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Opinion

Get up and startup

Ruairi O’Hehir has noticed that In Finland there is a genuine drive to get ahead with innovation, development of business models and technology.

Coming from Ireland where the fields are green and corporation tax is low, I hadn’t ever considered a sub-culture based on startup initiatives.

Before arriving in Helsinki I was unsure what to expect, I had heard a few things about the startup scene but I could never imagined just how popular it is.

For a struggling economy, startups provide employment, foreign investment and revenue. What the Finns are doing is developing a self-sustainable economy without the need for big multi-national corporations; instead they are focused on creating them.

In Finland there is a genuine drive to get ahead with innovation, development of business models and technology. Some might claim that the lack of big corporations gives Finland no choice but to create startups.

The economy itself might not be perfect but whose is? The fact is that Finland is a relatively safe and easy place to do business.

The ideas and innovations of the Finnish people are those which will pave the way for the future of not only this country but the entire world. From revenue streaming games design to life improving medical technology.

Early intervention is something which is done to excellence here. I had the opportunity to visit the entrepreneur initiative for six graders, Me and My City.

This Me and My City program gives children the opportunity to learn about the operational needs of society and the working life from an early age. Children learn about taxes, voting systems and give them an idea of the commitment life thrives for, as they run their own mini-city for a day.

A program like this would have been helpful to me when I was 12 or even 18 as the Irish education system allows for absolutely no experienced-based training whatsoever. Instead our education system is based on religion and academics.

Finland’s ability to change is extraordinary through the eyes of an Irish person, at one point it heavily relied on Nokia and now it is building the foundations of an economy from smaller stones.  It can change and grow without the repulse of the public, something which my country cannot master.

I’ll be back Finland.

Ruairi O’Hehir
Freelance journalist and business geek
10.03.2016