each referred SME for a modest participation fee, which represents less than 10% of the program operating cost per SME, we, our partners and sponsors funding the difference. This participation fee provides the access to the Enterprise DNA Sequencing diagnosis, a personalized evaluation report (SME's collaborative innovation DNA, profile, talents and leaks, ...), as well as a marketing package enabling the SME to promote its potential on its market and differentiate from its competitors. The development and the monitoring of the execution of a personalized improvement or transformation plan are optional.

Why have you kept this fee so low?

This program is a collective solidarity initiative with the clear objective of assisting the small- and medium-size European enterprises as they emerge from economic downturns that impact the region. We wanted the fee to be as low as possible so that burgeoning firms like the SME you are going to refer can take advantage of this unparalleled offer in Europe. In order to ensure its accessibility to the greatest number of SMEs in Europe, we and our partners offer their services at cost price. But this is not enough. We therefore welcome the voluntary financial support of referrers, as well as corporate foundations, private endowment funds, the European Commission and the public authorities of each participating country.

Say “Yes!” to the “Refer an SME!” initiative