Migrant and local entrepreneurs

I’ve been a member of Suomen Yrittäjät – the Federation of Finnish Enterprises – since 2008. It’s the largest organization representing small- and medium-sized companies in Finland, and a good way to get to know other entrepreneurs and how to run a business.

Although I’d used their information services from time to time, I hadn’t been as active as I could’ve been, so I finally decided to do it differently. Suomen Yrittäjät has a range of networks that connect entrepreneurs across the country to share ideas and activities. I’ve been in business since 2004, and felt I had something to offer. 

So, in late 2019, I applied to join the 2020 Migrant Entrepreneur Network’s management team and was accepted.  The team is a very diverse group of foreign-born and native Finnish entrepreneurs who provide support and guidance to migrant entrepreneurs operating in the Finnish business environment. You can see some of us in the photo above and meet us all here.

Yrittäjät held a kick-off day for all their new committees and networks on February 8, 2020 at Bank, a small event venue in downtown Helsinki. Here the new team met face-to-face for the first time to get to know each other and define our mandate for the coming year. 

We discussed a lot of points, but we understood we had to focus on just a few if we really wanted to get things done. So we decided on three main goals:

  1. Improve collaboration with stakeholders.
  2. Add more information to the Yrittäjät website.
  3. Raise awareness of Yrittäjät, its services and influence among migrants.

We’ve got an action plan to pursue these goals, but we’ll alter it as necessary as the business landscape changes over the year, so I won’t elaborate on it here. I’ll report on what we do as things happen.

The photo at the top of the page shows us after our meeting in the main hall of Bank. After this, the management team is scheduled to meet four times in 2020 to review our progress on the goals. We’ll also attend other meetings and events as representatives of migrant entrepreneurs in Finland. 

The first of those other meetings was when the Minister of Finance Katri Kulmuni invited us to have lunch with her on 4 March. Several of us went to discuss our concerns as migrant entrepreneurs over a bowl of salmon soup. You can read about the event here.  

It’s been fun so far. I’m looking forward to working throughout the year with this fantastic group!

The photograph was kindly provided by Global Business Forum International – Finland.