Rethinking business support models

A project in the Northern Ostrobothnia region of Finland is developing business services into modules and products, which could be easily used in different regions.

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One of the ideas behind the project “FUUSIO” is that businesses should be guaranteed continuity of support services, even if projects offering such services come to an end, or if municipalities cannot always guarantee the funding for such services.

The solution foreseen, and which is being implemented through the project, is that merchandising business services and their creation could become product packages, which can be externalised and offered to businesses across regions, not forgetting the importance of cost efficiency and quality.

Supporting existing businesses, helping launch new ones

From launching a company to developing an existing one, the project services cover the entire life-cycle of a business.

Targeting future entrepreneurs and existing companies, the project has several objectives to innovate business services in the region, such as:

  • developing merchandising support services - such as incubators - partly as a distance service;
  • planning, testing and merchandising growth programmes for micro-enterprises;
  • organising training sessions promoting entrepreneurship;
  • carrying out studies on how to develop businesses in the area;
  • investigating the needs for special funding services.

Additionally, thanks to this project, companies are able to receive funding for presenting themselves at special fairs.

Through the project, so far 24 new companies have been created in the region, and 23 new jobs during the first half of the project’s three year duration. It is estimated that over the course of the project 100 companies in all will participate in the project.

“Thanks to the project, the area of Haapavesi-Siikalatva has initiated business modules, meaning that business services can be guaranteed in municipalities no matter what their economic situation might be. The project also brought other benefits, namely that the companies which were started and the employment that it created.”

- Pasi Anttila, Project Manager

Total and EU funding

Total investment for the project “FUUSIO – development of business service modules for company interfaces” is EUR 444 423, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 155 548 through the “North Finland” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date