The ‘Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade’ project, part of the EU4Business initiative, has helped Javid Karimov, a honey seller from Azerbaijan, to develop a modern website for his company ‘Mr. Bee’.
Initially, Karimov’s strategy was to brand honey made by small local producers and sell it on bigger markets. But because of his lack of experience, the entrepreneur couldn’t properly calculate his company’s capacities. To establish proper sales channels, ‘Mr Bee’ needed to shift from physical to online sales. With the support from the EU4Business initiative and the International Trade Center (ITC), the company launched a new website and participated in specialised workshops to gain the necessary know-how for running a business online.
“Our website is pretty high-end: it accepts online purchases with payment cards and our couriers always have POS-terminals with them,” says Javid Karimov. “The results have been great. We managed to raise sales through this website by 230%! And we even took a step further to let third-party producers sell through our website.This has transformed it into a kind of online marketplace.”
Participating in foreign exhibitions and workshops under the EU4Business initiative helped Karimov and his team to gain considerable experience in organising sales and to find potential clients and markets. As a result, the company’s customer base has doubled, and the managing process became more streamlined and efficient.
Now the company aspires to set up exports abroad. To achieve that ‘Mr. Bee’ started working on getting ISO certification with the support of EU4Business and ITC. The pandemic has stopped this process, but the company hopes to renew it as quickly as possible.
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This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.