Networking with internationals - what’s in it for an SME?

The matching of international talents with working life is among the key topics of the business event TWINKLE. What does this matching or teamwork with businesses, organizations and talents mean in practice?

Three expert representatives share their experiences from TWINKLE 2015, as well as opinions on which solutions an SME may find at TWINKLE and how.

Make an approach and meet existing needs

Birgit Nevala came to the event, not only to participate as a panelist in the TWINKLE Dialogue about the topic Building International Bridges, but also to reinforce her networks. Nevala works as a Business Partnership Coordinator at Finnpartnership. The organization aims to increase the commercial cooperation between companies in Finland and in developing countries.

What benefits did Finnpartnership gain from TWINKLE? ”Meeting Tampere All Bright! Ambassadors was important. We also found a new partnership country, Venezuela.”

Nevala encourages SMEs to attend TWINKLE and hints that they should utilize the services of the Team Finland network. ”Why wouldn’t you sell your products or services, for example, to Ghana, if that’s where the demand is? Many SMEs don’t even consider this choice.”

TWINKLE left a very good overall impression with Nevala: ”We’ll be attending next year, too.”

Birgit Nevala Markus Sjölund Sonja Hämäläinen

Strengthen your networks, find affordable solutions

Tampere Chamber of Commerce was represented at TWINKLE in both attendees, as in an official role. Director Markus Sjölund acted as a moderator at TWINKLE session where international talents and company representatives shared their own stories and expertise.

How well were your expectations of TWINKLE fulfilled? “The overall impression was very good and the atmosphere was as international as we expected. There were more speeches, workshops or other activities going on, as you’d expect by the number of attendees. The one-on-one meetings at TWINKLE World strengthened our networks”, Sjölund lists the pluses.

Sjölund expects to see more companies attend next year, regardless of the size or the industry of the company. “Companies, who need help with exports without expensive consultation, may find lighter and more local solutions at TWINKLE. The same also applies to companies who are recruiting at the moment."

Concentrate on what’s important

Sonja Hämäläinen, Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy attended the event as a government representative. ”Our interests concentrate on immigrant matters: how to utilize their talent in business.”

Hämäläinen only attended TWINKLE on one day, but managed to participate in workshops, listen to speeches and get to know some growth enterprises. ”I found the business-to-business-angle typical of TWINKLE, but the provoking of new thoughts is important for the representatives of government organisations alike.“

Hämäläinen also speaks for the active participation of the attendees. That’s the only way to make your attendance count. ”Be aware of the plentiful program – there’s everything there, from raising the spirit to serious matters –, so arrive well prepared and concentrate on the topics which matter to you the most.”