International impact through international cooperation

The Kerttu Saalasti Institute of the University of Oulu has a growing, active international cooperation network. One of the themes of the XX Kerttu Saalasti seminar held in September was internationality. Due to the corona pandemic, the visit of foreign speakers was not possible. However, using digital and remote connections, the contributions of the section on regional impact could be implemented through international cooperation.

Personal relationships and common interests as a basis for research collaboration

In his speech, professor Ho Don Yan from Taiwan highlighted the cooperation between universities in two distant countries. Personal relationships are very important. Research and meetings at scientific conferences related to the early growth stages of companies made it possible to deepen acquaintance and cooperation. In 2019, prof. Ho Don Yan was on a research exchange in Oulu. He says he learned to understand more about the ‘Northern Spirit’ then. Comparing Finnish and Taiwanese work culture, Ho Don Yan stated that both work hard, but that Finns do it smarter. He remembers many conversations, trips and visits e.g. in Nivala. In the future, one of the areas of cooperation could be expanding research collaboration on family businesses.

Cooperation based on trust is deepening and expanding

Birute Miskiniene, dean of the Vilnius University School of Economics, congratulated the University of Oulu, on the choice of research focus for the Kerttu Saalasti Institute. According to her, micro-entrepreneurship is very important not only for the development of Finland, but for the development of global wealth. In the context of the COVID pandemic, we must take into account not only the economic impact, but also the social impact and sustainable development. One of the focus areas of the Vilnius University School of Economics is entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurship is not just a matter for young people. We need to research and develop the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem. With corona, our ways of working have changed, and virtual reality has become and will become more and more an everyday reality. Miskiniene sees opportunities for expanding and deepening cooperation between the universities. Working together is based on a strong foundation of trust. Family entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship are interesting topics for both universities.

Networks to support internationalization and market knowledge

Breda Kenny, director of the School of Economics at the Cork Institute of Technology, began by recalling: The more you read, the more you know. The more you learn, the more places you go. This is also good to remember in the internationalization and growth of small businesses. Exports and imports are equally important for the economy and internationalization. At European level, there are many opportunities for the internationalization of micro and small enterprises. Their utilization is slowed down by e.g. lack of knowledge of international markets, difficulty in finding business partners abroad, lack of human resources and challenges in obtaining financing. We should strengthen the structures that help small businesses increase their knowledge of internationalization and market knowledge. This needs to be tailored for each client in their own language. In this work, networks are of great importance.

Congratulations from the partners

The collaboration network of the Kerttu Saalasti Institute extends to all continents. Congratulatory messages were received from around the world for the September celebration seminar. A compilation of greetings is a peek into the contacts of researchers.

Last updated: 1.9.2021