Miguel Angel Bestard Rossello and Nasim Eskandari are both business owners in Rovaniemi area.
18.1.2024 klo 11:13

The role of networks is enhanced when the business owner comes from outside Finland – ”Flexibility and cultural sensitivity are the key”

People from overseas who have set up a business in Finland recount the challenges they have encountered as an entrepreneur in Finland. One of these challenges is getting to know the local people and finding networks that are vital for their business operations.

The wonders of nature in Lapland attract many people from outside Finland to set up a company in the region.

“The idea to start my business in Lapland was sparked by the region’s breathtaking beauty and the warmth of its community. I recognised a need for quality childcare services in this unique destination,” says entrepreneur Nasim Eskandari, a childcare professional with a background in children’s psychology.

Eskandari is the founder of Loopiloo, a dedicated service for caring for children in Lapland. The company is based in Rovaniemi and offers services for local residents and tourists alike.

“Our company specialises in providing top-notch childcare for both tourists and locals, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for children in this magical region,” Eskandari explains.

Cultural differences and the seasonal nature of tourism have presented some challenges.

“Operating in Lapland, one significant challenge has been bridging cultural differences, especially as a non-Finnish individual. Building trust within the local community, where some might initially be cautious, has required extra effort.”

“Despite these hurdles, we remain committed to delivering exceptional value and experiences, aiming to overcome the competition and continue making a positive impact in the community,” Eskandari says.

The region’s popularity as a tourist destination creates opportunities for businesses catering to diverse needs. Additionally, there is a welcoming atmosphere for opening businesses.

Collaboration between businesses is rewarding

According to Eskandar, there is a favourable atmosphere for starting a business in Rovaniemi.

“Our stall at a local fair was a valuable platform, enabling us to connect directly with the community and showcase our services. The authorities have played a pivotal role in our business success, and the support and recommendations from local hotels were instrumental to our success.”

That is why she recommends adopting the culture of the region and building strong links with the local community.

“Understand the seasonal dynamics, collaborate with local businesses, and offer services that align with the needs and desires of both residents and tourists. Flexibility and cultural sensitivity are the key.”

Lapin Materiaalipankki | Terhi Tuovinen

Extreme winter conditions are a learning curve

Eskandari’s spouse Miguel Angel Bestard Rossello also runs a business in Rovaniemi. His company, Wonderlapland, offers safari services for tourists.

“I have a rich background in tourism, having spent many years working in summer destinations. Seeking a new and unique venture, I was drawn to the enchanting landscapes and diverse experiences that Lapland offers.The idea of transitioning from warm to cold destinations sparked my interest, leading me to establish my safari company in this captivating region,” Rossello describes.

Recruitment of seasonal employees and the extreme winter conditions have presented challenges.

“From frozen vehicles to constant troubleshooting, it underscores the importance of robust planning and resourcefulness in maintaining a thriving safari business in Lapland.”

Rosello concurs that the local community and the authorities have played an important role in the success of the company.

“For those considering starting a business in Lapland, especially in the tourism sector, my advice is to be prepared for the challenges that come with the enchanting landscapes. While Rovaniemi attracts many travellers, it’s crucial to understand that behind the scenes there are sleepless nights, numerous responsibilities and hard work, especially during the peak tourist season,” Rossello points out.

He encourages to be true to your own vision.

“I’d like to emphasise the importance of passion and commitment. Be ready for the unique challenges, stay true to your vision, and create memories that will resonate with visitors long after their journey in Lapland.

Once more I have to address the staff accommodation problem”

During the season, it may be challenging to meet the demand for staff accommodation, especially in the popular resorts in Lapland. This has an impact on the companies’ ability to attract and retain employees.

Kittilä resident Yurii Androshchuk, CEO and co-owner of the cleaning and housekeeping service company Juranco Oy, identifies the problem.

“The biggest challenges are the operating costs of the business and the seasonality. Once more I have to address the staff accommodation problem, which is quite an obstacle when you try to grow and scale your business,” he tells.

To be honest, I was greatly impressed how helpful the local authorities are.

When Androshchuk and his wife first came to Finland, they worked in the cleaning industry. Soon they started to consider setting up their own business.

“We always care about how we do our job, and within a couple of years some clients started to ask if we’d like to start our own business so they could hire us. And one of these clients helped us with everything regarding the founding of Juranco Oy.”

“To be honest, I was greatly impressed how helpful the local authorities are. All my questions were answered, all problems solved. We even found some clients thanks to them,” Androshchuk continues.

The entrepreneur’s advice is to always think twice before setting up a business – or before doing anything in general.

“Always better to learn before than to solve after.”

Lapin Yrittäjät also provides support in English

When you join as a member of Lapin Yrittäjät, you are automatically part of the business community of Suomen Yrittäjät and your own locality that focuses on networks, advocacy and peer support.

“As a sole trader, a start-up or a business owner coming from outside Finland, there may be problems in networking or in finding partners or a like-minded community. Therefore, it is worth joining Lapin Yrittäjät. We have many kinds of networks already set up,” says Ella-Noora Kauppinen, CEO of Lapin Yrittäjät.

The organisation offers training, support and information in both Finnish and English. Help is available for legal and financial matters. The extensive document bank for business owners offers, e.g. a wide range of contract templates.


The Suomen Yrittäjät networks bring business owners around the country together to hear new ideas and learn new skills. Our networking events offer you both peer support and new perspectives and partners for your business.

Thrive and succeed in business with Suomen Yrittäjät!

  • Our advice service assists our members on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. You can call us at the number 09 229 222. Don’t hesitate to contact our specialists.
  • Our document bank contains dozens of templates for contracts and other documents that you can tailor to your needs.
  • Our events and training keep your competence up to date.
  • Network: Our networking events offer you both peer support and new perspectives and partners for your business.

Learn more about our benefits, activities and events by becoming our member. Join now!