About twenty representatives from the business community in Sunnfjord took a closer look to learn what Norec can offer to companies in the local area.

– Here in Sogn og Fjordane, I think one recurring challenge for the business community can be its inward, sometimes insular focus. One likes the safe and the familiar, rather than seeking opportunities or inspiration elsewhere. I think we would all benefit from seeking new inputs and impulses, says Arne Sæterbakken, head of finance at Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane.

Sæterbakken was one of about twenty people who took the trip to Peak Sunnfjord to attend the inspiration meeting arranged by Norec.

The three Norec partners, DataDrivenFinance, Spire, and Zabai spoke about their own partnerships and collaboration with Norec, and explained what exchange has meant for the development of their companies and organisations. For many people, the conversation was an eye-opener.

– It was very inspirational to hear what the entrepreneurs had contributed personally, but also how they were able to contribute commercially in other regions beyond the safe and well-known regions of Norway, said Sæterbakken.

You have to see the person behind the message

But what will it take for rest of the business community to see the benefits of Norec’s offer?

— More meetings like this are needed. It’s so important to be able to exchange knowledge and experiences, and see for yourself that other companies have succeeded abroad. And to do that, you have to see the person behind the message, not just get sent an e-mail with information. The important thing is to spread the knowledge about Norec and what they can actually contribute, says Sæterbakken.

Anne Mette Hjelle was at the meeting as a representative for IT-Forum Vest, and made it clear that Norec is very relevant to companies in Sunnfjord.

– Absolutely! Here we struggle with recruitment and diversity, so in that way, this is a gift. The important thing is to make sure that companies see that it is feasible and relevant to them, says Hjelle.

– A pleasure to share our experiences

DataDrivenFinance is a Norwegian-based company which has a partnership with its subsidiary Data Driven Finance Kenya. Together, they offer microinsurance for one dollar a year. CEO Jan Martin Hunderi and workplace board chairman Henni Aasen were very glad that they could take the opportunity to share their experience from their collaboration with Norec.

– It’s nice to be able to present what we’re all about to a part of the business community that might not have heard about us before. I hope everyone here in the audience understands how important Norec is, and how crucial Norec has been for the development of DataDrivenFinance, says Aasen.

Spire is an environmental and development organisation for young people working toward a more sustainable and just world. They work in partnership with Network for Youth Development in Malawi.

– It’s always nice to get to talk about what we do, and at the same time to spread that understanding from the ground up, says Spire representative Sigrid Høeg.

Should keep an eye on what Norec is doing

The Norwegian-based company Zabai creates digital training solutions for young people in developing countries, and currently has projects in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Manager Steinar Viktil greatly appreciates the chance to communicate with the business community in Sunnfjord.

– It means a lot to meet the business community in this way. One gets to share one’s own knowledge, and at the same time it’s great to hear about other people’s projects, says Viktil.

He thinks that many more people, especially those in the business community, should keep an eye on what Norec is doing.

– What Norec offers is a wildly good scheme. It’s a framework with flexibility, which in turn leads to increased efficiency and greater possibilities, says Viktil.


First-ever partner meeting in Førde

The inspiration meeting was arranged after a two-day partnership meeting in Førde where representatives from 13 international partnerships were gathered for professional collaboration and networking.

– This was the first partner meeting Norec has had here in Førde, and it’s fantastic to have the chance to gather so many of our partners here, says Norec director Jan Olav Baarøy.

Baarøy especially appreciates that so many people from the business community in Sunnfjord took the time to be a part of this inspiration meeting following the partner meeting.

– This is an important arena for us, and the feedback from the business community has been great. We will have to do more of this in the future, says Baarøy.