Can an immigrant be an entrepreneur in Finland?

Published in Kauppalehti/Debatti on 30th November 2015      

Guest writer: Mikko Ilves

I think I am able to answer the question. A few years ago, we launched a specific service concept for entrepreneurs with foreign backgrounds in Finland. The language of service and reporting is so called “Globish” which means understandable English in different accents.

The only contacts you will be getting are from Turkish kebab stalls, or do they even have bookkeeping at all?” warned some of my prejudiced acquaintances, when I mentioned about the idea of expanding my business to foreign entrepreneurs.

Even though I dislike the mocking of pizza or kebab entrepreneurs of any nationality, I was curious to see if the prejudice would turn out correct. I would not know, since we did not really get that kind of contacts. But instead, the whole host of entrepreneurs with different nationalities have contacted us. At least French, African, Italian, Romanian, Indian, Australian, Polish, Dutch, Japanese, Bangladeshi, Chinese, British, Pakistani, Russian, Portuguese, Swiss and Philippine entrepreneurs have sat down at the negotiating table and most of the negotiations have turned out great customerships. And let’s not forget the aforementioned Turkish entrepreneur, who might even be the most hard-working of them all! Also the diversity of the lines of businesses has been incredible. We have had customers from importing, coding, owning a gym to architect services, just to name a few.

It is hard to say what these entrepreneurs have in common, however two things come to mind: One; they have not come to Finland because they love Finland, and two; they really want to work. The most common reasons for immigration seem to be moving to a safer life environment, and love. A lot of the immigrants have moved to Finland, because they have fallen in love with a Finnish woman or even a Finnish man!

The immigrants’ businesses are mostly small one-person companies and only few are employing outside their own family. If we talk about localization, entrepreneurship is a quite effective way. Having your own business prevents social exclusion and decreases unemployment. It is also a great way to make contacts with local people. I cannot really tell if it has effects on learning the local language, since the foreign entrepreneurs I know tend to prefer English as their main language in business. Also the locals are very eager to switch the language in English when they assume that the other person is not fluent in Finnish.

In my work, I have observed that when I meet people who are starting their new business, they are almost more often immigrant backgrounded than Finnish. We can conclude that at least in Helsinki area, an increasing number of the starting entrepreneurs do not speak Finnish as their mother tongue.

To answer the question in the title: Yes. Immigrants can integrate to Finland, for example as entrepreneurs. They perform their duties and pay their taxes like other entrepreneurs. Acting by their situation and personality, not by their nationality.

In conclusion, entrepreneurship can play a meaningful role to employment, but it also has a humane and socializing factor.

Article about immigrants as entrepreneurs by Mikko Ilves. Published in Kauppalehti on November 30th 2015

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Appointment

Carina Björnvik was appointed as an accountant in the international AutoAccount team of Digibalance Limited.

She will be providing English bookkeeping services to the European micro entrepreneurs. Her permanent location is Florence Italy.

 

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Investment opportunity in Levi, Lapland

Levi logoLevi is the biggest ski resort in Lapland known for organising the opening event of FIS Alpine skiing World Cup. We are now pleased to inform that there is a rare real estate investment opportunity available. A whole alpine style house is for sale and it consists of five separate apartments. The location is perfect in the very heart of Levi Center.

Read more http://eu.imlix.com/alpine-style-house-of-5-apartments-in-levi-ski-resort-lapland/l12026#.UhSKz3DyXIU

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any more information.
Mikko Ilves
Managing Director
mikko.ilves@digibalance.eu

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AutoAccount go live in Estonia

Digibalance Limited is now offering its effortless and cost-effective accounting service for entrepreneurs in Estonia. We are ready to support our customers’ business by taking care of bookkeeping routines which will be automated very efficiently. Estonia has a unique taxation system which can be very appealing also to foreign entrepreneurs.

Please contact us via website www.digibalance.eu/bookkeeping-estonia Meetings can be arranged in Tallinn but with Nordic customers also in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Due to the technical reasons we so far only serve entrepreneurs with business account at Danske bank.
Mikko Ilves
Managing Director
mikko.ilves@digibalance.eu

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AutoAccount go live in Sweden and Denmark

Digibalance Limited opened its sales office in Ørestad Copenhagen in the end of last year 2011. Since that we have been configuring and piloting our AutoAccount service to provide effortless and cost effective bookkeeping for self employed customers in Denmark and Sweden. The service is up and running now and we are ready to support our customers’ business by taking care of accounting routines.

Meetings with Nordic customers can also be arranged in Stockholm. Due to the technical reasons we so far only serve entrepreneurs with business account at Danske bank.
Mikko Ilves
Managing Director
tel. +358 405076434

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Digibalance Ltd. registered in London UK

Digibalance Limited, the subsidiary company of Finnish Digitase Oy was today registered in England. The head office of the company is in Docklands, London and all our English accounting services in Europe will be managed through this company.

 
Mikko Ilves
Managing Director
Digibalance Limited

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AutoAccount piloting in Sweden and Denmark

Digibalance Limited is currently configuring AutoAccount accounting service for English-speaking entrepreneurs in Sweden and Denmark. The concept is very easy for the customers and very cost-effective compared to the traditional way of bookkeeping. However, the production side of the concept still needs localisation. That is why the large-scale marketing has not been started yet, and only pilot customers are accepted in the beginning.
Mikko Ilves
Managing Director
tel. +358 405076434

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AutoAccount now available in Finland

Digibalance Limited has today launched its unique automated accounting service for English-speaking entrepreneurs in Finland. The concept has been in production in Finnish for two years already. Now this easy and low-cost option to meet the bookkeeping requirements is offered to all the international customers who might have communication difficulties with Finnish accountants.
Mikko Ilves
Managing Director
tel. +358 405076434

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Digibalance® trademark for European operations

Our vision is to grow into a Europe-wide accounting service provider to the micro enterprises of 1-4 people. The basis of our service products will be the automated accounting concept that we have developed in Finland, and based on that we will solve the country-specific localization needs.

Digibalance is a registered trademark of Digitase Oy under which the company’s services will be provided internationally. The work is in an early stage, and for now the technical readiness for digitalized accounting is mostly in Scandinavia, where the preparation projects are already in progress.

www.digibalance.eu will be updated for briefings of the development in a near future.
Mikko Ilves
Chairman of the Board
Digitase Oy (Finland)

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