Business Finland’s programs increase competence, sales and jobs in the customer companies, promote creation of new value and enhance customer experience. Recent reports present the evaluation results of the programs touching the everyday needs of people; the Food from Finland program as well as the Liideri, Fiilis, Luovimo and Lifestyle programs.
The global increase in the food-industry demand is focused on high-quality products and solutions of sustainable development, and the purity, safety and healthiness of food. This trend has opened up possibilities for Finnish companies to grow on the export markets.
Business Finland's food program, Food from Finland, has offered customer companies ways of responding to the demand based on global trends and the conquering of new markets. Clear results have been achieved in the companies who have participated in the Food from Finland Program.
Last year, Finnish food and beverage exporting grew by 12.8%, leading to an all time export record of 1.75 billion euros. Export value increased during the year by 200 million euros.
"The share of EU exports is still the largest; 63% of the total food and beverage exports. However, our exports to third countries outside the EU increased by as much as 20.6%. All the focus market areas of the Food from Finland Program experienced significant growth; China +82%, Germany +30%, South Korea +28.8%, Sweden +16%, Japan +9.4%, Denmark +7.2% and Russia +4.2%. This is an encouraging basis to build on," states Esa Wrang, Head of the Food from Finland Program.
The export and turnover of companies have developed better than the industry average. It has been established that the increase in turnover is caused by the growth of export. Companies have appreciated the practical nature and the knowledge of local markets and customer companies of the Business Finland program.
Food from Finland was started already in 2014 by Finpro and it has continued as a Business Finland program.
Business Finland's people-centered programs, Liideri, Fiilis, Luovimo and Lifestyle, promoted new value creation, customer experience and the creative sector. The programs have enhanced awareness of the significance of non-technical innovation in various business sectors.
"The programs now evaluated were an interesting group of front-line programs which were used for promoting business matters closely connected to people's everyday lives, such as customer experience, emotional experiences, creativity, food or new ways of working. It is nice to notice that the results indicate that we have the ability to make an impact with our operations also on these sectors representing more softer values," says Teppo Tuomikoski, Senior Advisor.
The Fiilis Program achieved its objective in generating new networks and promoting partnerships between the creative sector and other sectors. With its correct timing, the program has succeeded in reaching design companies, promoting digitalization and implementing projects aiming to create even better customer experiences.
Turnover and the number of employees have increased more in the companies participating in the Fiilis Program than in the companies used as comparison.
As much as 87% of the participants in the study agreed that their competence in generating immaterial value has increased.
The Liideri Program has had a significant effect in the area of innovations in management and the working life. During a monitoring period of three years, the increase in turnover and the number of employees in the Liideri companies has been faster than in the companies used as comparison. Based on the interviews, the research project has provided help in offering extensive and multisectoral information on new methods of working.
The Luovimo Program provided a method for developing the concept, product or service sales in selected clusters in the creative sector. Design, films, television, the performing arts, content creation and games were included in the sphere of the program. In a majority of the interviews with stakeholders, Luovimo was considered a very significant program especially for growth companies.
The Luovimo and Lifestyle programs have provided know-how for international sales, actual customer contacts and new networks in the target sectors.
Program Manager / Head of Food from Finland Program
esa.wrang (at) businessfinland.fi
teppo.tuomikoski (at) businessfinland.fi