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Target Circular is a collaboration of circular economy clusters, business support organisations and researchers addressing the following challenges and needs of SMEs and advisors.

  • Branch: Entrepreneurship and wellbeing
  • Duration: 1.1.2023 – 31.12.2025
  • Region: International
  • Financed by: Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic
  • Regional Council of Lapland
  • Project Manager: Pekka Pohjola

Building on the successful SSDM bridging project, Target Circular is a collaboration of circular economy clusters, business support organisations and researchers addressing the following challenges and needs of SMEs and advisors.

1.New circular value chain development is hindered by difficulty accessing knowledge and resources. Target Circular will make these more accessible to SMEs and foster collaboration across value chains.

2a. Supporting SME learning is a core advisor activity. Increased advisor impact can be achieved with digitalisation of this process by, for example, allowing videos, reading and exercises to be assigned to clients before advisor meetings. Clients are thus more prepared for advisor meetings and make more progress increasing the impact of client-advisor time significantly. Target Circular will develop digitalisation how-to guides for advisors, case studies and exchange good practices.

2b. Shared services such as marketing or payroll offered by business support agencies allow SMEs to focus on their core activities. However, offering additional services is a significant investment and assessing its likely value is a challenge. Learning from each other’s experience Target Circular will develop and trial ‘how to’ guides and case studies assessing demand for and designing effective shared services.

3.Randomized controlled trials with 754 start-ups published by Camuffo et al (2020, 2021) reported increased survival, turnover and employee numbers from advising SMEs to assess their decisions like a scientist may assess a research question. Target Circular will create, demonstrate, and disseminate supporting materials using this novel approach. Training to advisors and policy makers wishing to adopt this approach, and the associated evidence-based policy will also be provided.

Addressing these challenges and opportunities all have the collective aim of increasing the success of sustainable SMEs in the NPA area.

Partnership

  • Munster Technological University, Ireland
  • Centria University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • The Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen, Ireland
  • Biotech North, Norway
  • Federation of Regional Authorities NW, Iceland
  • KOSEK (Kokkolanseudun Kehitys), Finland

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