Former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil has co-founded a pan-European business portal aimed at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which is due to launch later this month.
Currently chief executive of Press Holding, which publishes Sunday Business and The Scotsman, Neil has joined forces with investment banker Damian Gilbert to launch BusinessEurope.com.
The site will be available in English, French and German, and will bring a European-wide, distinctively pro-euro sales consciousness to the SME marketplace.
The company's stated mission is to provide "a new integrated service that provides European SMEs with a suite of business tools to support them to do business - better".
"Our service uniquely and seamlessly combines content, community and commerce - the keystones of business growth. We enable SMEs to identify issues that affect them, harness powerful information to solve those issues, and then take immediate and appropriate action using ecommerce and business tools," it says.
It also aims to be "e-vangelistic" towards the estimated 18 million SMEs across Europe. In a statement, the company said: "We recognise that many SMEs have yet to move onto the internet. Our service is designed to provide offline support of the same calibre as our online service through our multilingual and fully trained contact centre."
The pre-launch website can be viewed at www.businesseurope.com. It has news, research, analysis and information zones that all have a distinctly pro-European flavour.
There are still a lot of gaps in its planned coverage, however.
The Online Marketplace, where companies can post requests for proposals for business services, is still a hole in the virtual ground, and the Ask an Expert scheme in the Community section is still trawling for experts to answer queries.
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