11.3.2024 22:29

1 in 5 start-up employees has foreign background

Start-ups in Finland now employ over 30,000 people. One in five people working in Finnish start-ups has a foreign background.

The Finnish Startup Community has published an analysis of start-ups’ role in the Finnish labour market. In 2021, there were an estimated 1,800 or so active start-ups and companies originating as start-ups in Finland, which according to Statistics Finland registry data employed 31,000 people.

“The role of the start-up ecosystem in the Finnish economy is now very significant. It’s not just a small group of companies seeking innovations: it’s a significant sector for Finland’s economic growth,” says Youssef Zad, Chief Economist at the Finnish Startup Community.

He says that building the best teams means that companies seek to recruit skilled workers to Finland from abroad.

“On the basis of our own investigations, it looks like one in five employees in Finnish start-ups was born abroad. In 2021, the share of foreign-born employees was over 21%, up from just 11% in 2013,” Zad says.

Zad says that because foreigners and immigrants play such a significant role in start-ups’ operations in Finland, immigration policy is a key component for the success of start-ups in the country.

“The more labour available, the more successful start-ups we can get operating in Finland.”

Strong research background in start-ups

Start-ups also appear to employ a lot of people with a research background. Just under four per cent of start-up employees hold doctoral or licentiate degrees. The proportion of researchers is likely to be higher in the initial phases of start-ups developing technologically demanding new products and services.

The material amassed by the Finnish Startup Community and other start-up ecosystem members is the first of its kind.

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