Good News from Mon, 09 November, 2009:

EnterpriseHelsinki – consultancy assists also immigrant entrepreneurs

There are approximately 6400 companies in Finland, which have been established by immigrants. The number is about three per cent of all the companies in the country. The number of foreign entrepreneurs has doubled since year 2000 and companies within this sector employ approximately 20 500 people.

- Actually there are more companies established by foreign entrepreneurs than the statistics show, since they do not take into consideration those immigrant entrepreneurs who hold Finnish citizenship, says Hanna Hietala, the Head of Development at Entrepreneurs of Helsinki -association.

Nearly one third of these companies are shops, 19 per cent offer business services and the same percentage of companies operate within the accommodation and catering sector.

- An extremely positive aspect of the EnterpriseHelsinki -consultancy is that it has been carried out together with the municipalities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen - by putting together our resources we are able to work much better than we would if we all operated independently.

The problems of immigrant entrepreneurs are very similar to those of Finnish entrepreneurs, although an extra challenge is that some of them lack adequate language skills and are not familiar with the Finnish business environment. On the other hand, some of the immigrant entrepreneurs have an excellent grasp of the language and are very experienced entrepreneurs

EnterpriseHelsinki assists especially in the establishment of companies and in the early stages of their business activities. In addition to Finnish and Swedish, consultancy is available also in English, German, French, Russian, Estonian and Arabic.