Archipelago Partnership encouraged to new business ideas, network and development
The project Archipelago - strategic partnerships for business development inspired entrepreneurs in the archipelago and rural areas to develop through partnerships and training in Finland (including Aland Islands) and Sweden. The archipelago regions have certain challenges: small scale communities, depopulation, aging generation, strong seasonality, lower accessibility, etc.
The project wanted a minimum of 60 existing SMEs to take part of a development process, - the result was 185 companies involved in activities during three years. Different companies joined along the way, some participating in only one activity, whereas others participated in several.
As the main results the project targeted to achieve 5 new startup companies and 10 new business models developed by existing companies.
By the end of the project 12 new startups and 22 new business models through diversification and new seasonal solutions were achieved thus exceeding the targeted results.
The exceeding results show these activities were needed and filled a gap among the archipelago entrepreneurs. The partners’ solid start-up expertise, coaching techniques and innovative models for cross-border business development as the "Loopa” method were just on spot and successful tools in the project.
Students were also engaged in almost all project activities and therefore the actual amount exceeded the targeted by far (more than 200 student projects by about 80 students). Student involvement included course work, theses, hackathon, communication activities and internships.
The use of digital technology resulted in a new platform for information and networking www.archipelagobusiness.nu, which one partner stays responsible for.
The project results have already created new working methods and networks in the Turku archipelago area, so the lessons learned during project time have been capitalised.
“The main achievement is that we managed to reach and inspire a large group of archipelago entrepreneurs to develop their businesses together with each other. We managed this through our numerous activities, the matchmaking seminars, business clinics, accelerator program, international forums, and benchmarking trips, as well as through student assignments and individual consulting by our experts.
The entrepreneurs received new contacts, ideas, and tools and most importantly, courage to expand their current businesses into new areas and fields.
They also received hands on assistance regarding pricing, marketing, and search engine optimization, for example. … and more importantly, the entrepreneurs learned that they are not alone.”
Project website with all information https://www.archipelagobusiness.eu/
- 185 companies involved
- 12 start-ups
- 22 new business ideas
- 80 students involved
- A lot of media visibility and local interest