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COBCOE Connects – going from strength to strength

Posted: 10th September 2018

COBCOE Connects is growing rapidly

Since the launch of COBCOE Connects in April 2017 nearly 6.000 companies connected to 15 British Chambers of Commerce across 10 different European countries have joined the platform. The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce joined the platform in April 2018 followed by the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce in August. During the second half 2018 more Scottish and other (international) chambers will follow. By the end of 2020 COBCOE Connects aims to give chamber members direct access to over 100.000 companies around the world.

Building trust

The founding principle of COBCOE Connects is simple – we all prefer to do business with people we know and trust. Trust is based on three elements that go together:

  • DELIVERY – doing what we promise to do
  • TRANSPARENCY – being clear about who we are and what intentions we have
  • ACCOUNTABILITY – take responsibility for our actions

Based on these principles COBCOE Connects was created as a digital business matchmaking platform for members of Chambers of Commerce. COBCOE Connects helps companies to grow their business, meet other companies and find new suppliers and partners in a safe and trusted environment.

How does it work?

Each COBCOE Connects member has a profile that has been verified by a moderator, who is someone working in a chamber of commerce. The moderator helps members find what they are looking for, improve their profile, or answer any questions regarding the development of your company, other members, or the services of the chamber of commerce.

There are five distinctive features:

  1. Companies can edit their profile and upload opportunities
  2. Intuitive search to find a future business opportunity or partner
  3. No dead ends – guaranteed search results among 11 million companies world-wide thanks to the integration of the Kompass global business directory
  4. Building trust through participation – the more active you are, the higher you rank in the search results
  5. Moderation – a chamber person on each side of the match ‘owns’ your success on the platform.

Success stories

Like any network: “the more active you are on the platform -the more business opportunities you generate”. Results show that 1 in 4 opportunities posted during the last 6 months generates at least 1 valuable business lead. Here are a few successful examples:

  • The moderator of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce found the right match with one of their members in the UK with a Belgian company that was looking for corporate gift items that have a clear link with Belgium.
  • A Belgian company ran into some issues with a Chinese packaging supplier. At about the same time, a Bulgarian company posted an opportunity on COBCOE Connects to introduce their services to members: quality packaging. The two companies were promptly linked by their moderator and started to discuss the needs of the Belgian company.
  • Bulgarian Company found partners in IT consultancy and software development. Within weeks a Belgian IT company contacted them. They decided to partner with the Bulgarian company on an upcoming project for one of the biggest insurance companies in Europe.

By Nicolas Mathieu, Stakeholder engagement executive at TIAO

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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