Strengthening the municipal administration’s role as supporter for local business development in Vinje, Norway

Vinje is a small rural municipality located in the Norwegian Telemark county. Long geographic distances, a lack of competences in using digital tools, limited visibility and a low level of networking among businesses are among the challenges that local and regional SMEs are facing. To overcome these challenges, Vinje municipality, in close cooperation with the University of South Eastern Norway, plans to establish a hub and business forum for all the SMEs in the area as a pilot in COM³. Besides a demand analysis for identifying the needs of regional enterprises, COM³ coaching and training will be applied to enhance the adoption of information technologies. This will enable companies to build a sustainable network, to increase collaboration, to digitalize and to find and reach new markets.