Veronica Freitas de Paula: My three-month research stay in Oulu and Nivala

In August 2023 I started my three-month stay as a visiting researcher at the University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute. Funded by Academy of Finland's GenZ Project, and developed in collaboration with Universidade Federal de Uberlandia (UFU, Brazil), we are conducting a multiple case study aiming to clarify the management priorities of digital service startups and to shed light on digital business development in Finland.
Veronica Freitas de Paula

Our specific aim is to analyze how the experiences of GenZ entrepreneurs from early-stage service companies (i.e., new digital service startups with up to 50 employees, and that are in the initial stage of development, with less than 10 years of operation) are related to the assumptions of the empirically based stages of growth literature.
During the first three weeks, I had meetings and contacts with colleagues, potential partners, and interviewees for the research data collection; worked on the other joint projects we have; and started discussions on new possible paths for our cooperation.

I also attended a Staff Seminar in Rokua with the University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute team. We had a lot of activities in two days! During the first workshop, we learned and practiced a lot about how to use social media to boost our research and results. We also had a live online meeting with Soili Vasikainen, Education Counsellor, Ministry of Education and Culture Government to research and education, bringing us messages of the Programme of Prime Minister Orpo’s Government to research and education.

We had other workshops, group discussions and presentations, results, goals, and planning for the next year at the University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute completing our schedule in Rokua as well. It was an amazing experience to participate with the team and help build a strong plan for next year.

Besides collecting data for our joint research, during this time I am also attending some interesting events at University of Oulu and Kerttu Saalasti Institute; taking Finnish language lessons; and presenting a Seminar about our joint research and cooperation – that has been active and fruitful for five years now.

This is my third time in Finland. I am very glad to revisit some of my favorite places and spend some time with dear colleagues and friends I made here throughout these years.

Writer: Veronica Freitas de Paula, PhD., Visiting Researcher, University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute and Associate Professor, Universidade Federal de Uberlandia (UFU, Brazil)