Public business services fostering growth - case studies in northern sparsely populated areas
Martti Saarela, Eija Riitta Niinikoski, Matti Muhos
International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development
Biographical notes: Martti Saarela is a Researcher at the Oulu Southern Institute at the University of Oulu. He has a Master of Science in Economics. His primary research interests are the development of microcompanies, public business services, stock markets, and regional development. Because of his law student background, his particular research perspective is law and juridical environment. In recent years Saarela has been involved in many projects in the area of regional development.
... tta Niinikoski is a Development Manager at the Oulu Southern Institute at the University of Oulu. She has a Master of Arts in Theology. Her primary research interests are regional development, the role of higher education institutions in regional development, internationalisation processes and the development of micro-companies and SMEs in rural areas, and management and leadership of expert organizations. Niinikoski has been the manager responsible for many development projects; she has also been involved in several international projects. Public Business Services Fostering Growth -Case Studies in Northern Sparsely Populated Areas Dr. Matti Muhos is a Research Director at the Oulu Southern Institute at the University of Oulu. He holds a Doctorate in Industrial Engineering and Management. He participates in the editorial processes of several international journals as an associate editor, quest editor and advisory board member. His primary research interests are growth and the internationalisation of technology intensive SMEs including configurations and management viewpoints, the development of micro-companies and SMEs, technology intensive companies, agility, internationalisation processes and technology management. He has worked on several international projects and has written more than 60 publications in the forms of journal papers, book contributions, refereed conference papers and technical papers. Abstract: The aim of this study is to describe public business services (PBSs) for early-stage small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in northern sparsely populated areas (NSPAs) of Northern Finland. These areas face challenges of globalisation, structural changes and demographic change. PBSs of these areas face special challenges including limited resources, remoteness, heterogeneous customer base, and long distances. This study describes how PBSs are organised and what kind of services are available for early-stage technology intensive companies in the three case NSPAs. The focus is on analysis and comparison of the supply of public business services in the three subregions of Oulu South region. As a result of this multiple case study, the services for SMEs and especially for earlystage technology intensive SMEs within the NSPA context are clarified.