Finland Ignores Common Plight of Start-Up Owners

Your Editor-in-Chief has decided to write a note on what he see as one of the most important and least recognised groups of working folk.

Do you realise that Finland is full of hard-working start-up entrepreneurs who are taking on more risks than most other entrepreneurs?

Here are the reasons why:

  1. Finland is a tiny market with a small groups of very big companies dominating key sectors of the economy and thousands of really small companies. Both groups are slow buyers of new products – big companies are loath to trust small start-ups and small companies seldom have the resources to take new products or solutions.
  2. Many start-up entrepreneurs and partners work without taking any salary and live off loans and option programs!
  3. Even if sales do take off the income can seldom allow the start-up to survive – Finland is a very small market compared to Germany, UK, Spain, Italy and France…
  4. The only way to grow for most start-ups is to export and that is a major investment requiring money and human resources of which the founders are normally lacking.
  5. Private investors and angel investors tend to be too small for taking the start-ups to the international markets.
  6. Instituional Finnish investors are more risk adverse than those of larger countries, and have less to invest. The biggest investors here – the pension companies and banks investment funds – hardly invest directly in this sector of the market.
  7. Finnish VCs do exist and they do invest in start-ups, but their risk taking ability and scale are limited by the same challenges facing the entrepreneurs. They prefer low-risk investments in companies that can exist or at least break-even in the Finnish market. The costs and resources required to support a start-up to enter the international markets normally scare them off to take the plunge.

With so much stacked against them, it is a wonder that start-up entrepreneurs take the leap of faith to start a new company.

Such companies are the future of the country’s economy and deserve some form of public support to help them along. The present system stops just when they most need to go abroad.

There would certainly be an extremely powerful positive impact on the economy for selected companies to receive such support they are innovative and have a high work ethic. Who else is working without a salary in this country with skin in the game and everything to lose?


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