Navigation path

24 September 2010
United KingdomUnited Kingdom
Going international | Services and Retail
Fewer than one in 10 European small businesses trade beyond their own national borders, according to the Observatory of European SMEs. This is mainly due to their lack of knowledge of foreign markets. So when Scottish company Scotmas set its sights on Turkey as a destination for its water treatment, hygiene and environmental care products, it needed the right kind of support to bridge the business culture gap.

As the company has experience working abroad, it is well aware of the importance of having a local contact as a first stepping stone when entering a new market, says Alistair Cameron, the director of Scotmas. This is why he decided to turn to the Enterprise Europe Network for help locating a partner in Turkey.

Jane Watters, a Network expert in Scotland, teamed up with Serdal Temel, her counterpart at the Ege University Science and Technology Centre in Turkey. Together, they lined up a three-day programme of interviews in Turkey for Scotmas. Their work has blossomed into five commercial and technical agreements and the opening of a Scotmas office in the country.

Over the months, Temel has brought his local expertise to bear and has even smoothed over miscommunications to avoid sample goods from being impounded. “I think for the first year we were in Turkey, I came to regard Dr Serdal as almost an honorary employee of Scotmas,” enthuses Cameron.

Network partners involved