“hoppid.no” is the main provider of guidance for entrepreneurs in the county of Møre & Romsdal. The aim of hoppid.no is to facilitate for more and better newly established businesses in the county, by providing good quality guidance for entrepreneurs, courses and seminars for competence building, meeting places and arenas for networking, as well as financial funding for start-ups.
hoppid.no is the first line service system for the entrepreneur in the County of Möre and Romsdal. The system is rooted and funded through the regions policy on development, and The County Action Plan for regional development and economical growth.
It is an example of good policy and system (platform).
Policy: defined commitment with funding from the political level
- Amount dedicated to hoppid.no is EUR 500 000 pr. Year
The entrepreneurial program hoppid.no started in 2006, after recognizing that the region lacked both entrepreneurial skills and had a low start-up rate and survival rate of new business. Möre and Romsdal have always been considered as an entrepreneurial region, but the region fell behind, compared to the other regions in Norway. After research and then a publication of the result, the county got several actions points to work on. The important and main findings in this research were:
- The system for the entrepreneur proved to be difficult to understand and fragmented with several services at local level
- The advisors in the first line system for the entrepreneur did not have enough time to prioritize the work with entrepreneurs, change in local and regional policy was necessary to get them to prioritize start-ups
- In average each advisor worked less than 25 % with entrepreneurship activity
- The skillset amongst the advisors proved to be very different, different quality provided in different communities
- The entrepreneurs did not have the opportunity to increase their entrepreneurial skills adopted to their needs
This then formed the background for the start of the entrepreneurial program hoppid.no.
The initial aim was to create more entrepreneurs and better survival of start-ups in the county of Möre and Romsdal. The motivation to do so was to climb back on top in the national list of entrepreneurial regions, and on top of the list of surviving start-ups (after 5 years).
The system today contains of 30 dedicated hoppid.no offices with approx. 45 advisors. All have to be certified on giving advice and running the first line service in their municipality. When they are certified, they can call themselves a hoppid advisor, and they get marketing material, provided by the regional level, to show that they indeed are a hoppid office. They get their certification through courses and participating in networking events. The offices provide the defined first line service in their community, to prevent the confusion of to many providers. This makes it less fragmented and easier for the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur just have to look for the hoppid.no logo in their community, and they know that they will get the help they need.
Today it is like this: If you need help to start new business, you contact the local hoppid.no office, regardless of what level you are at, what kind of start-up you are. The advisor will make the necessary connection to the help you need to develop a sustainable start-up. Network, courses, B2B meetings, gatherings, to mention a few of the things provided by the hoppid.no offices.
To level out the differences in quality amongst the advisors the County Authority provides different courses for the advisors. These courses are organized as a formal competence with proper educational points, and it is approved as formal competence in a degree (bachelor).
Networking events are also something the County Authority provides for the advisors to get equal quality of service. They organize the events at both regional level, and at local level, with the goal to exchange experience on their work, and to keep up with pending trends in the advisory and start-up market.
- One networking event for the group per year (from regional level)
- Establishers breakfast and Establishers pup events (at local level)
- Several local offices in each region have events for their region (north, mid, south of the county)
The entrepreneurial program hoppid.no started in 2006. The first hoppid.no office opened in May 2007. Several offices opened the following year. Today the county are close to 100 % coverage when it comes to provide local entrepreneurial service. This is a big part of the success story, that the service is available in all municipalities. To get even more coverage, the program today develop a digital solution for the entrepreneurial service. This will launch in Fall/Winter 2019. The entrepreneurs can then get digital help in starting their business. Together with the dedicated advisors, hoppid.no will be an even stronger entrepreneurial system for the future.
The innovation approach adopted, were the strategy created by the County Council, based on the research made in 2005. The same research mentioned above, is the background for starting the entrepreneurial program hoppid.no.
The County of Möre and Romsdal is the first county in Norway that has taken the first line service system up to a defined professional level. We were the first to provide certification for the advisors and then to establish dedicated offices for the service. Today, we are still the only county making this a priority in the regional Action Plan, and to have funding to support the sustainability of the system.
National Government have mentioned the structure and build-up of this system, both in newsletters from the Government, and in Parliament White papers, as examples to follow. The system is still valued as the most innovative first line service system in Norway, and we are the only one providing an entire eco system for the first time entrepreneur, behind the branding, hoppid.no.
The most important difficulties were, and still are, the fact that it is not defined by law, that the municipalities have to work with start ups and entrepreneurship. The work is based on a volunteer effort based system. This means that the decision to have a strategy for new business does not have any economically benefits, regarding direct funding from the Government. The Municipalities and the County level has to, due to this, make their own decision to prioritize and commit to the entrepreneurial work.
This means that the work on motivating the different levels of Governance, showing the benefits on commitment towards entrepreneurship is crucial to be successful. The work to inform, engage and motivate the local and regional level is thus important, and it is important to have dedicated people working on this in the beginning of creating a new strategy and Action Plan for Entrepreneurship and Start-ups.
In addition to this, it is important to give all that you can give, to create a sense of loyalty to the system developed. For hoppid.no this means that we have some funding from regional level (not much though) both for the office to use in projects, and towards the entrepreneurs. Regional level also provide marketing material, and they provide different courses, both for entrepreneurs and advisors. Networking events for both stakeholder groups is also crucial. For hoppid.no, the aim has been to make the day to day work for the advisors as adapted to their needs as possible, and the same for the entrepreneurs. This create a sense of belonging and strong loyalty towards the joint system, hoppid.no.
This system prevent the youth from going into unemployment, by enhancing the entrepreneurial skills for the young people. We create young people that are capable to start their own business. The long-term benefits is that we keep the youth employed, either that they create their own business, or that they have a new skillset that is of importance for the job market. Entrepreneurial skills are important in today’s fast changing job market.
Find out more on: www.hoppid.no