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Suomen Yrittäjät launches immigrant entrepreneur network

“Immigrant entrepreneurs feel that starting a business in Finland is relatively easy, but once the business is up and running, they need more help and support. That is why Suomen Yrittäjät has founded a network for immigrant entrepreneurs,” immigrant entrepreneur coordinator Kaisu Keisala-Kaseja says.

The number of foreigners in Finland has doubled since 2000. That growth appears set to continue. Many of them support themselves and their families as small business owners. For that reason, the board of Suomen Yrittäjät decided in late 2018 to launch an immigrant entrepreneur network to support entrepreneurs who had moved from elsewhere to Finland. 

The entrepreneur members of the network’s management team were recruited by means of a call for applications. Thirty-nine applications were received. Ali Giray was chosen as chairman of the network’s management team, and the other members chosen were Selene Gama, Isabella Haas, Cyrus Jebraeil, Niia Kviatkovskaia, Poya Mohammadi, Siva Parlar, Reggie Rusan, Sumita Sahu, Pamela Spokes, Andriy Tymchenko and Adam Zaghloul.

Asta Kouri, the organizational assistant with Helsingin Yrittäjät, the organization’s regional association in Helsinki, and Hanna Tarvainen, the coordinator in Varsinais-Suomen Yrittäjät, the organization’s regional association in southwest Finland, were chosen as expert members of the network management team. 

“The aim is to expand our entrepreneurial organization’s immigrant entrepreneur operations to various parts of Finland,” Keisala-Kaseja says. 

The range of businesses run by entrepreneurs with immigrant backgrounds is broad: there are both small and large businesses in a wide range of sectors. In Keisala-Kaseja’s experience, there are differences between businesses run by people who have moved to Finland and native Finns.  

“Immigrant entrepreneurs seem hungrier for growth than the vast majority of Finnish entrepreneurs. In addition, more of their companies have international operations.”  

For further information, please contact: immigrant entrepreneur coordinator Kaisu Keisala-Kaseja, tel. 050 326 9313, kaisu.keisala-kaseja (at) yrittajat.fi