For this edition of Business Planet we are in Luxembourg. Here and in other “small” countries, it is essential to think internationally from the start, to adapt your business plan for an international strategy. We are here to look at a network that coaches entrepreneurs helping them expand into neighboring countries.
Agilis Engineering is an SME that has crept into a real niche, manufacturing components for the high temperature industry.
Launched during the crisis, in 2009, the company was able to innovate by offering a service that covers the entire lifecycle of the product.
For their first project, the three creators were coached in business plan development. Their mentors are from a network called 1,2,3, GO.
Agilis Engineering’s CEO Isabelle Saint-Antoine told us: “1,2,3 GO was a real door-opener for us. To have this support structure and mentoring, and to have access to this start-up incubator with reasonable rents. It all helps us in our daily development. “
The results are excellent: profits have increased four-fold, every year for the last four years. One of the keys to success is being able to think internationally from the start.
Isabelle Saint-Antoine explained: “When we started the company, we exported 30 percent. Now, we are at 50 percent. And our goal is to export 80 percent within five years.”
To find out more about the story behind 1,2,3 GO we visited the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.
This creative initiative is available to start-ups in Luxembourg, and some areas bordering Luxembourg in France, Belgium and Germany. The programme is free and open to innovative start-up projects. From the beginning, it allows them create a network to expand internationally, using a personalised business plan and mentoring system.
1,2,3 GO’s Manager Frédérique Gueth told euronews: “Mentoring the project manager during the business plan development allows him or her to ask the right questions at the right time and get feedback from entrepreneurs and experts to avoid failures.”
Gueth is proud of what they have achieved: “1,2,3 GO has created over 330 companies, with a survival rate of 50 percent after five years. This is very unusual in the innovative sector. And quite remarkable. And there are more than 1000 jobs in these companies. “
Isabelle Saint-Antoine of Agilis Engineering concluded: “For me, the key to success is knowing how to take advantage of the experience and skills of the mentors and coaches, and being able to take advantage of the network of entrepreneurs which allows us to fast-track our development, especially internationally.”