MobiliseSME Exchange Series: New Business Opportunities between the UK and Slovenia.

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

MobiliseSME allows companies in different parts of Europe to connect with each other to explore new business opportunities and expand in new markets. This was the rationale of an exchange between two business consulting companies: ATRIA in Slovenia and Expense Reduction Associates (ERA) in the United Kingdom.

Mr Marko Skolaris of ATRIA visited the offices of his exchange partner for two weeks. He worked closely with Mr Neil Burnard, Network Development Head of ERA. They both agreed to join us for a joint interview.

ATRIA-ERA Exchange

Mr Burnard and Mr Skolaris at ERA’s office in the UK


Dear Marko, Dear Neil, thank you for joining us. Tell us, how did you learn about MobiliseSME?

MS: I learned about this possibility though my business network. I felt that it might work out well as I was already in a discussion with Neil and ERA and I decided to propose them an exchange.

NB:  I was not aware of the project until Marko contacted me to tell me about it. When I looked into it, I felt this was a great way to commence our cooperation with ATRIA and to meet in person.

How did you decide to partner up for this exchange?

NB: As an organisation, we are looking to expand across Europe. We are looking for partners who can help us develop our business across the continent and, when we met with Marko, it became clear there was a genuine opportunity. We offered him to benefit from this exchange by coming to our offices in Kent to meet us, share practises and attend some training.

MS: I am constantly looking for know-how, for new knowledge and for new opportunities. I came across ERA and Neil, who invited me to meet in the UK. I could not consider this opportunity properly until I learned about MobiliseSME, which made it possible for us to work together.

What is your objective for the exchange?

NB: From our side, we really want to understand local markets. We help companies to become more profitable by reducing their non-core expenses. We noticed that in the newer economies there is sapce for our services but we need to have local representation. Marko is very well-positioned to help us with that in the Slovenian market.

MS: I am very happy as I am learning a lot from ERA but I also feel I can contribute with my knowledge of the market. I feel our collaboration aimed to help them access the Slovenian market will work out well.

How is your experience after more than a week of working together?

MS: It has actually been a lot about mutual learning and refining each other’s approach. It is likely this cooperation will continue and I look forward to that.

NB: It is both my opinion and the opinion of the rest of our team that Marko has great professionalism. He has developed his knowledge of our business and shared ideas of how we could operate in Slovenia.

Do you have any final remarks? Any suggestion or wishes for the project?

NB: With MobiliseSME, we have seen a great opportunity to move forward in new markets. We are now working with them through this project and we look forward to the opportunity of doing similar steps with other countries in the future.

MS: MobiliseSME is a great initiative. If it had been available earlier in time, I would have probably have taken this opportunity sooner. I am sure this experience will help me with my professional future and with my cooperation with ERA.


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