Business Joensuu and the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce aim for a significant export growth.

More than 50 North Karelian companies have sought new momentum from internationalisation and increasing exports through the development pipeline formed by the programmes of Business Joensuu and the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce. The development pipeline combines thorough preparation with tangible sales: First an internationalisation strategy is made for a company, after which the sights are set for tangible global sales work, together with experienced sales coaches. Based on the feedback received from the companies, they have increased their expertise, been able to enter new markets, and have been able to increase their exports through these programmes. Over the next five years, the participating
companies estimate that they will increase exports by up to around €150 million.

The North Karelian Chamber of Commerce and Business Joensuu Oy, together with companies in the region, have developed a business-oriented concept for starting and growing international businesses. At the beginning of the development pipeline is the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce’s Global Steps internationalisation programme, after which the company will continue with Business Joensuu Oy’s GoGlobal coaching programme.

– In the Global Steps programme, the participating company creates an international business strategy and implementation plan and raises their level of international business expertise. GoGlobal follows on from the Global Steps programme and focuses on rapidly increasing international sales in the markets that were selected during the company’s strategy work, says programme manager Keijo Mutanen from the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce.

– Global Steps started in 2015 and GoGlobal in 2019. More than 50 companies have already utilised these programmes.

The Global Steps strategy work model has been created through practice. It is based on professor Toivo Äijö’s practical experience of the strategy work of about 1,000 companies. Most of these companies operate internationally.

The GoGlobal coaching programme focuses on tangible, hands-on sales work where the company sells its products and services to the world. Coaches who have been doing international sales work for a long time guide and spur on the company’s sales work.

– The two programmes that form an entity differ from other similar programmes in that the participating company gets to first define a competitive strategy based on superior customer benefit and value. Only then does the company choose the best market. In most other programmes, the market is pre-selected by an outsider and after that interested companies are sought. However, success will not materialise if an attempt is made to push the product forward into the market without first identifying the overwhelming customer benefit. In addition, tangible sales work andits results do not happen,” says Service Director Janita Ylitalo from Business Joensuu.

The programmes target all companies in North Karelia that are seeking growth for their business through internationalisation and have already had customers, at least in Finland. So far, companies that have participated in the programmes have been companies providing products or services to industry, IT companies, service companies and other SMEs seeking business growth. Examples of participating companies are Pekotek Oy, Ficon Oy, Solenovo Oy, Piippo Oy, Kelluu Oy ja SeeTrue Technologies Oy.

– The operating environment is constantly changing, so the programmes are constantly being developed, taking into account the global situation and the experiences of customer companies. The participating companies have set themselves export targets, totalling around €150 million over the next five years. However, there is room for growth, as the additional export potential of North Karelian companies alone is in the order of a billion euros, Ylitalo and Mutanen continue.

The next Global Steps programme of the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce will start on 28 October 2021 and the application process will open in spring 2021. Business Joensuu’s next GoGlobal coaching for international sales will start on 16 August 2021 and the application process will open in May 2021. The GoGlobal programme will host Best Practice Clinics related to international business that are open to all during 2021.

Further information:

North Karelia Chamber of Commerce, Global steps internationalisation programme
Programme Manager Keijo Mutanen
Tel. +358 40 555 2943

Training and Service Manager Mari Tuovinen
Tel. +358 50 516 5208

Business Joensuu, GoGlobal training programme
Service Director Janita Ylitalo
Tel. +358 50 558 0214

Business Coach Marco Hautakoski
Tel. +358 50 535 9081