The network is based on the premise that Northern regions constitute different and sometimes challenging contexts for businesses. Such conditions include small and spatially dispersed local markets, insufficient infrastructure and difficult logistics, a limited pool of talent, limited access to venture capital and so forth. While other networks focuses on how public policies and interventions can improve these conditions, this network acknowledges that these conditions probably never will be optimal and seek to identify business models that neutralizes some of these threats while capitalizing on local opportunities. Thus the network adopts the perspective of the individual business and individual managers and asks how managers and businesses can best operate within this given context. Emphasis is on small (≤10) and medium (≤100) sized private companies that operate and are owned within Northern regions.

Overall Goal

  • Develop new knowledge on managing SME’s in the North.
  • Contribute to the development of new educational material (cases) and courses on managing SMEs in the North.
  • Enabling SME’s in the region through new, updated and relevant knowledge about managing SME’s in the North.

Main Activities

  • Conducting case studies including comparative case studies
  • Organizing courses on case-writing, enabling faculty in the region to develop case-material from regional businesses
  • Develop curriculum and educational material based on real business cases on SME’s in the North.
  • Organizing internship exchange between educational institutions and businesses in different countries
  • Facilitating the development of contacts and collaboration between business- and management scholars from different countries in the North (e.g. through the dissemination of ongoing research and publications, workshops and faculty exchange).
  • Disseminating findings to regional SME’s through local workshops or meetings

Current and Planned Activities

  • Initiated new project financed by the Norwegian SIU (Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education); Managing Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the North in collobaration with Murmansk Internatinal Business School and Syvtyvkar State University. Total grants awarded NOK 2756000 (378175 Eur)
  • The project will run from 2012 (fall) until 2015 (spring) and include provisions for internship exchanges between Russian and Norwegian institutions of higher education. The project also includes provisions for workshops as well as means to develop a common course on managing SMEs in the North (to be organized fall 2014).
  • A first meeting between administraitive perssonell and faculty involving the three institutions (Harstad Univerity College, Murmansk Interational Business School and Syvtyvkar State University is scheduled for the last part of October.
  • First internship exchanges (within the SIU-project) is scheduled to take place in spring 2013, will involve 12 students (4 Norwegian and 8 Russian) and will continue throughout 2014 and the first half of 2015.
  • Work-shops on case-development (both national and international work-shops
  • Initiate a book project on managing SME’s in the North (e.g. effective business models for SME’s in the North.