Characteristics of exporting micro-enterprises in northern sparsely populated areas : statistics overview
Jokela, Harri; Niinikoski, Eija-Riitta; Muhos, Matti
Jokela Harri, Niinikoski Eija-Riitta & Muhos Matti. Characteristics of exporting micro-enterprises in northern sparsely populated areas : statistics overview. In Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECIE 2017, Novancia Business School Paris France, 21-22 September 2017, pp. 340-347.
© The Authors, 2017. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission may be made without written permission from the individual authors.
In European countries, the majority of the total value of exports comes from small, medium-sized and large enterprises, because they tend to be the principal target groups of public-support actions related to exports. However, micro-sized enterprises are the most numerous in every European economy. In recent years, global digitalization has lowered the barriers to exporting for micro-enterprises, and as a result, their share of total exports have increased rapidly in many countries. In addition, their share of the total number of exporting enterprises has increased. For example, in Northern Finland, more than 50 percent of exporting enterprises are micro-enterprises.
The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of exporting micro-enterprises in one northern sparsely populated area (NSPA). The micro-enterprises located in NSPAs tend to face context-specific challenges as they develop their businesses. Therefore, this study sought to provide context-specific knowledge, which is needed to strengthen business ecosystems and develop business-support services. To this end, the study focused on the 2015 statistical data from public archives and analysed all 49,411 active business identity codes registered in Northern Finland.
The present study described how exporting micro-enterprises in Northern Finland differ a) from larger exporting enterprises and b) from non-exporting micro-enterprises. Differences in turnover, age, form of company, standard industrial classification (SIC 2008) and import status were analysed. The results showed that it is necessary to make micro-enterprises a specific target group of export-support actions, and as such its results can motivate policy-makers and providers of business services to specifically target micro-enterprises for export-support actions. This study was limited to official enterprise statistics from year 2015.
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