IHAN-business programme

The pilot programme, held in Finnish, aimed to help SMEs build new business from data. Fair data sharing is seen as a new competitive advantage. The IHAN programme ended in 2021, but it was upgraded in 2022 to the Growth from Data coaching.

Business cases

Dive in.

Zeros and ones in the background, M Room logo in the center.

In the future, personal services may be found on a single platform

Three logos: CLIC Innovation, Motiva Services and Platform of Trust in the middle of zeros and ones.

Data boosts the recirculation of materials in the circular economy marketplace

Logo of MPS surrounded by zeros and ones.

Journey of change towards long-term development of competence, competitiveness and well-being

Logo of Sivex surrounded by zeros and ones.

Aiming to promote the competitiveness of a traditional sector through platform business and data

What is it all about?

The IHAN business programme was intended for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aiming to help them create new business with the help of data. The programme language was Finnish, and its duration six months, from August 2020 until February 2021.

The application period for the IHAN business program ended in June 2020. All applicants were notified of the selection decision by e-mail. More information on the selected companies can be found on the Finnish site and in this news item, published in August 2020. Read more about the results and the future of the pilot programme in a news item, published in January 2021.

Why apply?

1. You will learn how to transform your company’s business operations with the aid of data

During the programme, the company will find answers to several strategic questions, such as:

2. Leading specialists will spar with you and your company

The best fair data economy specialists in Finland will provide sparring and help your company create new business with the aid of data according to your company’s development needs. Their specialities include service design, business models, technology architecture, legal and contractual affairs, and financing, and they will ensure that the development ideas created during the programme are implemented in practice.

3. You will get a chance to develop new data-based products and services and implement them in practice

Services will be developed with a customer-oriented approach using service design methods, in which customer feedback is taken into account in the early phases of development. This ensures that the service truly solves the customer’s problem.

4. Your company’s growth and development will be measured and assessed during and after the programme

After the programme, all participants will have a clear view of what was achieved. Sitra’s co-operation partner will create an impact assessment for every participating company.

Who can apply?

The company must be willing to transform their business operations. Creating value together with the company’s partners lies at the core of the programme. The company must have reasonable financial means for making investments in business development as well as time for participating in the programme activities.

The company must be de minimis eligible. De minimis support allows the use of public funds for supporting companies’ business activities.

Programme info

Read more about the business programme pilot scheme:

You can also find more information about the business programme by watching the following webinar recording (in Finnish):

IHAN-yritysohjelma pähkinänkuoressa 2 – kysy ja kuule! webinar, held on 20 April.

Why is the programme being organised?

The goal of the programme was to test the IHAN project’s tools, materials and lessons learned together with SMEs. During the programme, we helped Finnish SMEs create services that comply with the principles of the fair data economy. In these services, data sharing that is based on trust and the individual’s consent is considered a competitive advantage.

The training materials developed during the business programme will be made publicly available for further development and general use during spring 2021. Our goal is that as the concept evolves as many parties as possible can either make good use of the lessons learned or teach others.

Note: The original application period for the business programme was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic and the changed operating environment.

Application period.
Selected business programme participants will be notified.
The work of selected participants will begin with a workshop in Helsinki.
The IHAN business programme pilot scheme ends.

What was done and achieved?

The six-month programme was built around six modules (Leaps):

In practice, the results of the programme included, at the minimum, a validated business model and a viable plan for creating new business.

During the Leaps, each participating company committed to taking part in six workshops, seven company-specific business sparring meetings and three service development meetings as well as to carrying out numerous tasks that promoted the achievement of the programme’s goals.

Each company chosen to the programme had to book an authorised participant from the company for at least 2 days per week for six months (a total of approximately 45 working days).

Read more about the business cases in the IHAN business programme pilot. You can also watch the case videos with English subtitles of MPS Enterprises, Sivex and M Room on Sitra’s Youtube channel.

The IHAN business programme included an extensive set of training materials (available in Finnish) to benefit the facilitators of similar business programmes.


Sitra led and co-ordinated the execution of the IHAN business programme in co-operation with four partners. Sitra acquired strategic business development and service design consulting services from the following companies: Futurice, Innovestor Ignite, KPMG and Taival Advisory.

What’s next?

Various participants will carry out programmes according to the IHAN business programme concept and make the programme widely available to other SMEs as well. For example, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment contributes to ensuring that the pilot programme continues to be used. 

More information about the continuation of the IHAN business programme can be found in the news article published on 28 January 2021.

More information

Have some more.

Zeros and ones in the background, and on the front there is a unicorn, ice cream and a robot symbolising the various content of the business programme such as capabilities, services and followup.

Business programme to be expanded: new data-based growth to be brought within the reach of all SMEs

Companies A, B and C sharing data.

Data partnerships offer strategic business opportunities


A new programme helps SMEs reform their business operations with shared data

hands holding a book

New rulebook to guide the development of fair data economy services

Contact us

Let’s develop your business with the aid of data!

Juhani Luoma-Kyyny
Juhani Luoma-Kyyny
Pinja Heimala
Specialist, Competitiveness through data
Jyrki Suokas

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