University of Oulu establishes a professorship of micro-entrepreneurship with donations
Micro-enterprises employing less than 10 people are a wide base of our business field, as up to 94% of Finnish companies are micro-enterprises. A quarter of the jobs in all companies in Finland are in micro-enterprises. The University of Oulu has been responsible for the national task of research and education in micro-entrepreneurship granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture since the beginning of 2021.
The professorship will strengthen the research, education and social impact of micro-entrepreneurship, connects the University of Oulu even more closely to the field's international research network and creates opportunities to participate in developing the conditions for micro-entrepreneurship throughout the European Economic Area. The professorship also increases understanding of new forms of entrepreneurship and promotes the continuous learning and development of micro-enterprises and sole entrepreneurs.
The professorship has been supported by donations from all of the following: Keskitie Foundation, Riitta and Jorma J. Takanen Foundation, Kerttu Saalasti Foundation, Federation of the Finnish Enterprises Northern Ostrobothnia, the municipalities of Siikajoki, Siikalatva, Kärsämäki and Pyhäntä, the cities of Nivala and Raahe, OP Banks of Joki-Pohjanmaa, Suomenselkä and Alavieska, Haapavesi Folk High School and Omapaja Ltd. The University of Oulu will also allocate previous donation funds to establish the professorship.
With its donation, Keskitie Foundation wants to promote entrepreneurship and especially the vitality of sparsely populated areas through micro-entrepreneurship.
“Keskitie Foundation thinks micro-entrepreneurship can develop into a factor that continuously strenghtens the vitality of rural areas. Therefore, we want to support the new professorship in Kerttu Saalasti Institute which through research and education provides more scientific knowledge and expertise regarding micro-entreprises and their operative conditions”, says Hannu Kallio, Ombudsman of Keskitie Foundation.
Matti Muhos, director of the University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute, is happy about Finland's first professorship on micro-entrepreneurship and the new openings that it makes possible.
"It is great that the professorship of micro-entrepreneurship has received extensive support from foundations, cities and municipalities, companies, entrepreneurial organizations and the research and education sector. I would like to warmly thank all donors for their significant contribution. The importance of micro-enterprises to the Finnish economy is central and their role is growing all the time. Micro-enterprises have been understudied in relation to their economic weight. With the help of the new professorship, we can promote the operating conditions, growth and competitiveness of Finnish micro-enterprises through high-level research and education", says Matti Muhos.
The University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute has pursued socially impactful micro-entrepreneurship research and development work since 2011.