Entrepreneurship as an option

Entrepreneurship is a genuine option for increasing numbers of people with higher education. Changes in working life, the willingness to determine the content of the work for oneself and the opportunity to create something new encourage young people to become entrepreneurs.

It is worthwhile to remember that becoming an entrepreneur does not mean that you have to remain an entrepreneur all your life. You may also think of entrepreneurial activities as one stage of your working life.

An enterprise may be established to commercialise an entirely new business idea, product, service or invention. This is the most challenging way to start entrepreneurial activities and it involves the most risks. The most common way to start an enterprise is to use an existing business idea but to implement it in a new, more competitive way or in a new market area.

Part-time entrepreneurship
Starting an enterprise as a part-time activity, for example alongside studies, is recommended, if the individual is not certain whether the business activities will become profitable – at least to begin with. Part-time entrepreneurship gives you an opportunity to try out whether you can find a sufficient number of customers and estimate how the business will develop and whether prerequisites for full-time entrepreneurship are in place. The financial risk is also smaller, when your income is not entirely dependent on the success of the enterprise.

However, keep in mind that Employment and Economic Development Centres (TE centres) do not grant start-up grants to part-time entrepreneurs! In addition, in case of unemployment, the TE centre always has the last word in deciding whether a person is a full-time or part-time entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur's income

Start-up grant
The start-up grant is a subsidy aimed at unemployed people starting new businesses, which provides secure income for the entrepreneur during the early days of the business activities.

• According to the Decree on Employment (Työllisyysasetus 1363/1997), the maximum duration of the grant is 18 months.
• The grant is discretionary.
• Start-up grants are applied for from the TE office, where you are registered as an unemployed job-seeker.
• The application must include, for example, the enterprise's operational and financial plans.

Unemployment security
All individuals fulfilling the criteria of being an entrepreneur are entitled to join the Suomen Yrittäjäin Työttömyyskassa unemployment fund. In order to eligible for unemployment benefit, the condition regarding previous employment must be met. For entrepreneurs this means having worked as an entrepreneur for 18 months in four years immediately preceding the unemployment and simultaneously having been insured in the Suomen Yrittäjäin Työttömyyskassa. In addition, the annual income has to be no less than EUR 8,520 (2014).

More information about entrepreneurship in Finland:

TE-centre's services for new entrepreneurs - http://www.te-services.fi/te/en/employers/for_entrepreneurs/services_new_entrepreneurs/index.html

Guide for new entrepreneurs - Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland