Perspectives on the international business strategies of small Finnish technology companies in developing countries: The case of small scale gasification

Tatu Lyytinen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Renewable energy markets in developing countries provide significant opportunities and unique institutional and market challenges for companies willing to do business on a truly global scale. In this study we have conducted an explorative case study of two small Finnish renewable energy companies so as to better understand their current resources and international business strategies in order to enter markets and do business in developing countries, and especially low-income markets. In order to benefit from opportunities and to overcome the challenges in developing countries, companies need to rethink their international business strategies. In this study, we propose that companies need to develop proactive international business strategies (1) to analyse the local formal and informal institutional environment, (2) to travel to target markets to understand the practical realities before designing international technology and business model strategies, (3) to develop political strategies to influence local institutional environment so as to make markets more accessible, (4) to improve organizational resources by training or hiring people with the knowledge and skills to operate in the local market context, (5) to create partnerships in the home and host country with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, (6) to modify the price/performance ratio of technologies and to develop holistic business models that suit local market needs and demand, (7) to co-create pilot demonstrations in target markets to demonstrate and assess technology, business and developmental viability, and (8) to utilize different international trade- and aid-oriented public support services and financial instruments. Our study concludes that small Finnish technology companies have limited resources to develop international business strategies that suit developing countries and the context of low-income markets. This project was funded by Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages58
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8087-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


  • developing countries
  • emerging markets
  • low-income markets
  • renewable energy
  • international business strategies
  • SME


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