Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia (Finland) is creating a service path description and a networking structure to provide ceramics and craft SMEs with information to access funds and advisory, but also tackling the need for public visibility.

Action: Development Needs meet Service Paths – Two Steps to Improve Ceramic and Other CCI SMEs’ Access to Advice and Funding

Policy Need Addressed: Improving Networking and Communication to Overcome Service Gaps

This Action aims to support artisans to better articulate their development needs in the innovation and development environment and the funding authorities to better recognise those needs and to inform more fluently about their development tools. To this end, the Action suggests creating a policy guideline and a specific Service Path Description.

The action begins with the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia holding an assembly with actors from the ceramic sector and other artisanal fields of activity in the region. The first aim is to bring together peers to network, to share knowledge, ideas, and mutual learning experiences concerning artisanal entrepreneurship. As a step forward, the event helps to recognize and articulate the shared interests of the artisanal community, including ceramic actors, in the region. The event is additionally amplified with a specific section on storytelling on social media and marketing to inspire actors to more vivid networking and refined customer communication.

Based on the event’s discussions, the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia will create a guideline on the regional CCI ecosystem and the artisanal SMEs’ needs within that ecosystem. This guideline will be made known to the Regional Board and will be handed to officers preparing the Regional Programme. The guideline aims to influence the process of designing and writing the Regional Programme so that CCI ecosystem and its actors’ innovation and business development needs are recognized better and in more detail.

The guideline will include a notion about the need for a Service Path Description. Subsequently, the renewed Regional Programme will be improved with a reference to it. This practical measure will be created in the second step of the Action.

The Service Path Description demonstrates in a clear and visual way the possibilities for ceramic artists and other artisanal actors to access advice and financial support for developing their business activities. The intention is to create a tool that supports actors in the ceramics to better navigate in the operative environments of business and innovation development and help them find appropriate and useful instruments to support their activities. The description will be largely based on existing support instruments that are offered by public authorities, e.g. the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

The complete Action plan can be downloaded from the Library section of the Website: