NordicHub-pilot project to help SME companies in export

ELY centre in Ostrobothnia carried out a NordicHub pilot project to make the network working with internationalisation toward Nordics more visible. The project was financed with funds from The Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland.

Nordics is often the first export region for SME companies. The most important reason for starting the project was to make the internationalisation services more available for the companies, explains the project manager Vesa Kojola.

I often wonder how many different organisations are helping the companies and how difficult it can be to find the most competent and reliable one. New contacts arise and old ones disappear, Vesa ponders.

The pilot project was planned, and the material was gathered during 2019 and spring 2020. Already in the early summer 2020 market presentations belonging to phase three were arranged.

The most important goal of the project was to make the material available to activate companies to internationalisation. This goal has been reached excellently, Vesa Kojola reports.

Three main goals for the NordicHub pilot project.

  1. To update information about the network offering internationalisation services to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Island.
  2. To produce a clear and inspirational service material to activate export to the Nordics. The material is used nation vide to give examples for companies starting to export.
  3. To arrange events presenting the results about the Nordic counties as export markets. The events will be arranged in different regions using the Team Finland coordinators knowledge and regional networks.

To the actors in the network and for Viexpo the project has produced material and contacts. When it comes to the material, the goals have been reached. Viexpo administrates the NordicHub brand and is responsible for using and updating the results.

NordicHub is a hub of knowledge about the Nordic markets and is administrated by Viexpo. All Finnish companies can make use of NordicHub when the time to internationalisation toward the Nordics has come and help is needed. NordicHub is the easiest and most reliable channel to these markets and to right contacts.

Vesa Kojola believes that the target audience is reached by making use of the Team Finland network of coordinators who know best the companies and other actors in their region.

In the future NordicHub could be the low threshold lane to internationalisation for the companies whoa are interested in growth by export. The companies believe what other companies tell them and that is why showing these examples is so important, Vesa Kojola explains. NordicHub also gives the companies to find all the national finance instruments for export from one place. The events that are offered are a bonus.

Viexpo is the expert in networks in the Nordics and has the potential to execute extensive national projects to activate export within the NordicHub brand, Vesa envisions.

Already the project has increased the awareness of different actors within the service network, Vesa Kojola explains.

The final objective is to increase the sales of the companies from Finland to the Nordics and together from the Nordics even further to the world. The export figures of companies will tell if the project managed to increase export to the Nordics and further.

Vesa Kojola is a Team Finland coordinator working at the Ely Centre of Ostrobothnia. He has been working in small and large companies, within education and with finances for research and development.

Vesa is a part of the NordicHub network and especially making export financing and services visible. He finds it important to start nationwide marketing of the phase three by using the Team Finland- network.

The companies have several risks on the internationalisation path. I believe that NordicHub will help minimising these risks, Vesa Kojola contemplates.