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Micro-Enterprises as Exporters in Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

Harri Jokela, Eija-Riitta Niinikoski and Matti Muhos
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Harri Jokela: University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Finland
Eija-Riitta Niinikoski: University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Finland
Matti Muhos: University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Finland

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Abstract: The majority of the total value of exports comes from small, medium-sized, and large companies for the reason that they tend to be the principal target group in public-support actions related to exports. However, micro-sized enterprises are the numerically dominant group in every economy. During recent years, micro-enterprises’ barriers for exports have lowered due to global digitalization. As a result, microenterprises’ share of total exports has increased rapidly in many countries. The aim of this explorative case study was to investigate micro-enterprises’ share of exporters in one northern sparsely populated area (NSPA). The micro-enterprises located in NSPAs tend to face contextspecific challenges as they develop their business. This study seeks to provide context-specific knowledge needed to strengthen business ecosystems and develop business support services. The data in this study consists of publicly archived statistical data from 2015 of all active business identity codes registered in Northern Finland (49,411 pieces) were analysed. Based on this study, in total, 585 exporting enterprises are located in Northern Finland, of which almost 52% are micro-enterprises (302 pcs). In addition, the variation of micro-enterprises’ share of exporting enterprises at provincial, subregional and municipal levels is clarified. It is necessary to have microenterprises as a target group of export support actions. This study is limited to official enterprise statistics from 2015. The results of this study can motivate policy makers and public business service providers to consider micro-enterprises to be an essential target group of export support actions.

Keywords: micro-enterprises; export; sparsely populated area; statistics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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