Like so many good partnerships, this cooperation between the two business associations owes its creation to a coincidence: The UV Rostock had taken on the task of organizing an International Economic Congress on the occasion of the 38th International Hanseatic Day to be held in Rostock in 2018. For this reason, the managing director of the association participated in June 2017 together with the delegation of the Hanseatic city of Rostock at the Hanseatic Days in Kampen (NL), in which an economic congress was also embedded. It was here that Manuela Balan and Eric de Boer got to know each other and the idea of connecting the entrepreneurs of both regions was born quickly.
2018 Hansetage in Rostock
Visit of a delegation from Deventer, participation in the Hanseatic Congress
20 entrepreneurs and business representatives from the Deventer region took part in the Hanseatic Congress in Rostock. On the eve of this congress, the official signing of the cooperation agreement between the two associations took place: Dr. Stephan Thiel, Vice President of the Rostock-Mittleres Mecklenburg Business Association, signed this contract and pointed out the opportunities offered by this cooperation: “While Germany and Holland have a foreign trade volume of almost EUR 86 billion, leaving Holland in fourth place in the ranking of German foreign trade partners, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has a stake of less than 1%. A great potential for future developments.” Harold Viscaal, President of the Deventer Region Business Association, confirmed: "Our entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about the atmosphere and hospitality in Rostock. We have concluded a cooperation agreement with the Rostock Entrepreneurs' Association, which is more than just a paper. We are convinced that we will also live it and that a good cooperation will be established. This is also because our regions, our businesses and our people fit together well."
The Entrepreneurs' Day 2019 was all about international cooperation for SMEs in the Rostock region
Representatives of the partner association in Deventer also took part and presented their region and its economic strength. The official invitation to Deventer was well received and preparations for a business trip began.
Entrepreneurial trip to Deventer in the Netherlands
In September 2019, a group of 16 entrepreneurs, led by Vice-President Dr. Stephan Thiel and Managing Director Ulf Mauderer, set off for the Netherlands.
The most important event of the trip was the perfectly organized matchmaking lunch in the Old Gas Factory, now a center for innovative companies. Each of our participants was assigned a table that 4 to 5 interested parties visited one after the other. The discussions were about briefly introducing oneself, the business model and the cooperation concerns. In addition, the representatives of both associations had sufficient opportunities to exchange views on the concrete structure of their cooperation relationship: a concrete work plan for 2020 was developed. The most important milestones should be the Hanseatic Market and a joint entrepreneurial trip to Malmö.
On June 5th and 6th we invited to the Hanseatic market of the Hanseatic League which was held online because of Corona.
In order to prepare everything well and to have the greatest possible chance to bring together suitable companies, we asked all interested parties from Germany and abroad to provide us with a profile according to a uniform model. These profiles are an excellent tool for finding interested companies in partner countries and through the network partner organisations.
The year 2020 is a real challenge. The most important pillar of our cooperation are personal contacts and meetings between entrepreneurs. As this is now severely restricted, we are focusing on the possibilities offered by digitalization.
Meetings, workshops and conferences take place online. We even conducted an online Hanseatic Market.
This situation does not paralyze us. On the contrary, it brings us to new ideas!