Enterprises representing the strong focus areas in Joensuu region (forest bio economy, ICT, photonics, metal- and plastic product industries) are seeking stronger growth and internationalisation possibilities. Despite the growth, the amount of international growth enterprises in the region of Eastern Finland is lower than the national average. SMEs do not always have the needed expertise and resources for internationalisation processes. There is a clear need to coordinate and bring together the regional enterprises and international talents in the area. Especially, SMEs have difficulties in finding the right kind of expertise for their internationalisation purposes.

TalentHub Joensuu started as a project in January 2018 to take action to search for solutions for these recognised challenges. The aim of the project was to build a systematic and active municipal cooperation model for international talents, enterprises and their support and service organisations. The enterprise-based activities of the project promoted the growth, development and internalisation of SMEs, as well as swift connection of the international talents with SMEs seeking internalisation. In addition, entrepreneurial paths for international talents were recognised and piloted in the project. Co-development activities between enterprises and international talents were enhanced by new kind of experiments such as joint work-, internship-, and/or development periods in the enterprises.

As the result of the project, the enterprises in the region were able to utilise the competences of international talents more efficiently in their own operations relating to internationalisation processes. During the project, 30 enterprises undertook a cooperation period with an international talent and had access to tools for internationalisation and willingness to utilise international talents to support internationalisation. With the help of the activities, 20 international talents were employed by SMEs. The amount of new start-ups founded by international talents during the project was 10.

The original TalentHUB Joensuu project, which was funded by the EU and Uudenmaan Liitto finished on December 31st 2019. The project had established a cooperation model in which regional SMEs are able to utilise international talents to support their internationalisation and growth. In 2020 the ownership of TalentHUB Joensuu was transfered to Joensuu City and driven by Luotsi Joensuu, TalentHUB Joensuu website continues to be developed with the aim to implement it as a permanent part of the employment services of Joensuu city. In addition to co-operation with local institutions and companies, the project continues to promote the vitality of local companies as well as the social and cultural resiliency and equality in business. Internationalisation of enterprises promotes durable development of the regional economic structure. Through employment, international talents are better integrated into the regional structure, and they diversify business culture, and broaden knowledge of foreign cultures in the enterprises