Credit: PwC Luxembourg
Within the context of the larger post-COVID-19 economic recovery strategy “Neistart Lëtzebuerg”, Luxinnovation, with the support of Luxembourg's Ministry of the Economy, has set up a new strategic innovation programme called "Fit 4 Resilience".
Fit 4 Resilience provides local businesses with solid professional technical assistance. By taking part in the programme, SMEs can analyse and understand better new client needs as well as seize digital, sustainability and circular economy opportunities.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has caused huge impact on people's lives, businesses and communities and has greatly affected Luxembourg small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are generally the most vulnerable to unpredictable events such as COVID-19 and who are now potentially facing a number of significant challenges.
The progressive resumption of activities is an opportunity for SMEs to review their strategic positioning, their development plans and their operations so they equip themselves with an action plan that can guarantee their sustainability and future resilience.
Fit 4 Resilience is a crisis exit and strategic repositioning programme. Conducted with help from consultants approved by Luxinnovation. The programme includes:
- an analysis of the impact of the crisis on external factors (market, competition, products, supply, logistics, distribution, etc.);
- an analysis of the impact of the crisis on internal factors (processes, digitalisation, etc.);
- a study of strategic choices and the preparation of a short- and medium-term roadmap (including thoughts about the circular economy, regionalisation and digitalisation);
- financial support from the Ministry of the Economy (paid up-front)
Resilience is defined as the ability to get through crises and to reinvent oneself. This programme takes the form of in-depth support for businesses of a certain size. It is designed to help them to learn how to draw lessons from the crisis, both in their internal functioning as well as from the perspective of systemic external changes.The objective is to support them in a concrete way in the relaunch of their activities and to establish with them a short and medium-term strategic plan to make them more resilient.
The support takes the form of face-to-face interviews and workshops (in compliance with the health precautions in force). These are: carrying out a diagnosis of the business's strategic positioning including the analysis of its ecosystem, its products, its customers, its supply and distribution channels, in order to anticipate the impact of the crisis on these different components; then carrying out a structured reflection on the strategic choices to be made for the future, by integrating the perspective of a more digital, circular and regional approach.
The analysis is carried out with the help of consultants with expertise in strategy, management, process optimisation, finance and new technologies, among others. In order to ensure the same level of quality in the coachings provided, all consultants apply the same methodology, defined upstream by Luxinnovation.
Laurent Probst, Partner, Economic Development & Innovation at PwC Luxembourg, one of the participating consulting firms, commented: “The Fit 4 Resilience programme offers effective and rapid support for eligible SMEs in Luxembourg that have been impacted by the Covid 19 crisis. We know that smaller local businesses have suffered dramatic changes and setbacks and will continue to be exposed to the negative impact of the ongoing epidemic outbreak. We are committed to offering support by acting as a consultant for this programme to help SMEs prepare and respond to this novel situation. SMEs need support now and immediately and the development of this programme by Luxinnovation, with the support of the Ministry of the Economy, demonstrates our country’s agility and desire to strengthen the resilience not only of these companies but our economy as a whole”.
Any SME considering participation in the Fit 4 Resilience programme should visit the Luxinnovation Fit 4 Resilience page
and read the step by step guide on eligibility, validation of eligibility, choice of consultant, the programme itself and fixed-rate aid.
If chosen as the consultant, at the end of the mission, within seven days following the last coaching session, firms such as PwC Luxembourg must provide the beneficiary business and Luxinnovation with a report including the following elements: an executive summary; diagnosis of the impact of the crisis on the business: external analysis: market (including a section on the circular economy), competition, customer profile, distribution or supply channels, etc.; internal analysis: organisation, functioning (including a section on digital maturity); short and medium-term action plan and road map.
Each consultant is asked to put each recommendation in perspective with the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In addition, the consultant must organise a feedback meeting to which Luxinnovation is invited. Within seven days after the feedback meeting, the consultant submits the final report including the comments made by the parties during the feedback meeting.
The purpose of the programme is to support a strategy to end the crisis, the objective of which is to draw up an analysis and propose an action plan adapted to the needs of the company. At the end of this exercise, Luxinnovation takes over to provide assistance adapted to the needs of the business, for instance the possible orientation towards other state aid schemes or in the search for financing.