The ways export promotion programs help companies in exporting processes – A single case study of Education Finland

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
Globalization offers possibilities for companies to engage in international trade. Companies have many options to choose from when starting international operations, and the entry modes vary in terms of resources required, degree of control and the risk level. Exporting is a commonly used path to foreign markets, as it requires minimal human, financial and other resources. However, many companies face physical or mental barriers to exporting. Therefore, many countries have export promotion programs. These programs aim to help companies to overcome the barriers to exporting, as well as help exporters find new markets and develop skills that are needed in order to survive in foreign markets. Companies tend to start their exporting processes in stages. This process is called the export development process. The stages vary from not being interested in exporting to planning and trying exporting and finally to being an advanced exporter. Export promotion programs can help companies in their export development processes. Different companies require different sort of assistance, and the need a company has from the programs depends on the stage at which the company is in the export development process. This thesis investigates the ways export promotion programs help companies in their exporting processes. The focus of this study is on companies in the education sector. Oftentimes exporting education is considered to refer to activities in the higher education sector, in other words attracting foreign students to study in country’s educational institutions. However, education exports include many other concepts such as primary and secondary education services, technical learning solutions and consulting services. The empirical study of this thesis is conducted as a single case study of a Finnish export promotion program Education Finland. The main research method is interviewing 11 participant companies of the program and 1 organizer of the program. Observation and secondary data are used as supporting research methods. The results of this study imply that export promotion programs help education sector companies by offering services under four categories: service of enhancing companies’ motivation to export, service of assisting companies in planning their exporting processes, service of assisting companies in exporting, and service of enhancing the country brand. These services could be segmented to different groups of companies in order to maximize efficiency. Companies in the early stages of export development process tend to need help in finding motivation to export as well as help in planning their exporting activities. Companies in more advanced stages tend to need help in actually selling their solutions and finding more business opportunities. The empirical study of this thesis is conducted in the Finnish education sector, and the findings contribute to the research field of export promotion and exporting education.
Thesis advisor
Kähäri, Perttu
export development process, export promotion program, exporting education, exporting
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