Tartumaa kuvand ettevõtluskeskkonnana ekspertide ja ettevõtjate hinnangul
Hankewitz, Gert Daniel
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The purpose of this thesis was to find out the image of Tartu county as a business environment among entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship experts. For this purpose, nine interviews were conducted. The interviewees were divided into two groups: three interviewees were specialists responsible for developing a proper environment for entrepreneurship; and six interviewees were entrepreneurs. Most of the latter were lately unemployed people who had decided to found their own business. The main questions in the thesis were: 1. What is Tartu county’s image among small and big entrepreneurs and does that image entice people to start their own business? 2. How do the entrepreneurship specialists perceive the image of Tartu county as a business environment? The main hypotheses of the thesis were: 1. When starting a new business, the closeness of one’s home and existence of proper production facilities is more important than the image; 2. The image of Tartu county as a business environment benefits from the closeness of universities and the qualified workforce produced by them; 3. Tartu county is different from other counties because of the availability of proper production facilities and the attitude of county’s leaders; 4. A negative impact on Tartu county’s image as a business environment is the weak infrastructure that connects the county to rest of Estonia and the world; 5. Entrepreneurship specialists are rather positive about the Tartu county; 6. Social responsibility is secondary for entrepreneurs. It appeared from the thesis that the image of Tartu county as a business environment depends on different experiences gained in time and therefore it consists of many different aspects. The image of Tartu county consists of factors that define the region. These are: • Thanks to many universities in the county there’s always a supply of educated workforce that allows companies to hire the best of the best; • Due to many governmental institutions in Tarty county, it’s more difficult for entrepreneurs to employ the best graduates; • The lack of business-orientated local leaders means there is no discussion with the entrepreneurs and no efforts to entice more entrepreneurs into the county; • There is no common system to support entrepreneurs in the county. That affects smaller businesses the most since they need mostly financial aid to start a business; • The image of Tartu county suffers from the lack of means to arrive in the county—unfinished road between Tallinn and Tartu, the lack of airlines. Although in theory image influences people’s decisions to certain extent, it didn’t appear, based on the interviews conducted in the purposes of this thesis, that image had influenced entrepreneurs to invest in Tartu county. Image is important for international investors who, without knowing the country and the county, must make their decisions based on hearsay or image.
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