The STOB regions project held today 15.1.2019 its planned seminar on Generation-shift ownership-change seminar. The seminar took place in hotel Kajanus in Kajaani, Finland and it was attended by some 45 participants, representing both the private and public sectors, linking as well to relevant initiatives and stakeholders at national level.

The focus of the event was on discussing challenges, types of support provided, expectations of businesses, what works and what does not work and how to improve the generation shift services based on the experience and institutional profile of all those present. The most important issues stressed during the exchanges in the seminar include:
-    Scale up of awareness raising with regard to the process of a business acquisition
-    Mapping of regional (with national linkages) generation shift services and actors, spanning the full life cycle of the business transfer process

Antti Toivanen, CEO of project partner Kainuun Etu opened the and chaired the event, with a reminder of the importance of the topic, in addition to presenting the Interreg Europe STOB regions project, its partners and impact on the region.

Mika Haavisto, project manager of the National level ownership change project from the Finnish Federation of Enterprises , described the challenges faced within the regions regarding business transfer based upon the results of the recently conducted Ownership change barometer 2018.

Juha Rantanen, CEO of Suomen Yrityskaupat, gave an in-depth review of the acquisition process in practice as well as the steps and requirements of estimating the valuation of a company.

Representatives of the Kainuu branch of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment presented the business development services and funding options for SMEs with emphasis on renewal and growth.

With regard to the financing theme, Stig Holmberg, Finance director of the Kainuu branch of Finnvera, and two banks OP, and Säästopankki Optia presented their offering of instruments and services for the financing of a business transfer.

A business transfer case of Electrical engineering consultancy, Lieke Suunnitelu Ltd, was presented by Ville Keränen, providing a step by step guide on the process of the acquisition, as well as retrospective view of the challenges encountered during the transfer. Anu Tervonen, CEO of the Kainuu branch of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises presented the organisation as well as the Business angels network it administers in supporting local entrepreneurs in the process of ownership change.

A consistent message throughout the discussions was the need for business transfer to be linked to business renewal and growth. Post-event the overall feedback from the participants was extremely positive, with an 88% quality rating of the content of the seminar, and 82% rating of new information and knowledge gained from the seminar.
For more information on Kainuu action and on the seminar and the presentations please see Kainuun Etu page here.