Best Practice | NLB’s The Help Frame Project
By: Top Employers Institute
Certified Top Employer, NLB d.d, started the Help Frame Project (or #FrameofHelp) as a project to support local communities in Slovenia by assisting entrepreneurs, farmers, and small businesses with advertising space they would otherwise be unlikely to afford in the challenging times of covid-19.
Initially developed for Slovenia, the project now supports entrepreneurs across south-eastern Europe to support their environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives who apply to a Help Frame competition. The applicants are then reviewed, and the top ten applicants from each country will be offered some financial assistance.
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Why was the practice needed?
During the covid-19 pandemic, many entrepreneurs leading small and medium-sized businesses across the Adriatic region struggled to survive and sell their products. The Help Frame Project aimed to assist these businesses, increase their visibility, and allow them to advertise locally and nationally. NLB gave them the bank’s advertising space and helped them to get new customers and grow their business.
How was the practice implemented?
The Help Frame Project was launched for the first time in 2020 and the second time in 2021 to support more than 80 entrepreneurs.
Through relevant and timely support of small businesses during COVID-19, NLB aimed to work on two main goals:
- Grow and support the businesses of participants and
- Gain market share in that specific segment to lower their churn rate and gain new B2B customers while improving their brand and overall brand perception in the B2B target group.
The project was divided into various phases:
- Project preparation phase
- Invitation phase
NLB communicated through various channels, depending on the goals and target groups, through TV, digital channels, and their partners’ channels. The original project was divided into two phases:
- Selection phase
- Advertising phase
The 2020 and 2021 initiatives were so successful that in 2022 the NLB started a new sustainable initiative. In this case, they wanted to further encourage the reflection and discussion of a sustainable future in South-eastern Europe. Partnering with Deloitte, NLB started an initiative to help financially support three regional winners with a total of EUR 100 000 worth of funds. At the same time, Deloitte would provide several hours of free professional advice. All 60 finalists, or ten per country, would also be rewarded with unique banking benefits and media representation.
Through this project’s first iteration, NLB was able to help several local businesses sustain themselves during the trying time of COVID-19, with some even growing and developing further. One hundred and seventy companies from different branches and regions applied in Slovenia alone, and 80 were selected. The selected micro and small companies come from 52 towns and villages across Slovenia and performed as many as 37 different activities, mostly service, tourism and agriculture. Through the project, people could follow the stories of local entrepreneurs on billboards, television, web pages, social media and local print media, thereby strengthening domestic small businesses despite the pressures of unfavourable conditions at the time.
You can read more about the 2020 and 2021 projects here.