“Learn, Network and Innovate” – workshop supporting migrant entrepreneurs

Stepping onto the entrepreneurial path is a journey of courage, determination, and relentless passion. For those with migrant backgrounds, this journey often comes with unique challenges.


As part of the Helsinki-Uusimaa – Sustainable and digital entrepreneurship area 2021-2022 (3UAS4EER) project, a workshop was organised on the 23rd of August 2023 with the main purpose of offering networking opportunities and sharing knowledge and information on topics especially relevant to entrepreneurs with immigrant backgrounds in Finland.

Photo credit: Raija Kaljunen

The workshop came about as an outcome of the user research done earlier during the project when trying to understand the needs and challenges when running a business in Finland of Small and Medium-sized enterprise owners with a migrant background.

The results of the research showcased the strong need of the target group to network and join communities, difficulties in accessing information and language challenges. A strong desire for continuous learning was also identified during the research.

During the event, Sonja Antosalo from the Federation of Finnish Entreprises (Suomen Yrittäjät) and Liisa Hanén, from Mikro-ja yksinyrittäjät ry were invited to share more information on important and relevant topics such as services, events and mentorship programs provided by Suomen Yrittäjät and Government’s new policies.

The event included also three short workshop sessions where participants had the opportunity to learn and use service design, digital marketing and futures foresight tools and methods.

The outcomes of the event were positive and based on the feedback the event was a success. The participants used the opportunity to connect and expand their network, learn new tools and practices and ideated about current topics such as Generative AI and the effect of entrepreneurs, how to recognise weak signals and utilise them in their own business as well as how to use a Digital Marketing strategy canvas.

Photo credit: Raija Kaljunen

Hopefully, more events like this will take place in the future. Let’s create an environment where innovation and collaboration have no boundaries and every entrepreneur, regardless of their background, has a platform to succeed.

The workshop was part of the project: The Helsinki-Uusimaa – Sustainable and Digital Entrepreneurship Area 2021-2022 project (3UAS4EER) promoting entrepreneurship that supports digitalization and sustainable development. The project was connected to Uusimaa’s entrepreneurship regional year, which aimed to support the conditions for the digital green growth of small and medium-sized companies in the region, recovery from the corona pandemic and achieving climate neutrality by 2035. The project was running between 2021–2023.

The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

Author: Elena Howlader, Service Designer

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