Nationwide Business Transfer Forum (Omistajanvaihdosfoorumi) is working in Finland to facilitate and accelerate business takeovers and generational changes in family businesses. The Forum promotes a favourable environment and attitude towards business transfers and promotes business transfers through entrepreneurship education and successor training, research, advice and networks.
WHAT IS BUSINESS TRANSFER FORUM?
The Business Transfer Forum is a joint project between 23 organizations. It is partially funded by the Finnish
government and partially by other member organizations. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland
is a supporting member of the project.
Together, these 23 organizations are developing business transfer ecosystem in Finland. The forum promotes
positive cultural attitudes toward business transfers, raises awareness and supports the private sector that
offers services for business transfers. Its aim is to help entrepreneurs enable more business transfers and
successions. All members of the Business Transfer Forum believe that promoting business transfers is the
best possible way to foster growth entrepreneurship.
In Finland, we have currently 14,000 employer companies searching for buyers. Those companies have
90,000 employees. Every year, more than 5,000 entrepreneurs over 55 years old want to transfer their
business. One third of all SMEs are saying that they are willing to find a new owner within the next five
years. In Finland, where we have approximately 300,000 entrepreneurs in total, these numbers are high. In
the near future, almost 100,000 entrepreneurs would like to transfer their business.
First, we have recognized that rural areas in Finland need more focus than cities. That’s why our
recommendation is for all our 18 counties to create a local business transfer forum. Eight of 18 counties
have that. Ten counties have partially implemented it or are currently developing it. The local business
forum gathers all local actors together and creates functional services for business transfers in that area. We
suggest that the local business transfer forum must include both the public and private sector.
Secondly, we lobby actively. Member organizations such as the Federation of Finnish entrepreneurs and the
Confederations of Finnish Industries are constantly reminding decision-makers of the importance of
business transfers. Plus being politically active we also implement some of the actions that belongs to the
government. Those actions are suitable for Business transfer Forum.
We conduct several research studies. Every second year, we publish the Business Transfer Barometer. We
encourage member organizations to implement business transfer questions into their surveys. Last year, we
successfully collaborated with Statistic Finland to produce statistic about business transfers.
Third, we consistently create strong relationships with educational institutions. We believe it’s important to
start educating young people early. We have several schools (SeAMK and Careeria) offering education for
successors and we continue to work in this field. We will announce the year 2024 as “The Year of the
Buyer”, during which we will, for example, search new ways to promote the ReStartup concept to young
buyers and find new ways to cooperate with recruitment companies to discover hidden buyers.
Finland's Business Transfer Forum
Opinion on business transfers for european economic and social committee
BUSINESS TRANSFER WEEK 2023
LIVE SHOW RECORDING