Nearly 30 North Karelian companies open a new export market or establish a new international customer relationship annually. The growth of foreign exports is underpinned by the joint programme of Business Joensuu Oy and the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce, which has trained and helped local companies to internationalise in a practical way.

In North Karelia, export value increased 21 per cent in early 2021. * For its part, export growth has been increased by a local programme that has brought new international export sales to companies in the region. The Business Joensuu GoGlobal sales training programme, which has been built over the past two years, has complemented the strategy work launched by the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce.

‘We have taken North Karelian companies to the world in a practical manner. New market openings have been made in the Nordic countries, Central Europe, Asia and the United States, and companies have accumulated 5.5 million euros in new export sales. The strong expertise of the companies has been clarified as customer benefit, after which sales has been launched. Many companies have also expanded their product sales to service business. The training programme has been well liked and further activity is planned’, says Janita Ylitalo, Service Director, Business Joensuu Oy.

In 2019-2021, almost 20 North Karelian companies participated in the Business Joensuu programme. At best, the international sales of an individual company have increased by more than 400 per cent a year.

‘The programme also organised sales trips abroad. With one company, we travelled to Sweden and made two deals in one day. I received feedback from the trainee that I remember fondly. On the return journey, he stated that “it was not that difficult”’, says Valtteri Tuominen, trainer at GoGlobal.

“The most important lesson was to focus only on our strongest products”

Petri Rautiainen, who participated in the training, explains how the industrial company Pekotek Oy managed to increase its export by concentrating the supply on new products and marketing services suitable for the target countries.

‘Together with the trainers, we brainstormed and set the goal of who could be our customers around the world and what products we really could promote to distinguish ourselves from competitors. On this basis, we started building a sales message and looking for suitable distribution channels. Unlike in many other programmes, the trainers worked with us on the practical level’, says Rautiainen.

‘We sealed a successful export trade in Sweden, it had been a while since the last time, which was about 10% of our turnover. The long-term goal is to increase the share of exports to half of our total turnover’, Rautiainen continues.

GoGlobal brings results

North Karelian companies that already have domestic business and are seeking growth for their business through internationalisation participated in the programme. For example, SMEs in industry, software development and service business have been involved.

  • Over the two years, the GoGlobal training programme has helped companies build international business, sales and partnerships.
  • The total turnover of companies participating in GoGlobal training in 2019-2020 was 13.3 million euros and their exports increased by more than 30 per cent, or 1.6 million euros. The companies involved in the training programme in the first year employed about 110 people.
  • The total turnover of the companies participating in GoGlobal training in 2020-2021 is 20.1 million euros, and exports will increase by nearly 5 million euros this year. The companies involved in the second year of the training programme employ about 130 people.
  • At best, the international sales of an individual company have increased by more than 400 per cent a year.
  • Exports were made to more than 20 new countries.
  • The GoGlobal – kasva kansainväliseksi (“grow international” in English) training programme has been funded by the European Social Fund and the South Savo Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

Additional information:

Janita Ylitalo, Service Director, Business Joensuu Oy
janita.ylitalo@businessjoensuu.fi
+358 50 558 0214

Petri Rautiainen, Business Developer, Pekotek Oy
Company participating in the GoGlobal training programme
petri.rautiainen@pekotek.fi
+358 45 657 8001

* The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle 26 October 2021. “Yritystalous kasvaa nyt Pohjois-Karjalassa muuta maata nopeammin – vauhdikkaimmin noussut Pielisen Karjala” (Business economy is growing faster in North Karelia now than in the rest of the country: The fastest rise detected in Pielinen Karjala) https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-12160083, in Finnish

GoGlobal | Business Joensuu Oy training programme
Business Joensuu Oy’s GoGlobal training programme was launched in 2019. North Karelian companies seeking growth for their business operations through international sales have participated in the programme. For example, SMEs in industry, programming and service business have been involved. The programme has supplemented the Global steps strategy work of the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce, which has been organised since 2015.