Archipelago Partnerships

Archipelago - strategic partnerships for business development

P1 Competitive economy

1.1. New Central Baltic knowledge intensive companies

Archipelago and Islands

01.10.2016 - 30.09.2019

€1 638 511

€1 228 883

Project Summary:

The project Archipelago Business Development, also knows as Archipelago Partnership, aims at developing new business models in the archipelago by forming partnerships between entrepreneurs and start-up companies in Finland (including Aland Islands) and Sweden. The project also aims at exchanging knowledge between existing businesses and new potential entrepreneurs.
Existing businesses’ start-up expertise, paired with coaching techniques and the “Loopa”-method models for cross-border business development, will be used to educate and support entrepreneurs and business-counselling services. Students will be involved in co-coaching companies, internships, projects and thesis-work. The project will also organise international seminars to stimulate networking, knowledge-sharing and business development involving key stakeholders. The use of digital technology will result in the creation of platforms and applications to support cooperation in partnerships, business activities, sales channels and recruitment pools. 
The target is to develop 10 new business models for existing companies through diversification, new seasonal solutions or cross border cooperation. A minimum of 60 existing SMEs will take part in the development process and we expect to trigger the creation of five new startup businesses.

Lead Partner

Yrkeshögskolan Novia / AB Yrkeshögskolan vid Åbo Akademi

Country: FI

Partner budget: 560.698 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 420.524 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Södertörns högskola

Country: SE

Partner budget: 341.869 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 256.402 EUR ERDF

Åbo Akademi

Country: FI

Partner budget: 368.450 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 276.338 EUR ERDF

Drivhuset Sverige

Country: SE

Partner budget: 367.494 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 275.620 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Joint knowledge intensive enterprise

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, 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

Project page in database
At a glance
  • 185 companies involved
  • 12 start-ups
  • 22 new business ideas
  • 80 students involved
  • A lot of media visibility and local interest

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