Woman with a laptop. Photo: Marek Sabogal

Entrepreneur Day for Women offers immigrants information and inspiration for entrepreneurship

On 6 June, the City of Helsinki is organising an Entrepreneur Day for Women open to all at the Helsinki City Hall Event Square. The city wants to encourage women from immigrant backgrounds, especially those interested in entrepreneurship, to participate in the event. The language of the event will be English.

Nasima Razmyar, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki, will open the Entrepreneur Day for Women.

“Helsinki's strategy is called ‘A Place for Growth’. A place where individuals and communities can grow. A place that creates human, social and economic growth.

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of growth. We want to be a good city for everyone to work and be enterprising. We will pay attention to issues such as promoting innovation, attracting international talent and equal access to city services.

In a city where it is good to work and be an entrepreneur, individuals, communities and the economy grow. And with it comes greater well-being. It’s great that Entrepreneur Day for Women will bring together women interested in entrepreneurship who are an important part of the city's growth continuum,” says Razmyar.

Speakers to represent a diverse range of female entrepreneurs

Like all entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs from a migrant background are a diverse group. They range from highly educated to secondary school graduates, from mothers to students, with different ambitions and dreams.   Some have been in Finland for years, others have just moved here. Some are fluent in Finnish, others are just learning the basics. The City of Helsinki wants them all to have a real chance to be entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneur Day for Women will feature a series of presentations from inspiring women, many of whom are themselves immigrants to Finland.

Kati Lappeteläinen from Startup Refugees will explain how to start a business in Finland. Pamela Spokes, founder of Discover Design Do, will explain what an entrepreneur needs to succeed in Finland. PR and marketing professional Sallamaari Muhonen will introduce the audience to the basics of marketing, and Fadumo Ali, Espoo Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, will share his own success story. In just two years, Ali’s company, Hoiwa Oy, has grown to employ over 2,500 care professionals. The public will be able to participate in the programme when diversity and equality experts Amina and Hodan Mohamed hold a workshop for all, aimed at harnessing personal inner power for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship always starts with belief in yourself!

At the end of the programme, there will be time for free discussion to allow participants to get to know each other and start building their own networks.

Ukrainian women also encouraged to take part in Women’s Entrepreneurs Day

The City of Helsinki is also encouraging women who have fled the war in Ukraine and are receiving temporary protection to take part in Entrepreneur Day for Women. Applicants for temporary asylum in Finland are being granted the right to work and be self-employed. Starting a business in Finland is easy and the city's experts can help people take their first steps towards entrepreneurship.

Female entrepreneurship has potential for growth

Entrepreneurship is the quickest way for immigrants to find employment, and it also helps them adapt to Finnish society. However, the first step into entrepreneurship for women from an immigrant background is often a difficult one. For example, cultural background has a big influence on whether an immigrant considers entrepreneurship to be a viable option. Research shows that networking and access to information are critical barriers to entrepreneurship.

“There is a lot of information available, but it is a bit scattered around different places. If you are not familiar with the culture and, for example, the right keywords, it's quite a maze to start looking for information," says Pia Partanen , a business consultant from the City of Helsinki.

The City of Helsinki wants to lower the threshold to entrepreneurship through both personalised advice and events such as Entrepreneur Day for Women. Those considering starting a business can get free advice from NewCo Helsinki.  Expert help is available not only for setting up a business, but also for business development, for example through start-up services. The city's business advisers can help people find the right information and services. Entrepreneurship events organised by the city provide an opportunity for networking and peer support.

There is huge potential for growth in immigrant women, including from the perspective of the city.   Several studies show that the business activities of women from an immigrant background stimulate economic growth. The start-up scene is also worth paying attention to. For example, start-ups created by women perform very well in comparisons, even though they receive less external funding than those created by men.

In the future, we hope to see an increasing diversity of businesses and entrepreneurs in Helsinki's business scene.

See the detailed programme and register by 2 June: https://newcohelsinki.fi/fi/tapahtuma/entrepreneur-day-for-women/

For more information on NewCo Helsinki services, please visit the website https://newcohelsinki.fi/en/