Counselling immigrant entrepreneurs in Helsinki, Finland
Supporting immigrant entrepreneurs has risen on city agendas around the world as studies show that immigrants start businesses at a higher rate than native-born citizens. EnterpriseHelsinki is a free business counselling service for entrepreneurs in Helsinki, Finland. It is a one-stop service centre where companies with growth potential can get all the information they need to start and run a company in Finland through personal consultation and online business tools.
One of the aims of EnterpriseHelsinki is to help immigrant entrepreneurs before they encounter problems within Finnish business culture, which is known for its bureaucratic nature. Although they start more businesses than native-born Finns, immigrants are seen to seek help only once they have encountered problems. EnterpriseHelsinki offers business counselling by connecting new entrepreneurs with experts, free of charge, in Swedish, English, Russian, Estonian, German and Arabic. The agency also offers various classes and workshops on different topics regarding starting a business, mainly in Finnish, but also in English and Russian. In this way, EnterpriseHelsinki is able to cater to more than just the stereotypical immigrant businesses. 'Immigrants don't just establish restaurants or cleaning companies', says Elie El-Khouri, Project Manager of EnterpriseHelsinki - 'Now they start up IT companies just like Finns'.
This practice was kindly contributed by Hire Immigrants, a program of the Global Diversity Exchange, Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). See more at: http://citiesofmigration.ca/good_idea/immigrant-businesses-get-a-helping-hand/.