The Enterprise Europe Network helps a maker of dyes and pigments comply with new EU chemical safety rules.
Staying abreast of new developments in EU legislation poses a headache for entrepreneurs like Nikos Nikolaidis, who runs Kyke Hellas, a nine-employee specialty chemical supplier, in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.
As one of the Balkan region's leading suppliers of dyes and pigments to the textile, leather and paper industries, the SME needed to register it products under the EU's REACH regulation, but had trouble finding the right information.
One phone call to the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece saved the day. It's one of the 600 Network branches in more than 60 countries giving SMEs free advice on European laws affecting their business.
"We provide regular email updates and answer questions directly," explains Network information officers Monika Nagy. In just four working days, she gathered the relevant data and put the client in touch with an expert service provider specialized in REACH registration for further assistance.
Three weeks later, the SME had identified, analysed and registered about 30 substances ahead of schedule, allowing it to keep doing business in the Balkans as well as to gain new customers in the UK and the Netherlands, where it is now selling dyestuffs in liquid form to international companies, and to expand into new markets including Germany and Spain.
Network staff also helped prepare a company profile - which is regularly updated -- for the Network's business matchmaking database, and alert the SME to any promising matches. They also flag upcoming EU conferences and other events related to textiles and chemicals as well as European Commission reports on those sectors.
"From day one, the Enterprise Europe Network has always provided consistent and unfailing support and information wherever it was required," says Nikolaidis. "It has reached the point where Network staff at the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece are even able to anticipate our needs in certain cases, so that we can stay one step ahead."