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eCom Growth - Background

In May – October 2015, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy funded a pre-study about the situation of the domestic ecommerce sector. The study shows that Finnish companies have the potential and desire for international growth.

Companies expect measures from the program especially in relation to improving know-how in ecommerce internationalization and market knowledge, utilizing digital solutions and peer-to-peer learning.

The program responds to the internationalization challenges raised in the pre-study report, such as developing commercial know-how, finding customer segments in different countries based on a company’s competitive advantages, and creating a holistic and competitive customer-oriented concept. The development of ecommerce also creates investment opportunities in Finland.

Main objectives

eCom Growth is a three-year growth program which has the objective of promoting the internationalization and growth of small and medium-sized Finnish companies that trade online, and to develop the ecommerce ecosystem in Finland.

eCom Growth guides Finnish SMEs towards fast and cost-effective internationalization. The growth program is aimed at all the companies trading online that have the desire and ability to internationalize. These companies can be online stores, companies that manufacture goods or so-called smart retail companies (producing innovative technologies or services for online and/or retail companies) that are already selling consumer goods cross-border.

The growth program’s three objectives
  1. To increase the turnover and exports of the participating companies; to increase the number of companies selling cross-border
  2. The number of jobs created in the sector
  3. Developing know-how (internationalization and ecommerce know-how)

In addition, the objective is to create a genuinely enthusiastic ecommerce community to which eCom Growth offers a framework for a coordinated discussion and, above all, for the international growth of the companies.

Images from above: Peer-to-peer club meeting, internationalisation clinic workshop, Emeet Nordic 2017 and a group photo after a thematic training

Measures taken by the growth program

1. Growing international ecommerce know-how
  • eCom Growth Clubs; sharing experiences and information among online retailers
  • Thematic coaching; different topics according to company needs (e.g. sales, marketing, payment methods, logistics, analytics)
  • Developing a path for internationalization
  • Developing a company’s value proposition
  • Market and segment choices
  • Company management coaching, ecommerce strategies and management
2. Market opportunities and market entry
  • Identifying market opportunities
  • Market research and preparations for market entry
  • Localization requirements for different markets
  • Sparring to produce appropriate marketing communications for the target market
  • Market-specific coaching (boot camps in Finland)
3. Measures and meetings in the target markets
  • Identifying and meeting potential customers and partners in negotiations
  • Seminars and conferences abroad, such as the Internet Retailer Conference, Chicago
  • Joint participations in trade fairs
  • Boot camps in the target markets
  • Meetings with potential buyers (marketplaces, e-tailers, resellers, importers) and service providers (including logistics, storage, marketing)
  • Joint sales resources in the target market
4. Developing the ecommerce ecosystem
  • Cross-innovations such innovation cooperation with different parties, including mobile development, payment solutions, gamification, media, databiz know-how, etc.
  • Investments in Finland
  • International-level Finnish eCom event
  • Improving the prerequisites for e-commerce, highlighting the retail barriers (together with stakeholders like Finnish Commerce Federation, eCommerce Finland (Verkkoteollisuus ry) and promoting education in the sector
  • eCommerce Day
  • Cooperation with other Team Finland growth programs

Who will be selected?

Small companies and those at an early stage of internationalization can also apply to join the program if they have a clear view on how and to whom they want to sell their products and services. The entrepreneurs also need to show a genuine desire and ability to internationalize. One of the objectives of the program is to create global SMEs for which modern digital infrastructure makes it possible to reach customers cost-effectively around the world.

Companies that best fit the criteria set for the growth program are selected based on the information collected during the registration process. The selected companies will be charged a fee that covers the three-year program period.

By registering, a company is committed to pay a membership fee according to its size, and to actively utilize the services and coaching provided by the program.

As of now, the program is full. If your company would still like to apply to the program, you may still send an open application here.

The online service is open to all companies. The objective is to build it into a meeting place and information bank for internationalizing Finnish companies.

Materials available in our portal

  1. Thematic Training Videos

We record our thematic trainings and share the videos in our portal. Most of our trainings are held in Finnish but we have a growing number of keynote presentations in English, such as:

International Channel Strategy by Håkan Thyr, ChannelAdvisor

Marketplace landscape and Amazon by Håkan Thyr, Channel Advisor

How has Ecommerce site design changed – And what changes are next? by Josh Levine, Cake & Arrow (pictured on the left)

How to go from 0 to 100 in 3 months by Pelle Pettersson, Cervera

The Changing Landscape of Mobile Search by Bridget Randolph

2. Market studies

We have have a few market pre-studies available on our website.

3. eCommerce related news

Interested in eCommerce related news articles and podcasts? Here is our reading list.

Participating companies

eCom Growth program team

Leevi Parsama

eCommerce Specialist

Tel: +358-40-528 9001
Send email

Kari Pokkinen

Program Director, Business Finland

Tel: +358-40-343 3303
Send email