Growth and internationalisation
In the Growth for Kainuu -project entity's "growth and internationalisation" -part of the operations are aiming to improve the prerequisites of growth, to remove obstacles and to internationalise the companies in Kainuu.
Based on the first year of operation (2015) and on the numerous company meetings, constructing the business team inside companies, enough financing for growth and improving the visibility of the companies with project operations have risen as central themes of growth. Additionally, companies have been activated for developing governing work and expanding proficiency through, for example, yrityskummit. The operations have followed the company's specific needs and situations. The model is the same for both growth and internationalisation. The operations have always started based on the person and company specific meetings where the operations have been mapped. This is how these concrete actions focus on the project companies' growth and internationalisation as accurately as possible.
The situations and needs have varied widely in both growth and internationalisation. The companies have different ages and sizes, the project's customer companies are not sector-specific, products and services are mainly different, and the internationalisation varies on a case by case basis. The project plan has been made to be flexible so it has been possible to do concrete actions on very different kinds of needs.
The project has made open tenders on different sectors' expertise companies for the themes that have been mentioned in the project plan. At this time, there are over 40 companies that act as service providers to bring a broad expertise to the project companies.
Companies that participate in the project have strong expertise but especially in micro companies, there is not enough time, resources or know-how for all the sectors. The project has attempted to strengthen these business teams' short-comings by acquiring suitable experts to support the company with, for example, production, management and management group work sparring, business creation and marketing plans, the improvement of the business economy and making the pricing more accurate. Additionally, the governing work has been improved by supporting the participation of HHJ-trainings (Hyväksytty Hallituksen Jäsen).
In terms of internationalisation, various kinds of events and training have been organised and companies' export trips have been supported. The project has also offered help in internationalising companies contract matters, which has been vital. Companies have gotten contracts with, among other things, Hong Kong, Eng-land, Germany, United States, South American countries and they have made business contacts in other international markets.
During 2015, 166 companies were met in the themes of growth and internationalisation. During that same period, over 100 companies participated in the project entity's concrete actions. The goals set for company participation numbers in the project were surpassed. In the future, the launched operations will be developed further and at the same time the new development needs that have been identified will be addressed.
Project entity works closely together with all the central operators and stakeholders in Kainuu. The cooperation is also close with the other projects of Kainuun Etu Ltd.
Ownership and generational changes
The ownership and generational changes of the companies have nationally been identified as a challenging situation. In Kainuu region's level, there are up to 800-900 companies that are thinking about the continuity of their operations within the next five years. This also affects around 3000 jobs in Kainuu.
Ownership changes play a significant part in the Kasvua Kainuuseen -project entity. One important goal is to prepare companies for upcoming ownership change and to work closely with the cooperation partners in order to achieve that goal. With the help of the project's expertise services, the companies can be put in better shape in terms of sale value, create sale materials and plan the entire ownership change process by taking into account, among other things, tax and legal matters.
During 2015, 35 companies/persons committed to be project customers, where a third-party expertise service was used. On top of these, there has been meetings regarding ownership change with over a dozen other companies who have been thinking about changing ownership. From the project's point of view, 30 ownership change procedures have been completed during that same period. The project goals have been clearly surpassed in that area as well.
The companies are mainly small (1-3 persons) micro firms, but there are also larger companies that employ 30-40 persons. The sectors are very widely represented but sales, travelling, construction and services are the most visible.