Improving Regional Investment Promotion Efforts – 5 Cases Across Sweden and Finland

Getting Better at Navigating Investment Promotion Challenges

During Summer and Autumn 2023 we have been leading five regional investment promotion projects both in Sweden and Finland. Common patterns keep on emerging across different regions, and the amassed insights help us to help cities, regions and municipalities better with their Investment Promotion endeavors.

The usual suspects

One of the usual suspect lessons learned is that local and regional investment promotion work is heavily dependent on backing from the political level. It is the only way to fully succeed in making the changes promised to investors. The place value proposition is more than a business opportunity, or innovation hotspot of interest to the investor.

Investors also consider factors such as the availability of talent, housing, infrastructure, and energy prices in their decision-making process. Another lesson learned is that for a region to be attractive to investors, each municipality in a region needs to do its homework in terms of understanding and packaging their local value proposition, make land available and be ready to meet the prospective investor when they come for a site visit.

The cases

1. In May, we kicked off the work to help Region Västmanland explore if and how a regional platform for investment promotion can be set up. The feasibility study focuses on understanding needs, challenges and opportunities in the region, as well as a benchmark with other regions in order to understand what organizational model could fit the region the best. We will be also conducting a quantitative and qualitative study of regional strongholds, including strategy workshops with key stakeholders in the region. The feasibility study will be delivered in January 2024.

2. In June we completed a yearlong strategy process for Region Kalmar. The focus has been to help the region and municipalities to create a regional investment promotion platform. The first steps of the new platforms have now been taken, which include signing a cooperation agreement with the national investment promotion agency (IPA), Business Sweden.

3. In September, we kicked off an extensive strategy process with the newly created regional IPA Business Region Värmland, with a view to improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of the region. The process comprises four parallel tracks: 1) Training and inspiration for especially municipal investment promoters, 2) Interviews and workshops with stakeholders to create new strategy and action plan, 3) Workshops and coaching to create local and regional value propositions for investors and 4) Support for the creation of an operational plan for 2024. The process will be finanlised in April 2024.

4. Early October we will deliver an action plan for the regional investment promotion platform Business Region MidSweden in the region of Jämtland Härjedalen. The action plan is aimed at strengthening the collaboration between the regional government, the municipalities and other key stakeholders in the region.

5. By mid-October we will deliver two training and inspiration workshops to the Finnish cities of Mikkeli and Savolinna. The aim is to help the cities take their investment promotion work to the next level.

Any questions, or something we can help you with? Read more here on our Investment Promotion services or get in touch with Marcus!

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