“Norrbotten and Västerbotten are to become European models for proactive ownership succession among small and medium-sized businesses. There is a considerable need, and our offer is unique and in demand,” says Anders Gothefors, CEO of Connect Norr and project owner of the CooCon project.
The business development and innovation organisations Coompanion and Connect Norr are working to simplify succession planning for bringing in new owners. Together, they are starting this major drive to provide concrete help to companies facing transfers in ownership and generational succession.
Anders Gothefors CEO at Connect Norr in Sweden is responsible for the biggest ownership succession Project in northern Europe.
“We call it Ownership Succession,” explains Anders. “Together with the company, we go through an ownership succession process, where, at the end, the owner receives a written document and a sustainability analysis that will allow the best possible implementation of a successful transfer of ownership.”
The process with the participating company starts with a Connect Springboard assisted by business experts who determine where the owner needs support in preparation for a coming ownership succession.
The next step involves offering several expert modules to the participating company. After completing these modules, an additional Connect Springboard is held with a panel from the private sector that points the way forward for the company and examines the best approach to the ownership succession.
“A successful ownership succession requires a long-term approach and strategic planning. This is why the project’s business developers will serve as the company’s personal backboard during the entire process,” says Gothefors.
Transferring ownership to an employee is an option that is often overlooked. This project focuses on this and offers a customized programme provided by Coompanion and other experts in the field.
CooCon is initially a three-year effort that includes the goal of helping keep more than 50 jobs in northern Sweden. Without this effort, these jobs would risk disappearing. The participants can rest assured that strict confidentiality is a central aspect of the project.
After the project, roles like expert advisor and process advisor will have been defined and tested, establishing these roles in northern Sweden.
The strategic and proactive work with ownership succession will be disseminated to all the organisations that CooCon works with. A long-term goal is to introduce the process to the rest of the country, since Coompanion and Connect operate in much of Sweden.
“Certainly, it’s a challenge, but we can handle it,” concludes Anders. “We will become a European model for how to successfully implement ownership succession.”
Interview by Ann Tavelin. More information is available at www.agarskiften.com
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