07.09.2016 In businesses the bottleneck of growth is usually lack of courage

   Businesses don't grow since people don't dare to try as entrepreneurs. The risk avoidance is caused by the difficult economic situation, weakened market views and lack of resources. The report by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation - 'Bottlenecks of Innovation Activities Report' opens up the reasons behind businesses' lack of efforts in innovation.

"Reformation requires investments and by waiting one if left behind. The report emerges reasonable factors for the obstacles in growth. The results however don't clarify why Finnish businesses are more cautious than their international competitors", notes development director Hannu Kemppainen in the Growth event organized by Tekes last Wednesday in Helsinki.

Difficulties in accessing the global market were seen as a barrier for growth, as well as the slow speed of the process. Tax breaks for businesses would certainly help. Companies should utilize the public funding in bold reformation of their businesses. At the moment companies are focusing on smaller innovation activities.

"We have the wrong set on what to export. We should be exporting services, but we export products. For awakening the desire for growth, we should improve the incentives. Finland doesn't allow getting rich and growing capital, so risk taking isn't worthwhile", says Nordea Bank's head economist Aki Kangasharju.

"Structure reform affects all industries. Product and service export is made unnecessarily contradictory. If we're discussing the export of manufacturing industry's services, then 60 percent of it happens in the target country and it doesn't increase export", says Jorma Turunen from Technology Industry and suggests for example maintaining the competitiveness of our education system and seeing funding of research and development as a medicine for growth.

"At company Oilon we use six percent of our turnover into product development. The basic products should sell to maintain growth, as growth in innovation won't keep the business going. There should be a major improvement in competitiveness" Eero Pekkola from Oilon comments.

Are Finns settling for less?

Kemppainen also told in the Growth event about the international business management's interviews, and according to them the Finnish top management is not ambitious enough. "Low spirits undermines high potential" was something Kemppainen heard from the first impressions of Finland by a foreign expert. There is however a big opportunity for success.

"Low spirit was the topic of one of the head hunters in the recruitment. Finns are a part of the international high-end recruits, but they don't get hired. It seems they look like they don't want the job. The fury and passion are missing" says Hovi Care's CEO Leila-Mari Ryynänen in the discussion.

Business management must have the will to grow

According to the report, growth is advanced by a growth plan and the company's own will to grow. The company's owners, board of directors and acting management can further accelerate growth with a common desire. They must find an internal spirit and set ambitious goals. There should be continuous stream of new ideas in line for development.

For the Bottlenecks of Innovation Report, middle sized and large sized international growing businesses were interviewed, control analysis was made for growth business survey of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland with additional business surveys. The report was implemented by Tekes' strategic allies.