Optimizing entrepreneur retirement (OPTIMAL)

Objectives 

This research and research utilization project involves challenges the retirement and exit process of Finnish micro and small-sized entrepreneurs. The aim is to develop a model and application that allows the entrepreneurs to gain more knowledge associated with retirement, optimize their exit and retirement outcomes, help secure work places, make entrepreneurship a more attractive employment alternative, and unleash the hidden growth potential in these companies by securing the business transfer. By optimizing retirement, we mean maximising the financial safety, assets, and health as the ageing owner exits ones business.

The retirement process comprises retirement planning, decision-making, transition and adjustment to life in retirement. Retirement typically means that the entrepreneur must make a decision regarding the future of the business. The alternatives include selling the business, transferring it to next-of-kin, or closing the business down. These decisions have great impact on the company and the future employment it may offer to the employees.

The key measures in utilizing the existing research include (1) identifying entrepreneur retirement paths, (2) developing a model and application for optimizing entrepreneur retirement, and (3) piloting the model and application in a number of Finnish micro and small-sized businesses.

At individual level the model and application helps the entrepreneurs to make informed decisions regarding their exit from working life. At company level the conceptualisation and the model will help the new entrepreneur to secure the success, growth, and employment of the company employees during business transfer. At societal level these findings may serve as a basis for decision makers to include elements of optimizing entrepreneur retirement and transfer of business processes into the current Entrepreneurship package, which currently is a part of the Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government.

Funding 

Academy of Finland, Key project funding, Forging ahead with research (2016-2018)

Research group 

Collaboration