Entrepreneurship workshops for young people eliminate assumptions


Free-of-charge entrepreneurship coaching available in many places

Enterprise Finland business plan templates are being used all around the country. Ideas have been elaborated on efficiently in almost twenty workshops for young entrepreneurs so far, and applications are pending for about a dozen more. Commissioned by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Finnish Institute for Enterprise Management has produced workshops in the areas of various ELY Centres in cities around the country, several in some.

Applications for the workshops are accepted from aspiring entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Applicants must be interested in entrepreneurship but a ready-made business idea is not a necessity. However, motivation and interest in entrepreneurship is essential. Applicants may intend to continue a business through change of ownership, or develop the productisation and marketing of their personal competence.

New application processes open on a continuous basis

The workshop for young entrepreneurs is organised as labour market training and applications are submitted via TE Services' training and education search service (te-palvelut.fi/koulutushaku in Finnish). Suitable applicants will be invited to an interview on the basis of applications. After the survey stage, some 20 applicants will continue with the actual six-week workshop.

Coordinator Ulla Heiskanen, responsible for the entrepreneurship workshops for young people, encourages everyone – the unemployed, new graduates, anyone facing the threat of unemployment, and part-time employees to submit an application at te-palvelut.fi.
– The workshops are not a series of lectures but involve information, hands-on work and discussion in a workshop, free-of-charge for participants, for taking advantage of this opportunity that comes their way. The basic idea of the workshop is to offer young people entrepreneurship skills, networks and the support of an experienced coach in the planning and setting up of a business.

At the workshop, participants will put together a business plan, using the template on the Enterprise Finland website, guided by an instructor. Visits by entrepreneurs and stakeholders add a practical approach, as entrepreneurs' networks are forged already during the workshop.

After the actual workshop period, support continues for a six-month follow-up period, including a theme day once per month on in-depth topics including marketing in a digital environment, web shop, internationalisation etc. Students can contact the instructors throughout the follow-up period for guidance. Support is provided for the initial stages of entrepreneurship. A personal mentor will provide support and guidance with a perspective of the real world of business.

The total of 30 workshops ordered from the instructor will be organised over a period of 18 months. The last workshops will end in January 2017.
The entrepreneurship workshops for young people provide the opportunity to forge new networks and learn under expert guidance. This will help everyone in finding their own path. The knowledge of business expertise will certainly prove useful in working life.

Confidence and self-confidence

Young people nationwide have found these entrepreneurship workshops useful in terms of the planning of their business operations, and networking. The group's team spirit encourages entrepreneurship and the different skills and backgrounds of workshop participants are a useful bonus.

For many, the key benefit is higher confidence and self-confidence. The forms of entrepreneurship are many and it is a relief to find the best way to work as an entrepreneur, ideal for the business idea and life situation.

A nationwide network being forged, a summer event coming

The instructors, the mentor, the entrepreneurship workshop group and guest entrepreneurs and experts form the basis for a young entrepreneur's professional network. The entrepreneurship workshops for young people are creating a nationwide network of young entrepreneurs.

A summer event open for all workshop participants is being planned in Pori. The Finnish Institute for Enterprise Management and entrepreneurship workshops for young people are participating in the SuomiAreena public debate forum's Kansalaistori at Pori market square during the Pori Jazz Festival week. The week is an opportunity for invited guests to meet, as everyone involved in the entrepreneurship workshops for young people throughout Finland has been invited by e-mail to the Young entrepreneurs' summer day event on 15 July 2016. Enrolment for the event is underway for the relevant target groups, i.e. everyone who has participated or is going to participate in the entrepreneurship workshops for young people, members of the region's Junior Chamber International Finland, and young entrepreneurs in the regions' entrepreneurs' association.
– Speakers include the head of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises' young entrepreneurs' federation about the change of generation in entrepreneurship and a representative of the Pori Jazz Festival about cooperation between a large organisation and enterprises. Other interesting topics relevant to promoting entrepreneurship will be discussed, and a representative of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy will greet participants as well, says coordinator Katja Myyryläinen of the Finnish Institute for Enterprise Management, responsible for organising the event and the week. Junior Chamber International Finland Pori will participate in the arrangements all week.

Text: Katja Myyryläinen, Ulla Heiskanen