Last week, 13 participants and their families descended on Helsinki from all corners of the globe to begin their lives as Finns for a full 90 days. Helsinki Business Hub’s 90 Day Finn program officially launched at Epicenter on Thursday, August 5th.
Founders, entrepreneurs, investors and university teachers are participating in the immersive experience to find out firsthand what it’s like to reside in the Nordic capital of innovation that’s famous for its balanced work-life. How can Helsinki help them reach their business goals? Who will share their passion for breakthrough ideas and industry-leading solutions? Where are the opportunities for profit and purpose? And, of course, when does one actually start enjoying salmiakki after those initially shocking tastes?
While our participants can’t answer all those questions just yet, they’ll have full support from HBH, the city of Helsinki and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in the meantime.
Nasima Razmyar, Deputy Mayor for Education, spoke to participants at the launch event about arriving to Finland as a newcomer herself when she was eight years old. Born in Afghanistan, Nasima feels that she still sometimes has an outsider perspective of Finland, which enables her to relate to the experiences of international businesspeople. She also feels personally responsible for elevating Helsinki to new heights when it comes to creating an ideal location for foreign talent and their families.
“Our job as decision-makers is to keep the pace, build new homes, new facilities, and create more jobs, no matter background or age. We can always do better and aim higher. We want to be the best place for startups. Not just in the Nordics, but the world,” she said.
Also speaking were Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson, CEO of Amcham Finland, Pipa Turvanen, Senior Specialist at TEM, and Kristiina Nieminen, Head of Media & PR at San Francisco Agency, a Helsinki-based communications and PR firm. All speakers provided their unique advice on how to navigate the Finnish business environment, media landscape, as well as Finns themselves.
Helsinki’s aspirations are high, with international business challenges on the current government agenda.
Although a concrete strategy to improve the business ecosystem is currently in place, there are real challenges that must be overcome before the idyllic scenario is realized. For example, the Deputy Mayor explained that national legislation can make it difficult for international talent to secure residence permits for their family members and integrate into Finnish culture. Attracting a skilled workforce can also become difficult due to the region’s relatively high taxation.
Fortunately, there are numerous strengths that make Helsinki an excellent destination to grow a company, trial a product or service, and flourish in personal life. World-class education, seamless public transport systems, and extensive natural environments are just a few of them, and all 90 Day Finns are strongly encouraged to explore what the world’s northernmost metropolitan area has to offer.
Not only will they excel in their own endeavors, but the program is also an excellent chance for the Finnish community to learn how Helsinki can improve as a thriving location for companies and their people. Throughout the next three months, we will be collecting their input and critical feedback. We look forward to continuing this journey with our 90 Day Finns, and we welcome you to follow along too!
Find more about the 90 Day Finn program here:
For additional information on the 90 Day Finn program, please contact:
Director, Invest in
+358 400 211 251
Marketing and Communications Director
+358 50 527 5815