Bartercard Continental Europe
& Business Associations

May 19, 2021
by Sérgio Lopo, Managing Director, Bartercard Continental Europe

Business associations are extremely important institutions in the business environment of any country. It is up to the associations to promote the sectors of activities of their members, to contribute to the regulation of the sector and to be the active voice in the defense of their members' interests. The work developed by trade associations has been around for centuries and continues to have enormous relevance in the 21st century - the core of these associations has always been and continues to be - support their members in overcoming challenges and obstacles.

This century presents challenges that deserve a multidisciplinary approach in solving problems - in addition to the Herculean challenge of combating climate change and the so-called fourth industrial revolution; businesses around the world face the urgency of recovering from the damaging effects of Covid-19; a recovery that must be done effectively in the interest of all and reduce potential externalities to a minimum.

Our more immediate focus is on the role that business associations can play in helping to create a more connected economy, reciprocal and functioning in an integrated way with the internal and external market; stimulating business between companies in a more collaborative way through Barter (to recall the Barter model you can refer to Episode 1: Barter as a trading tool and Episode 2: Barter as a COVID-19 solution for SME recovery.

Assuming that an association in a sector has a relevant number of members and that there is almost always one association per sector, we ask these three questions:

  • Why not, in each market, unite all the associations and create a B2B Marketplace where its associates find new business opportunities and suppliers all in one interconnected space?
  • Why not unite these association-based B2B Marketplaces with other association-based B2B Marketplaces in other markets and thus create a vast new trading space?
  • And why not, in this secure space, create the conditions to support micro and small companies to find solutions to sell in a more secure way and mitigate the credit risk of their operations in the domestic market, but also in export?

The answer to these questions may lead to many solutions, but the Bartercard model, allows the fast, secure and effective creation of a market-to-market solution and interconnection of the various markets internationally, where a B2B Marketplace ready to operate, integrates the spirit of reciprocity, allowing cashless trade; thus allowing companies save fiat money; optimize their productive capacity and stock in new sales and mitigate credit risk and receive cash - all accessible to a set of companies that often cannot access traditional financial/insurance instruments.

Associations would have at their disposal a very powerful tool to stimulate the economy; benefiting not only their members, but also partners and suppliers. We highlight some of the main advantages of association-based Marketplaces for their members and for the economy in general (to remember the advantages of the B2B Marketplace, please refer to the previous episode: Episode 6: Bartercard and the B2B Marketplace):

  • Unite on one platform different companies, from different sectors, with a common code of conduct and that will find in this space new customers, new suppliers, and new partners.
  • Interconnect national platforms with other international platforms to facilitate its members to find new customers, new suppliers, and new partners in a global market.
  • Facilitate commercial transactions in the domestic and international market, reducing commercial, legal, and financial costs for its associates, as well as mitigating credit risk and exchange rate risk using Barter as a cashless model.
  • To allow smaller associates access to the domestic and international market, as well as to a complementary product to traditional credit risk management solutions.
  • Contribute to the creation of a global market, but with the focus of fostering each local market to be more resilient.
  • Disseminate an instrument that fosters reciprocity between companies and where risk is shared and assumed by all members of the network, bringing together businesses, but above all people.

We must, therefore, change the way we do business, working together and fostering the resilience of the regions in which companies operate, and this role can be energized and fostered by business associations, which would play an even more active and global role.

We have the necessary tools to create and develop a B2B Marketplace within a Business Association quickly and successfully:

  • Cashless business transaction management platform.
  • Online access technology for customers via web and app.
  • Directory of companies and services and/or products.
  • Training and support documentation.
  • Support in operationalization and credit risk management.

For us, it is one of the fastest and most effective ways to launch a Bartercard Europe operation in every European country.