< Back to projects page

Women by the border, Women by the border Follow-up Project
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

Women by the border and Women by the border Follow-up projects were part of the same project entity. The goal was to strengthen the expertise of women entrepreneurs in the border region.

Main activities

• Seeking new cooperation models and operational procedures, • Arrangement of meetings and contact-making trips, • Provision of cultural, teamwork and Russian language training, • Providing information on marketing from the perspective of cooperating with Russia and Russian customers, • Increasing knowledge and awareness of women entrepreneurs in Finland and Russia, • An assessment of the expertise of the women immigrants for businesses and decision-makers in the region.


The project formed contacts and sought counterpart companies from both sides of the border that involve women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs learnt of each other’s respective operations, culture and everyday life during educational and contact-making trips as well as training events. In addition, they considered cooperation possibilities and assessed the opportunities for their company activities in the target areas. The meetings reduced the prevailing prejudices on both sides of the border. Within the framework of the project, tangible, municipality-specific cooperation between women immigrants, local women entrepreneurs and officials was initiated through municipality-specific events where local women entrepreneurs, women immigrants and municipality representatives discussed how the expertise of immigrant women could be used in companies and in regional development. Teams consisting of women immigrants, women entrepreneurs and official representatives were created in the municipalities. Development of the cooperation continued after the introductory event. Through the project, intensive Russian language courses were arranged. The classes aimed to encourage participants to speak Russian and to give them the ability to handle common situations. The cooperation skill training was implemented using events that discussed differences between Russians and Finns in terms of culture and mentality. Professional women were given instruction in how to market their products before embarking on the educational and networking trips, which were good opportunities to market products and services to Russians. The project cooperated closely with both Finnish and Russian reporters and received visibility in the media on both sides of the border. The project organised the ‘Women of Two Karelias’ exhibition, which was intended to illustrate the expertise of both Finnish and Russian Karelian women. In addition, a ‘Women by the border’ magazine was produced in Finnish and Russian. ‘ The project created numerous opportunities for business contacts, increased experience-based knowledge, cultural knowledge and language skills. It also helped to remove unnecessary prejudices and activated Russian women living in North Karelia.

Basic information