STOB regions' Finnish partner, Kainuun Etu Ltd. organised the foreseen 3rd regional stakeholder group meeting on 7th May 2018. Participating and contributing in the meeting were local representatives of State owned financing company Finnvera, Kainuu's ELY centre, Kainuu Branch of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises and the Regional Council of Kainuu (IB authority).

During the meeting an in depth review of the STOB regions project and its progress were undertaken. Good practice examples were discussed, and the challenges faced in business transfers as identified through the interregional policy learning were shared with our stakeholders and we benchmarked the regional also to benchmark in the region.

Following the presentation the discussion focused on the collaborative approach with regards to the improvement of the quality range of business transfer services available in the Kainuu region and based upon the current industry dynamics and regional challenges. The consensus amongst the stakeholder group was that at present the question of business transfers services, seems to be a bit ambiguous, as well documented needs must be interpreted in the context of the administrative reform which is still evolving. It was acknowledged that a multitude of services and tools for business transfer needs do exist however and there is a critical need to increase coordination, awareness and access to the full offering of services for buyers and sellers alike.  The key outcome of the meeting was the agreement of a primary regional contact point for business transfer services which is currently lacking in the region.

Feedback from the stakeholder group was positive, and fostered an open environment for the key stakeholders to discuss what must be achieved in a local context to address the current challenges faced in business transfer services. To achieve a greater level of quality in business transfer services, the optimization of policy instruments will be implemented through the regional action plan, of which constitutes the second phase of the project.

The fourth regional stakeholder group meeting is planned for will be arranged during the autumn. The agenda will be agreed following also inputs from the 3rd interregional policy learning session planned for June 26th and 27th 2018 in Denmark to continue discussions on the regional challenges of business transfer.