Learn, Network and Innovate – Migrant Entrepreneur Workshop – Key Takeaways

Teksti | Elena Howlader

It’s not every day that you get to spend your morning surrounded by a collective of passionate entrepreneurs with migrant backgrounds, learning, networking and innovating in inspiring premises and a unique atmosphere.

photo from the event.
Picture credit Raija Kaljunen

On Wednesday 23rd of August 2023, as part of The Helsinki-Uusimaa – Sustainable and digital entrepreneurship area 2021-2022 (3UAS4EER) project we had the pleasure of organizing a workshop with the main purpose of creating networking opportunities and sharing knowledge and information on topics especially relevant to entrepreneurs with immigrant backgrounds in Finland.

The workshop came about as an outcome of the user research done earlier during the project. The aim was to better 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. We also discovered a strong desire for continuous learning and an interest in collaborating with the Universities of Applied Sciences.

The event kick-started with an introduction of the project and the multitude of free learning courses offered by 3amk-alliance (Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia UAS) by Project Manager Kaisla Saastamoinen from Laurea UAS. Sonja Antosalo from the Federation of Finnish Entreprises (Suomen Yrittäjät) continued by sharing events, services and mentorship programs offered by Suomen Yrittäjät. The event continued with three workshop sessions where participants had the opportunity to learn and use service design, digital marketing and futures foresight tools and methods.

The closing presentation was given by Liisa Hanén, from Mikro- ja yksinyrittäjät ry who shared useful information about the Government’s new policies for entrepreneurs.
As an answer to the strong enthusiasm for collaboration with the universities, we also showcased during the event a short RDI (Research, Development and Innovation) video about the possibility of collaborating with Laurea: Video link

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.

We hope more events like this will happen in the future. Let’s ensure that every entrepreneur, regardless of their background, has a platform to succeed and create an environment where collaboration knows no borders and innovation has no limits.

URN http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe20230830113396

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