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Assessment of Business Support Programs in Finland

Updated: Mar 11


Since 2010 The Evidence Network has been conducting evaluations of business support programs for Tekes (now Business Finland), the most important publicly-funded expert organization for financing research, development, and innovation in Finland, and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy.


2010 and 2012 - The Evidence Network conducted assessments of the impact of the Global Access Program (GAP) on participating companies. Offered by the Anderson School of Management of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the GAP program provides low cost management consulting services to non-US companies seeking strategic advice, particularly concerning operating in and selling to international markets. The GAP program matches a team of students from the Fully Employed MBA program with existing companies to develop a business strategy that enables the companies to move to the next stage of their corporate development. Read the full 2010 report here, the full 2012 report here, and the comprehensive analysis comparing the 2010 and 2012 cohorts here.


2013 - The Evidence Network assessed Tekes’ Young Innovative Companies (YIC) Program. The YIC program was found to have significant impact on Finnish companies. For example, companies responding to a survey designed and conducted by TEN, attributed €99.1 million in revenue and 1,172 jobs created to the YIC Program. The program was found to be in alignment with Finnish innovation policy in terms of increasing both the capacity of companies to perform, and their performance in the marketplace. Read the full impact assessment report here.


2014 - The Evidence Network and its partner Ramboll Management Consulting (RMC) assessed the impact of the Uusimaa ELY Centre on company clients. Read the full impact assessment report in Finnish here.


2014 - The Evidence Network and its partner Ramboll Management Consulting (RMC) conducted an assessment of Tekes’ activities on researchers and research-intensive companies’ capabilities. TEN and RMC developed customized questionnaires for companies, and researchers and research organizations, respectively, based upon TEN’s impact assessment methodology. TEN also conducted an extensive literature review to determine specific measures applicable to both target groups. In 2015, TEN and RMC delivered a comprehensive analysis of Tekes’ support, not only determining the impact that Tekes’ has had on these target groups, but also best practices and a list of capabilities measures that are most important and lead to greater performance improvements for both companies and researchers. Read the full capabilities report here.


2015 - On behalf of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, The Evidence Network and RMC developed a customized survey and conducted a comprehensive analysis of Finnish growth companies and the impact of Finnish Support Instruments on companies they support. Read the full report here and TEN's contribution here.


2016 - The Evidence Network, in collaboration with RMC, 4Front, Etlatieto and Urban Mill provided the Finnish Prime Minister's Office with a national overview of different aspects related to business start-ups, entrepreneurial activity and the start-up business environment.

The report sheds light on the challenging question of how policymakers can best support

innovation and economic development through venture support programs. This question was addressed by analyzing: 1) the relative performance of business incubators and accelerators (BIAs), hybrid programs, and other forms of venture support; 2) the factors that explain the impact of BIAs and other venture support programs on a general level, and; 3) the potential implications of our conclusions for policymakers. Read the full report here.


2016 - The Evidence Network, in collaboration with RMC and 4Front provided the Finnish Prime Minister's Office with an assessment of the impact of the Team Finland Growth Programs on client companies. Read the full report here.


2016 - The Evidence Network, in collaboration with RMC, 4Front, Etlatieto and Urban Mill provided the Finnish Prime Minister's Office with a comprehensive benchmarking analysis of business incubators and accelerators. Read the full report here.


2017 - The Evidence Network conducted a third evaluation of the (now) Tekes Market Access Programs (TEKES-MAP) against their goals, specifically, the impact on companies and the Finnish economy that can be attributed to the programs. The final evaluation included findings showing TEKES-MAP’s attributed impact on companies, impact analysis on revenue generation, impact on the Finnish economy, benefit-cost analysis, interpretations of results, and recommendations to increase impact (i.e., what is being done well, and what can be improved). A comparative analysis was also provided, comparing TEKES-GAP's impact on graduated companies from previous assessments with results from the growth survey, highlighting the current performance of the graduated companies with the Finnish innovation ecosystem.


2018 - The Evidence Network, in collaboration with 4Front, Etlatieto, Boro Ltd. and Idea Group LLP, was contracted to produce evidence-based results of Tekes’ impact on startup companies, as a contribution to a larger overall evaluation entitled – ‘Evaluation Report – Startups, Accelerators, and the Role of Tekes’ that was commissioned by Business Finland. In order to achieve this, TEN developed customized questionnaires, administered to thousands of startups that Tekes has worked with, including a subset of the more advanced startups that participated in the Tekes’ YIC program. The assessment included a comparison of the attributed impact from the YIC program in 2013, with the impact attributed in 2017, determining that in general, changes to the YIC program that had taken place during that timespan have resulted in increased impact. TEN found that Tekes impacts companies to a greater degree that have: received both financial and non-financial support from Tekes, used Tekes’ non-financial support services to a greater degree, received more financial support from Tekes, have clear and ambitious growth plans, and are more internationally focused. Overall, the assessment demonstrated Tekes’ continued achievement in advancing the success of startups in Finland. Read the full report here.


2018 - The Evidence Network, in collaboration with 4Front, Etlatieto, Boro Ltd. and Idea Group LLP, produced a definitive report on How to Benchmark Accelerators and Other Business Support Programs. The report describes current approaches used to assess and benchmark the impact of accelerators on companies. It reviews the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies and is a must read for government, business support personnel, and others who wish to deploy impact assessment methodologies across a wide range of programs that support business, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Read the full report here.


2019 - The Evidence Network, in collaboration with 4Front, conducted an assessment of six health and wellbeing research and innovation support programs. The objective of this evaluation was to produce a review of results, impacts and relevance of the evaluated programs and to produce forward-looking recommendations for further development. Emphasis was put into understanding what changes the programs had initiated in their areas. Read the full report here.







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