Entrepreneurs’ distress evident in massive increase in need for financial advice
The national Talousapu helpline will be augmented with an online service and regional services. Entrepreneurs’ distress has been evident in the telephone service, which has experienced a 350 per cent increase in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions. The objective is for entrepreneurs to recognise their financial difficulties in time and to have the courage to ask for help.
Number of calls mounts during pandemic year
Many entrepreneurs who had already been struggling saw their financial situation significantly worsen over the past year. Usually, one and a half thousand entrepreneurs contact the Talousapu helpline annually, but in the last year, the number of calls grew to more than seven thousand. The helpline provides entrepreneurs with free-of-charge, confidential and impartial assistance for their situation from financial and reorganisation experts. Based on the information they receive from the caller, the expert makes an assessment of the company’s financial situation and advises the entrepreneur. Often, help is just a phone call away. At the address yrittajantalousapu.fi, entrepreneurs can find information and instructions related to business financials.
The objective of the service is also to prevent financial difficulties and to influence attitudes – temporary difficulties are part and parcel of many entrepreneurs’ lives. They should be easy to talk about openly and without shame.
“It is important for entrepreneurs to learn to identify financial and payment difficulties in time, so that the business’s operations can be turned around and made profitable. Reacting early enough also makes it possible to wind down the business, if required, with as few additional costs as possible for both the entrepreneur and society at large. Few entrepreneurs know that closing down a business can result in significant costs,” explains Development Manager Jari Leskinen from TE-asiakaspalvelukeskus (customer service centre of the employment and economic development administration) which is behind the service.
“Yrittäjän talousapu is an extremely welcome and highly anticipated service. The goal is to identify a business’s financial challenges in time and find solutions for them together with the entrepreneur. If we succeed in this, which I believe we will, it will make many entrepreneurs’ daily lives that much easier and save them from many a sleepless night,” says CEO Mikael Pentikäinen from the Federation of Finnish Enterprises.
Regional services to support entrepreneurs
In addition to the telephone and online services, entrepreneurs will receive support from a regional network of experts around Finland. The regional experts will offer personal support, close to the entrepreneur. “Help needs to be close to the entrepreneur. That is why the Federation of Finnish Enterprises with its 20 regional organisations is an excellent financial advice partner. Our networks and contacts are at your service,” sums up Pentikäinen from the Federation.
In addition to the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, the regional network includes several parties, such as Business Mentors Finland and regional development companies. They are looking for more experts to get involved.
Yrittäjän talousapu counselling service is available
- in Finnish, Mon–Fri, 9 am–4 pm at 0295 024 880 (lnc/mnc)
- in Swedish, Thu, 9 am–4 pm at 0295 024 881 (lnc/mnc)
- in English, Tue and Fri, 9 am–4 pm at 0295 024 882 (lnc/mnc)
Yrittäjän talousapu counselling service is coordinated by TE-asiakaspalvelukeskus jointly run by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the TE Office (Employment and Economic Development Office), under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The service is being developed as part of the EU-wide Early Warning Europe system.
Työ- ja elinkeinohallinnon asiakaspalvelukeskus
Service Management Specialist
Federation of Finnish Enterprises
040 7511 166