Promotion of business transfers in the Baltic Sea Region - Background and strategies

Business transfers began to raise special attention in European policy strategies with the launch of the Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan. It was stated that business transfer support is as important for the European economy as start-up support because both are equally important for the development of the European economy. In the EU-28 around 450.000 companies with more than two million employees are transferred to a new owner every year according to the European Commission. Of these transfers, around 1/3 is not successful and the company goes bankrupt. Additionally, due to a lack of available and suitable successors, many companies are liquidated instead of being transferred. 2 To ease this process, the INBETS project ( was initiated, co-funded by the INTERREG VB Programme of the European Union.

The discussion about the importance and essence of family business has been going on in ther world since 1980s. Combining the business and family sphere could be very difficult. Conducting business together can bond a family. On the other hand, family relationships can negatively affect the development of an enterprise. Hence, running a family business can be considered as a great opportunity, but also a considerable challenge.

Challenging future of family business

Thoughts on entrepreneurial generation change and entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur-driven small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the people’s economy. SMEs employ around 67% of the private sector workforce and generate a significant share of GDP in the European Union. External threats to the entrepreneurial SME sector affect the economy of the European Union as a whole. Population structure change is one such threat that has a major impact in Finland as well. When an entrepreneur has to give up his business as a result of aging and for one reason or another no successor can be found for the company, jobs are lost. The aim of the Inbets project is to promote entrepreneurial generation in the Baltic Sea region in various ways. Kari Lilja, Sirpa Sandelin and Sanna Lindgren have compiled in this book the experiences and ideas gained during the project, as well as ideas and research results from different countries.

Many Lithuanian businesses have successfully expanded in Europe and other markets, grown into large companies, and been successful in sold or started trading on the stock exchange, but many of them have continued to operate under the same owners in the hands of the same owners. Due to their age, many of the initiators of such businesses have, if they have not yet faced, will in the near future face business challenges the dilemma of transfer and continuity.

„Perduoti negalima parduoti“ – kur dėti kablelį šeimos verslų savininkams?

Projekt INBETS BSR. „Innovative Business Transfer Models for SMEs in the BSR”

The opportunity for companies to have a multi-generational business is a powerful one. Unfortunately, retirement of business owners is sometimes associated with closure of enterprises, and thus loss of not only jobs, but also knowledge. In order to maintain and continue the activity of companies, Mazovian Chamber of Craft and Entrepreneurship in Warsaw carries out a partnership project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, implemented under the program: Interreg Baltic Sea Region. The project leader is the Baltic Sea Academy from Hamburg, and the other partners are universities and organizations from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of our economy. Many of them were created from scratch and have been successfully operating for decades. These companies are mainly run by their owners, who, over time, have to transfer their business further, but cannot – there is a high demand for qualified successors. Having high-performing models for handing over business to the next generation is essential to keeping the company going.

PP 7 Article


Peer reviewed pubication: Business transfers have increasingly gained importance over the last three decades, not only within the realm of academic research, but also within national and international policy arenas. For the purpose of this article, business transfers are understood in a broad sense, as defined by the European Commission: “Business transfers refer to the process where all assets representing in their totality an enterprise as a going concern are transferred to a new owner” (Calogirou et al., 2010). As company owners are  increasingly reaching retirement age in line with demographic trends in Europe, the issue of transferring the company is essential. 

Peer reviewed publication: Big, internationally active corporations and firms such as Apple or Volkswagen are widely known and perceived as leading contributors to national economies. While their impact is certainly not to be dismissed, it is nevertheless often forgotten that there are only few companies
of this size. Making up for 99,8% of companies in the EU are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As the backbone of the EU economy, they generate almost 60% of the EU’s GDP and create70% of all jobs in the Union (Oricchio et al., 2017).


Бизнес для единомышленника

Малые и средние предприятия – основа нашей экономики. Многие из
них были созданы с нуля и успешно работают в течение десятилетий.
Эти компании в основном управляются их владельцами, которые с
течением времени должны передавать свое дело дальше, но не могут:
существует высокий спрос на квалифицированных преемников. Наличие
высокоэффективных моделей передачи бизнеса следующему поколению
актуально для сохранения компании.