3.9 Start-up funding for young entrepreneurs
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All advisory and other business services are available to young entrepreneurs as well as to any person that wishes to start an enterprise. For example, the Employment and Business Services provides information regarding training and start-up grants for those planning to start a business. In 2020, the offices have received more resources for maintaining their ability to offer services because of the higher level of demands caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. Besides public services, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises has a nationwide community of young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurially-minded students called the Young Entrepreneurs (in Finnish Nuoret yrittäjät). The community provides a growing network of inspiring young entrepreneurs so that they can interact and exchange information with one another. Its purpose is also to promote the pursuit of an entrepreneurship-friendlier society, especially for the younger generation.
There are several start-up grants available that are not specifically for young people, but for which they can also apply. The grant applicant can be eligible for a start-up grant if he or she is an unemployed jobseeker, or is setting up as a full-time entrepreneur after a period in paid employment, education, or domestic work. The goal is to encourage new businesses and promote employment. The start-up grant provides an entrepreneur with a secure income during the time that getting the business up and running is estimated to take – however, the time limit is a maximum of 18 months. The start-up grant is awarded by the public employment and the businesses services if enterprising is a suitable option for the applicant (adequate capabilities, potential for continued profitable operation, and the grant is necessary for survival). They take into consideration the competitive situation of companies in the relevant sector and the need for a new enterprise in the area. The provisions of the start-up grant are contained in the Act on Public Employment and Business Service and the related Government Decree.
Business Finland is the Finnish innovation funding, trade, investment, and travel promotion organization, headquartered in Helsinki. Business Finland is fully owned by the Finnish Government. The Young Innovative Company Funding is intended for talented start-up companies, which have operated for a period of less than five years and whose goal is fast growth in the international market. It is not specifically for young people, but it is an important source of funding for start-up companies.