This paper aims at analyzing business services in bioenergy investments and innovations on farms in the Northern Ostrobothnia region in Finland. Finance into research of bioenergy has strongly increased during the last years both in Finland and Europe. Primary focus of this research has been so far on the technical and economic problems, like production, processing and combustion techniques of biofuels and environmental effects of bioenergy production. Energy resources of farms and their possibilities to act as bioenergy entrepreneurs has been paid attention to only lately. Research focusing on the background factors, support services and regional conditions effecting farm level bioenergy entrepreneurship has been minor in Finland. The number of Finnish farm enterprises is assumed to decrease from 70,000 to about 50,000 by the year 2013 and the decline is especially drastic in marginal rural areas like Northern Finland. This trend fosters the depopulation of rural areas and weakens the well-being there. New business opportunities are important in keeping up agricultural enterprises in business. High hopes have been put on the production and use of domestic bioenergy as one of the farm businesses, which is at the same time seen as one of the solutions for reacting to the demands of climate change. In here, governmental and other business services have an important role, but the Finnish business services are scattered in numerous organizations. The research emphasis is put on local/regional actors, who make fi nal energy decisions. Empirically this paper is based on questioning (150 farmers) and structural interviews (39 farmers) for farms directed to bioenergy production in the province of Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland. The data was collected in 2006 and 2007. Three groups of farmers were categorized according to their attitudes to bioenergy production on their farms: investors, entrepreneurs and hobbyist. The results will help to develop future business services, increase bioenergy use, and bring in information about the factors and causalities behind bioenergy decisions.


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