SODERCANplays a dynamising role in the creation of “Internationalisation Cooperatives” or Export Groups (UAEs)..
Internationalisation offers companies an avenue for growth and development but also has a number of inherent challenges and risks which may be beyond the capacities of small companies.
The generally modest size of companies in Cantabria is an impediment to international growth, as companies lack the human and financial resources to undertake successful expansion into new markets.
One of the best ways to overcome these limitations is inter-company cooperation, the undertaking of joint or cooperative projects that give participants collectively greater operational resources, synergies and competitive advantages to successfully expand which would otherwise be beyond their reach.
Export consortia or UAEs generally group companies within the same or complementary sectors with the aim of selling their products and services jointly, sharing costs and minimising risks. SODERCAN, as a promotor of these consortia, works to identify companies within a sector which may have an interest in participating in a project, producing a definitive list of possible participants, analysing and determining, by consensus, the ideal cooperative framework/entity most appropriate for internationalisation.
With the constitution of the entity, SODERCAN provides support in the form of specific subsidies for the creation of the entity, personnel costs, marketing and promotion, etc.
One of the first export consortia promoted by SODERCAN was METCOEX, created in 2005, grouping companies from the metalworking/subcontracting sector. METCOEX was initially created to export products and services to the UK, France, Germany and other markets. The brand was ultimately absorbed by one of the participating companies, FAEDS (Fundición de Aceros Especiales) and is currently an important driver of the internationalisation of Cantabrian SMEs in metalworking and machining sector.
In 2015, SODERCAN created two new consortia:
Santander Fine Food consisting of five companies in the gourmet food sector: Horno San José, Conservas el Capricho, Delicatessen la Ermita, Campoberry and Casa Campo S.C.
Santander Global Metal, an export consortium of companies in the metalworking and machining sector with 10 specialised production centres, totalling over 72,000 m2, and employing over 800 professionals.
In 2020, SODERCAN launched a specific call for inter-company cooperation called ‘Cooperate for Growth’ (Coopera para Crecer). This year, SODERCAN is also supporting associations of companies in Cantabria who are acting cooperatively in new markets both nationally and internationally.
In addition to these two export consortia, in 2020 SODERCAN also provided support to the Rural Tourism Association, facilitating the promotion and management of the tourism products of its members. The aim is to streamline and automate processes to directly benefit the tourism industry, a strategic sector at a regional, national and international level, and boosting sales by centralising the promotion of their tourism products.
The Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Innovation, Transport and Commerce will continue to support these joint projects and associations. In a globalised world, cooperation for growth is essential and the clusters and consortia developed in Cantabria are leading the way.