Supporting Non-technological Innovation in Owner-managed Manufacturing SMEs through increased capacity of business intermediaries

October 2017 -
September 2020

Priority area:
1. Innovation 1.3 Non-tech innovation


Business intermediaries, owner-managers and universities jointly develop and apply innovative tools and methods for business counselling that respond to the specific needs of owner-managers of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Owner-managers of SMEs tend to be driven by different considerations than SMEs run by employed managers, for example, their own family’s well-being, the employees’ situations and lack of time for developing their own managerial skills.



Intermediaries struggle when counselling SME owner-managers

Despite of a wide range of professional tools, a majority of business intermediaries experience complex challenges and insufficiency when counselling SME owner-mangers. The majority of their existing tools are for companies with externally recruited and educated management with a rational attitude. Owner-managers are driven by more complex and subjective considerations as for example long-term interest, the local society, employees and relations. The project provides the intermediaries with new tools to improve the dialogue to be more personalized and based on trust. These tools take into account owner managers’ attitudes and expectations and give the companies solutions that support their development and growth.

Targeting owner-managed manufacturing SMEs

A large number of European SME’s are owner-managed and they represent sectors with huge potential for innovation, growth and increased employment. The project includes representatives of such ownwr managed SMEs in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Finland and Denmark. Through a co-creation process with non-profit intermediary organizations and universities of applied science the project develops tools and methods for business intermediaries that respond to the challenges the owner-managed SME’s faces. Overall, the objective of the project is to establish good and valuable communication between owner-managed SME’s and business intermediaries across the Baltic Sea region.


€ 2.09
€ 1.63
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.00



Project manager

VIA University College

Susan Dalum

4 587 554 027

Legal representative

VIA University College

Harald Elmo Mikkelsen


Financial manager

VIA University College

Karin Reinholt


Communication manager

VIA University College

Julie May Wulff Nielsen

4 587 554 037