Digi.Grow is a coaching programme on anything digital, organised by Business Joensuu for micro-sized and small and medium-sized enterprises in Joensuu, Polvijärvi, Liperi, Kontiolahti, Outokumpu, Ilomantsi and Heinävesi.

As much as there has been talk about the necessity of digitalisation, its technology, tools and practical benefits are still an untapped opportunity for many companies. Business Joensuu's Digi.Grow service tackles the mystique of digitalisation in agile workshops by revealing the benefits through concrete tasks. The service organised by Business Joensuu is available for micro-sized enterprises and SMEs from Joensuu to Ilomantsi.

Unbiased, business-oriented and practical. This is how Business Coach Marko Soikkeli from Business Joensuu describes Digi.Grow. Having previously worked in industrial information management tasks, he recognises the confusion with digitalisation – what is it ultimately about, does it even concern me or my company at all, do others already know everything, did I fall by the wayside a long time ago?

– Everybody is talking about digitalisation, it seems. Listening to consultants in the field, you get the impression that you have no choice but to get aboard the digital train. Listening to a tech salesperson, you get the impression that you can solve everything with heavy-duty hardware and software. But that’s not how it works. Digitalisation isn’t a value in itself. No individual piece of a puzzle has intrinsic value. True value arises from how digitalisation supports the business of the company in question.

In human language

Telephone, e-mail, online appointments, online banking. You can find many everyday examples of how digitalisation supports business. Then again, a company may have bought a comprehensive Office 365 suite without knowing how to utilise more than a small part of it.

– In the Digi.Grow service, we work through digital issues in plain Finnish, always based on where each company is starting from. We don’t start mapping out and making reports on observations; we start with concrete exercises so that we can learn together.

For one company, the thing to learn about and practice may be advertising on social media or using digital remote working tools. For another company, the best benefit of digitalisation may be learning how to use free online tools. A third one may be thinking about starting an online store or streamlining their operations with an ERP system. It’s also common for entrepreneurs to recognise that they should make acquisitions related to digitalisation, but to lack the skills to make the appropriate choices and purchases.

– Business Joensuu’s internal staff have expertise to cover many topics related to digitalisation. When it’s necessary, we’ll get external expertise, says Marko Soikkeli.

From Joensuu to Ilomantsi

Business Joensuu launched Digi.Grow early last year. The first groups started in Joensuu. In the future, the service will be extended to the entire Business Joensuu service area from Joensuu to Polvijärvi, Liperi, Kontiolahti, Outokumpu, Ilomantsi and Heinävesi. Company representatives don’t have to travel to Joensuu; the service is being taken to where people need it.

Over two years, 140 North Karelian companies will receive the service. Each group will have a maximum of five companies with 1 to 3 people from each company.

– We’ll assemble the groups to match skill level. We’ll organise the meetings either in person or remotely, depending on the COVID-19 situation. One thing we’ll make sure of is that the meetings will be much more than lectures. It is essential that people get to have conversations and do things in a concrete way, Soikkeli says.

The group encounters last four hours at a time. Depending on a company’s needs, the coaching programme lasts 2 to 4 months.

– The duration isn’t set in stone – in this sense, too, everything happens on the terms of the companies in the group. The programme includes some aftercare and sparring if necessary even after the months we spend together.

For more information about Digi.Grow, see https://www.businessjoensuu.fi/digigrow. Now is the time to apply for the programme. The participation fee per company is EUR 300 + VAT 24% if the company’s turnover is less than EUR 700,000. For companies whose turnover is more than EUR 700,000, the fee is EUR 500 + VAT 24%. The service has been produced in partnership with the European Social Fund ESF and South Savo ELY Centre.

Further information

Business Joensuu Oy
Marko Soikkeli
Business Coach
040 546 7811