A donation of 370 000 euros to the economics department of the University of Eastern Finland for the study of cooperatives

Pellervo Coop Center, OP Cooperative, Tradeka Cooperative and North-Carelia Cooperative (PKO) have donated 370 000 euros to the University of Eastern Finland, which will be allocated to the economics department.

The donation was made during the state’s co-funding campaign: The idea is that the universities receive co-funding from the state matching the donations they collect. The donors chose the Department of Economics of the University of Eastern Finland because of its pioneering cooperative research and teaching.

– Cooperatives are very important to Finnish society, both financially and in terms of the availability of everyday services. It is important that cooperative research and teaching are carried out at the highest educational level, emphasizes Mari Kokko, CEO of the Pellervo Coop Center.

Research on business that benefits the community is needed

The Department of Economics of the University of Eastern Finland has an active and growing Intellectual Capital Management research group, where cooperative research is an important focus. The head of the research group, professor of intellectual capital management Anu Puusa, has studied cooperative business and developed cooperative teaching, research and business cooperation into a whole that is not available in any other Finnish university.

– Understanding value-based business models is becoming more and more important. Cooperatives strive to achieve good business results and general good at the same time. Finland is one of the most cooperative countries in the world, and we have internationally recognized management expertise, the core of which is the ability to do business that benefits the community. It is extremely important to promote research and awareness of these themes both in Finland and internationally, says Puusa.

– We share common goals with the university both in promoting the vitality and attractiveness of Eastern Finland and in building a better and more sustainable future. Universities and, in general, cooperation between educational institutions at different levels of education play a key role in the placement of new experts in our region. I hope that our donation of 205 000 euros will strengthen the university’s ability to produce high-quality education and also increase knowledge about the cooperative business model, says Juha Kivelä, CEO of North-Carelia Cooperative (PKO).

– OP Cooperative wants to support Finnish know-how and research, create conditions for sustainable growth and promote the long-term success of its operating environment. As a large Finnish operator, it is important for us to promote versatile research and know-how both nationally and locally. For 120 years, we have been strengthening the everyday financial skills of Finns, and through universities we support our country’s economic and business excellence, says Timo Ritakallio, CEO of OP Financial Group.

– Tradeka runs a responsible and profitable business, a significant part of the profit of which is returned to Finnish society. As an operator with a cooperative background, we consider it important that high-level cooperative education is available in Finnish higher education institutions, explains the CEO of Tradeka Cooperative, Perttu Puro, about the donation made by the Tradeka Foundation.

The University of Eastern Finland is grateful for the significant support it has received.

– We appreciate this support and long-term cooperation in the field of cooperative research and education, says Sari Rissanen, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.

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