Digitalization of sales channels for promotion on the European and East African markets

Project duration: 01.02.2020 – 30.10.2020

Total eligible funding: 9.940,00 €

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of the global trade networks and profoundly disrupted global value chains. Due to travel restrictions, many companies had to rely on their digital sales and communication channels to be able to maintain their business activities. At Anteja, a consultancy firm predominantly based on international trade, our daily business was significantly affected by the disruptions caused by the pandemic. The aim of this project was to implement new digital solutions to increase sales and gain new customers on the European and East African markets.

The project results are:

  1. Our promotional and educational video for our digital solution phy2app (video link) supports our clients using phy2app and has so far 250 views. It supports our sales activities and we use it to demonstrate the tool at webinars, conferences and client meetings. The video was shared more than 2000 times.
    With knowledge gained through the project, we have expanded the series of educational phy2app videos and have integrated them in our solution. They have so far reached more than 1500 views.
  2. Our Anteja Africa webpage helps us to generate new sales leads for phy2app, promotes our articles and our clients. So far, it has more than 25.000 views. Through the webpage we have gained interest from more than 200 potential clients and found 2 new project partners, with whom we have gained a significant sales increase. 

The operation has been selected for co-financing under the Call for proposals for co-financing digitisation of sales channels and presentation and marketing materials for promotion on foreign markets.

The investment is co-funded by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

https://www.eu-skladi.si/

E-business to support the creation of sustainable and transparent value chains between Europe and Africa

                              

Project duration: 27.09.2021 – 31.8.2022 

Total eligible funding: 30.000,00 €

The upcoming European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive will require large EU companies to identify and prevent, eliminate or mitigate adverse impacts of their activities on human rights and environment in their entire global value chains. Within the project “E-business to support the creation of sustainable and transparent value chains between Europe and Africa” we aim to further digitalize our company, launch the phy2app platform and support EU businesses in the creation of sustainable and transparent value chains between Europe and Africa in light of the upcoming legislation.

The aim of the project is to upgrade our digitalisation processes in order to speed up the interactions with our international customers and partners and to elaborate a digital marketing and sales approach within the following activities:

  • electronic exchanges between partners
  • creation of digital marketing materials for trade fairs
  • website upgrades
  • product-sales video
  • competence training.

This project will enable us to offer highly competitive services to our existing customers, to expand our business in Europe in food, natural cosmetics and natural pharmaceutical sectors, to strengthen our presence in the African markets and increase our global reach. Some expected project results are:

  • a portal to enable login via secure connection
  • successful participation at the Biofach digital trade fair
  • improved website in German and English
  • product-sales video in English
  • increased skills of the management and staff.

The investment is co-funded by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

https://www.eu-skladi.si/

Developing circular economy in Rwanda as a potential for job creation

The aim of this project was to support private sector companies in their adoption of circular economy business opportunities in Rwanda for sustainable economic development and to stimulate job creation in Rwanda.

The project was commissioned in the context of two initiatives: Invest for Jobs and CE4A initiative.

The Invest for Jobs initiative was created by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), among other partners. It supports German, European and African companies who invest and expand their business activities in Africa. Offering advice, contacts, and financial support, the initiative aims to create 100,000 jobs and 30,000 training places in seven African countries, including Rwanda, to improve local working conditions and promote sustainable economic development.

To support circular economic development in Africa, Invest for Jobs co-initiated the Circular Economy for Africa e.V. (CE4A) initiative. CE4A is a demand-driven and results-oriented consortium of multi-stakeholder actors who share the aim of contributing to the global transition towards a circular economy through joint action in Africa. It focuses on the development of circular thinking, waste management and recycling, and the creation of sustainable, inclusive, quality, and green jobs.

Our tasks included:

  1. Creation of a report on the status and development of the circular economy in Rwanda.
  2. Development of 10 project ideas and 5 concrete project concept notes, indicating how Invest for Jobs can concretely support business or cluster opportunities in the circular economy for more and better jobs in Rwanda, through financing agreements or technical assistance measures. 
  3. Based on the most promising concept notes, development of two Terms of References and cost estimates for the tendering of circular economy support services by the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme. 

Partners: VDI/VDE-IT (DE), Rwandan Association for Manufacturers (RAM), Private Sector Federation Rwanda (PSF)

Client: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Date: November 2021 – March 2022

Enhancing transparency and sustainability of coffee value chains in Honduras

With corporate due diligence legislations on the rise in Europe and consumer demands for greater supply chain transparency, large companies are compelled to address negative human rights and environmental impacts in their global supply chains. These companies need to be able to collect, retrieve and evaluate information about their products and production conditions along the supply chain in real time. INATrace, an open source traceability system based on blockchain technology, was developed by Anteja on behalf of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) to make agricultural commodities traceable from production up to the final product. It not only promotes trust and security between trading partners but also enhances the efficiency of supply chains, which in the long run should increase farmers’ incomes and a contribute to women’s empowerment. INATrace helps European companies collect, retrieve and evaluate information about their products and production conditions along the supply chain in light of the corporate due diligence legislations on the rise in Europe. It is free to use, adaptable, transferable and scalable.

After successful development and implementation of INATrace in Rwanda (see our project’s Part 1 and Part 2), INA commissioned the implementation of INATrace also for an upscale, focusing on Honduran coffee producers exporting to the European market.

Together with GIZ Honduras we’ve scaled up the system to a robust multi-tenant system and implemented INATrace in Honduras. We conducted a value chain analysis and mapping for the Honduran producer organisations, export companies and trading partners in close collaboration with local consultants to get a better understanding of the requirements for the IT development. Next, we managed the technical system adaptations according to local requirements and circumstances. Afterwards, we conducted the train-the-trainer sessions to build local capacities. We assisted the local consultants in onboarding new INATrace users and in preparation and implementation of user training. Based on the user feedback in both origin and importing countries, the software was further optimised to the local context.

INATrace connects 3 producer organizations in Honduras with their in-country exporters and buyers in Germany and the UK, enabling full blockchain traceability from the moment farmers deliver their coffee to the processing locations until the sales-ready roasted and packaged product.

Client: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Date: July – October 2021

Read more about INATrace in Rwanda on the INA’s website.

Enhancing transparency and sustainability of coffee value chains in Rwanda (Part 2)

With corporate due diligence legislations on the rise in Europe and consumer demands for greater supply chain transparency, large companies are compelled to address negative human rights and environmental impacts in their global supply chains. These companies need to be able to collect, retrieve and evaluate information about their products and production conditions along the supply chain in real time. INATrace, an open source traceability system based on blockchain technology, was developed by Anteja on behalf of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) to make agricultural commodities traceable from production up to the final product. It not only promotes trust and security between trading partners but also enhances the efficiency of supply chains, which in the long run should increase farmers’ incomes and a contribute to women’s empowerment. INATrace helps European companies collect, retrieve and evaluate information about their products and production conditions along the supply chain in light of the corporate due diligence legislations on the rise in Europe. It is free to use, adaptable, transferable and scalable.

After the first successful development and implementation of INATrace for Rwandan coffee value chains, the second part of the project involved further development of technologies and optimisation of the system to scale up the use of INATrace in Rwanda. Together with INA and partners Safer Rwanda and Rwanda Smallholder Specialty Coffee Company (RWASHOSCCO), we optimised the INATrace based on the recommendations and feedback given by various system users.

We implemented INATrace to several new coffee farming cooperatives that work with RWASHOSCCO and added additional buyers to the system that can now enjoy the full blockchain traceability of the coffee from the moment the coffee is brought to the cooperatives’ coffee washing station until the product is roasted, packaged and ready to sell.

Our user-centered development approach included implementing user feedback from the previous project phase to make the software more intuitive, including new features that were suggested by the cooperative managers, such as exporting of reports, import of data from previously used systems, increased system configurability regarding company-specific processes, facilities and company-internal system access rights, automatic daily currency exchange rate updates etc.

Client: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Date: July – October 2021

Read more about INATrace in Rwanda on the INA’s website.

Enhancing transparency and sustainability of coffee value chains in Rwanda (Part 1)

With corporate due diligence legislations on the rise in Europe and consumer demands for greater supply chain transparency, large companies are compelled to address negative human rights and environmental impacts in their global supply chains. These companies need to be able to collect, retrieve and evaluate information about their products and production conditions along the supply chain in real time. INATrace, an open source traceability system based on blockchain technology, was developed by Anteja on behalf of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) to make agricultural commodities traceable from production up to the final product. It not only promotes trust and security between trading partners but also enhances the efficiency of supply chains, which in the long run should increase farmers’ incomes and a contribute to women’s empowerment. INATrace helps European companies collect, retrieve and evaluate information about their products and production conditions along the supply chain in light of the corporate due diligence legislations on the rise in Europe. It is free to use, adaptable, transferable and scalable.

For the first time, INATrace was successfully implemented for Rwandan coffee value chains with the aim to empower women’s coffee cooperatives and to increase coffee value chain transparency. Together with INA and partners the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and Rwanda Smallholder Specialty Coffee Company (RWASHOSCCO), we worked to:

  • improve supply chain traceability
  • create transparency between the actors along the supply chain in regard to supply chain processes, product quality and prices paid to local producers
  • make this information available also to end consumers through a scannable QR code on the coffee packages.

Through efficiency gains along the value chain and a greater awareness, an increased farmers’ income and a contribution to women empowerment is intended in the long run.

Our work included technical implementation, testing, software maintenance and preparation of training materials and documentation. First, the value chain was mapped from women coffee growers to end coffee consumers in Germany to define the visual prototype concept and prioritization of functionality. Technical implementation included several rounds of iterations to develop the MVP prototype, beta version, and the final solution. The final result is an open-source blockchain-based track and trace system. The system provides blockchain verified information on provenance and sustainability attributes to members of the value chain and consumers. The application allows German companies to demonstrate their compliance with the upcoming EU and German due diligence legislations.

Client: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Date: 2020

Read more about INATrace in Rwanda on the INA’s website.

EU Interreg GoDanubio

Participative ecosystems to foster the revitalization of rural-urban cooperation through governing circular bioeconomy in the Danube regions and cities.

Project duration:

Project start date: 01-07-2020

Project end date: 31-12-2022

Funding/Budget

Overall: 2713796.5 EUR

ERDF Contribution: 2214155.21 EUR

IPA Contribution: 92571.8 EUR

ENI Contribution: 0 EUR

Danube regions and cities face major societal transitions regarding demographic change. The rural exodus is caused by better employment opportunities for the youth and the prospect of a better life in cities. The movement of labor leads to depopulated areas leaving an aging and increasingly unskilled population behind. However, regions can make a significant new beginning. But a multi-level participative governance approach and new institutional capacities are needed to pool existent excellent competencies and development potentials.

Co-creating future strategies to increase the attractiveness of rural areas is the key to give the youth new incentives to revive rural areas. Circular bioeconomy is used as a tool that promises to foster regional development: It is a concept focusing on the transition of a fossil-resource based economy towards an economy making use of sustainable production of biological resources and processes to develop new products, thus setting rural areas and their development into focus.

The concept catalyzes interdisciplinary cooperation also between different policy areas/levels to actively address demographic change, by enhancing value creation through new collaboration, business models and value chains raising the attractiveness to stay and even move to rural areas.

Long term goal of the project is to enhance the socio-economic status of the regions, contribute to environmental, climate and resource protection as well as foster development of rural areas. An ecosystem for systematic multi-level governance with actors from the interested public, academia, industry and political decision making will be developed.

That ecosystem gives space for co-creation and new forms of integrated urban-rural cooperation leading to increased institutional capacity to tackle demographic change. Thus, overcoming the persistent lack of engagement of societal actors in the political system by giving them ownership to address demographic change.

Project website

Accelerating Sierra Leone’s circular economy of plastics

Recognizing the risks of plastics pollution to tourism and other sectors, Sierra Leone creates opportunities for an increased circular economy, sustainable tourism, economic diversification and environmental conservation.

The project is part of joint efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone (Ministry of Finance) and the World Bank Group, within the initiative “Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP)”. It aims to facilitate investment, growth of SMEs, and entrepreneurship in non-mining productive sectors in Sierra Leone, such as tourism. 

The project focuses on helping Sierra Leone reduce the problem of plastic pollution. This is done in several stages. As a first step, we identified the economic sectors that contribute to plastic pollution the most. These sectors were assessed in terms of their potential to substitute, re-use or manufacture products from recycled plastics. Initial mapping points included, but didn’t limit to, healthcare, agriculture, hospitality, transport, and construction. This helped to identify and profile sectors that can stimulate the reduction of plastic pollution via regulatory changes concerning the practice of recycling, which leads to the development and production of alternative materials.

The project encompasses in-country interviews with focus groups, stakeholders, and entrepreneurial discovery workshops (EDW). It is also intended to create a Plastics Leadership Platform to further enable SMEs, companies, start-ups, NGOs and governments to contribute to solving plastic pollution challenges. The project does not just tackle pollution, but contributes to gender equality via the creation of career opportunities for women and girls in the fields of plastics manufacturing, re-use, and R&D.

The consortium, formed by Anteja ECG (SI) and VDI/VDE-IT (DE), and ManoCap (Sierra Leone), has had substantial experience in similar assignments related to the circular economy in Africa and globally. The involvement of local partners ensures participation of companies and plastic waste management stakeholders.

Partners: VDI/VDE-IT (DE), ManoCap (Sierra Leone)

Client: The World Bank Group

Date: January 2021 – June 2022

 

Founding a moringa cluster in Uganda

Joining Ugandan moringa producers to make Uganda a global hotspot for high quality and transparent moringa products.

The cluster aims to group the Ugandan moringa producers, who work with thousands of smallholder farmers and produce high-quality and transparent moringa products, in order to make Uganda a global hotspot for high quality and transparent moringa products.

Partners: VDI/VDE-IT (DE)

Date: June 2021

Cluster’s website

EUSALP Smart SMEs

Opportunities for digitalization in natural fibres value chains.

Duration
Start date: 1.8.2019
End date: 31.1.2021

Funding/Budget
Total cost: 233.588,89 EUR
Amount of ARPAF co-financing: 210.230,00 EUR

Funding: co-financed by the European Parliament through the Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund (ARPAF)
Coordinator: Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete – SAB

Partnership:
– BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH (Germany)
– Department for Economic Development, Research and Labour of the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy)
– Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Maribor (Slovenia)
– Anteja ECG (Slovenia)
– Hub Innovazione Trentino – Fondazione (Italy)
– Ecoplus, the Business Agency of Lower Austria (Austria)

The aim of the Smart SMEs project is to understand to what extent SMEs that produce, process and apply natural fibres use digitalization tools and approaches. The project will also evaluate obstacles that prevent SME’s from exploiting the full potential of digital solutions. An international consortium for the project has been formed, comprising the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Maribor and partners from Italy, Lower Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Every SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) routinely uses email addresses, but digitalization now offers enterprises a whole raft of solutions to make life easier and business more profitable – from electronic document management systems, promoting goods and services on social media to eCommerce and Big Data. Digitalization measures are only successful when company managers want and support them. SME’s, however, tend to have small management teams that are overwhelmed by other tasks, leaving them little time to identify and use the potential offered by digitalization. Businesses in rural areas have the additional problem of often unreliable internet connections.

The Smart SMEs project will contribute to finding solutions to overcome existing barriers. In addition to this, Anteja ECG together with BIOPRO, will organize and host a Policy Action Forum to bring policy makers from different sectors (digitalization, rural development and bioeconomy) together to begin sharing experiences and to validate the roadmap.

The project will be specifically focusing on enterprises in biobased value chains that produce, process and apply natural fibre-based materials, both cultivated and recycled from biological waste. The project is therefore tackling the idea of sustainable transformation in the Alpine region through the bioeconomy concept.

Project’s website

Project’s report

BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH. (May, 2020). Smart SME’s – Mapping of actual state of play and needs, Synthesis report. Smart SME’s.