I had the privilege to attend the Arctic Congress in Bodø, made possible by funding from UArctic. The visit offered both spectacular sceneries and insightful perspectives to the Arctic as a region and research context. As a doctoral student at the University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute focusing on entrepreneurial resilience and microentrepreneurs. I am currently working also in a green transition project and researching the small companies prospects of being able to participate in them. In addition, living and working close to the Arctic has ignited the interest in micro-entrepreneurs in the Arctic. The unique characteristics of the region make it an interesting context for researching resilience.

Presenting an abstract

The primary reason for my participation to the congress was to present my abstract there. I felt I was really fortunate to have a paper project that was a match to 3.1.2 Sustainable economic development in the Arctic; CSR, SMEs and sustainable economic development in the Arctic. The session sparked a very lively discussion after the presentations. We discussed topics such as the Arctic as a place, the importance of networks, and its unique features. For me perhaps the biggest take-away was the multifaceted nature of the region and the many fascinating research opportunities it offers.

The abstract I presented is part of a larger study on the role of micro-enterprises in green transition in sparsely populated areas. The purpose of this study is about the micro-entrepreneurs’ participation in green transition initiatives and I am addressing the following research questions:

  • What obstacles do micro-entrepreneurs face in participating in green transition projects in the
  • sparsely populated areas?
  • What are the companies’ readiness to participate and succeed in the green transition processes?
  • What social sustainability factors can be identified in steps enterprises take?
Photo taken by Anna-Mari Simunaniemi

Impact and lessons learned

Participating in the congress made me really appreciate the Arctic as geographical area and a target and context for research and boosted the research paper and my PhD studies more broadly. I admire entrepreneurs that can succeed with the set of challenges the region poses. That truly requires resilience. I am keen on researching entrepreneurship in the arctic and arctic resilience.

I am very thankful for UArctic for the opportunity to participate. The value for these kinds of gatherings for a doctoral student are priceless. I also met with a few potential collaboration partners with whom I would like to collaborate in the future.

The participation also boosted my motivation and drive to finish my PhD quickly to get to interesting research projects in the Arctic. In addition, learning about the various research done in the arctic and making new contacts was one important achievement of participating.

Presenting in front of a substantial audience bolstered my ambition and passion to become better and better in teaching and speaking and inspired me to seek more opportunities to teach and speak. The visit, discussions and listening to the presentations gave inspiration, new ideas and boost to do research in the Arctic context. I head home not only more aware and informed about the vast variety of research conducted in the Arctic, but also more convinced about the importance of research conducted in the Arctic. In addition, I had a chance to briefly start planning a research trip to Iceland in the autumn 2024.

What’s next

Although I did not get to see much of the beautiful outdoors of the Northern Norway this time, even glimpses of the beauty of the Arctic landscape were recorded to the memory. I hope to get back soon, and I was even thinking of the opportunity of doing research exchange somewhere in the region. As I am heading home, I am refreshed, full of new ideas, and more passionate than ever about continuing my research

In conclusion, the Arctic Congress in Bodø was an enriching experience that has greatly impacted my PhD journey and research focus. The insights and connections gained will surely impact my future work and contribute to a deeper understanding of the Arctic as a research context entrepreneurial resilience in the Arctic.