Development companies are municipality-owned non-profit organisations that work to increase the growth and competitiveness of a region’s enterprises and consequently boost the region’s vitality. The activities of a development company are based on knowledge of the region and its enterprises, long customer relationships, know-how and the mandate of municipal owners. Development companies implement undertakings that would not otherwise be started and that are significant for creating a better operating environment for the region’s enterprises.
Development companies’ main tasks are:
The focus of these three tasks is determined according to the region’s characteristics, which brings differences, experiments and new initiatives to the activities. Experiments and new initiatives create good operations models which others can learn from and implement in their own regions according to their specific circumstances.
Ownership and financing
Development companies are often owned by the group of municipalities within the travel-to-work area. Organisation by regions brings significant advantages for the level of influence and operational organisation. The core funding is based on municipal financing, which averages €24 per resident.
Development companies’ average turnover in 2016 was MEUR 2.4, of which MEUR 1.1 was municipal financing. Project funding from various channels is crucial for development companies, especially for the development of the operating environment.
SEKES – the Association of Finnish Development Companies is comprised of the development companies owned by various cities and municipalities all over Finland.
The SEKES network plays a vital role in strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises and regional vitality.