Women by the border
Start date: Dec 31, 2001,
End date: Feb 27, 2003
The Women by the border and Women by the border Follow-up projects were part of the same project entity. Th e goal was to strengthen the expertise of women entrepreneurs in the border region. Th is would be achieved by: seeking new cooperation models and operational procedures; arranging meetings and contacts between women from diff erent industries from both Finland and the Republic of Karelia; removing practical barriers for working together; arranging cultural training for women entrepreneurs necessary for cooperation; teamwork and Russian language training; providing information regarding marketing products from the perspective of cooperation with Russia and Russian customers; and by increasing knowledge and awareness by communicating information regarding women entrepreneurs as diversely as possible in Finland and in Russia. Achievements: Contacts were created during the project and partnership companies involving women entrepreneurs from North Karelia and the Republic of Karelia were sought. Th ewomen entrepreneurs learned of each others respective operations, culture and everyday life during educational and contact-making trips as well as training events. In addition, they considered cooperation possibilities and assessed the opportunities for their company activities in the target areas. Th e meetings reduced the prevailing prejudices on both sides of the border. Within the framework of the project, tangible, municipality-specific cooperation between women immigrants, local women entrepreneurs and officials was initiated through municipality-specific events where local women entrepreneurs, women immigrants and municipality representatives discussed how the expertise of immigrant women could be used in companies and in regional development. Teams consisting of women immigrants, women entrepreneurs and official representatives were created in the municipalities; development of the cooperation continued after the introductory event. An assessment of the expertise of the women immigrants was carried out for businesses and decision-makers in the region to provide them with information about the nature of available expertise and to allow them to utilise this existing resource. The rough the project, intensive Russian language courses were arranged. The classes aimed to encourage participants to speak Russian and to give them the ability to handle common situations. The cooperation skill training was implemented using events that discussed differences between Russians and Finns in terms of culture and mentality. Women entrepreneurs were given instruction in how to market their products before embarking on the educational and networking trips, which were good opportunities to market products and services to Russians. The project cooperated closely with both Finnish and Russian reporters and was well promoted in the media on both sides of the border. The project organised the Women of Two Karelias exhibition, which was intended to illustrate the expertise of both Finnish and Russian Karelian women. In addition, a Women by the border magazine was produced in Finnish and Russian. The project created numerous opportunities for business contacts and visits as well as gaining experience-based knowledge, cultural knowledge and language skills; it also helped to remove unnecessary prejudices and activate Russian women already living in North Karelia.
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