18. Finland

This country profile presents self-employment and entrepreneurship data for women, youth, seniors and immigrants relative to the average for the European Union. It also highlights current inclusive entrepreneurship policy actions and reports on entrepreneurship conditions.

Finland offers a supportive environment for entrepreneurship. This includes low levels of administrative burden for start-ups and easy access to debt financing for new and small firms. However, self-reported levels of entrepreneurship skills are below the European Union (EU) median despite a highly skilled workforce, which could be due to a general preference for salaried employment. Overall, entrepreneurship policy is widely available and focuses on supporting innovative and growth-oriented entrepreneurship. While inclusive entrepreneurship is not a clear policy priority, increased attention to group-specific needs is foreseen in forthcoming entrepreneurship strategy. Some tailored actions are used to support specific population groups, e.g. entrepreneurial education for youth, labour market integration for immigrants.

About 7% of the population was involved in early-stage entrepreneurship between 2016 and 2020, which was about the same as the EU average. New entrepreneurs were also significantly less likely to start a business out of necessity relative the EU average (7% vs. 18%). However, women, youth and seniors remain under-represented in entrepreneurship. If all groups engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship at the same rate as core-age men, there would be 170 000 more entrepreneurs. About two-thirds of these “missing” entrepreneurs would be women and nearly half would be entrepreneurs over 50 years old.

Self-employment levels were relatively stable over the last decade and only slightly lower than the EU average in 2020 (12% vs. nearly 14%). The share of immigrants who were self-employed increased from 11% in 2011 to 14% in 2020. Moreover, the share with employees is about equal to the EU average (30%).

Supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic was a policy priority. This included a range of financial supports for entrepreneurs and the self-employed such as the allocation of EUR 250 million for financial aid for solo self-employed workers through a one-time grant of EUR 2 000 to cover affected business activities between 16 March 2020 and 31 August 2020. By the end of the programme, 20 000 self-employed workers had received grants. Additional financial supports are offered through the Bank of Finland, Finnvera Plc (state-owned risk finance company) and Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu programme, which also included some business counselling. In addition, non-financial support was also offered to sole entrepreneurs through the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) and municipalities.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD/European Union 2021

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at http://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.