Country and region

Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:14

More than just a job

Text: Anni Jyrinki Photo: Pekka Kallasaari

In Oulu, there seems to be quite lot entrepreneurs from other countries. The Extra magazine found out what does it take to build up your own business if you are not originally Finnish.

Ildikó Loikkanen has been running an employment service in Oulu for the past three years.

Ildikó Loikkanen came to Oulu in 1996 from Hungary. About three years ago she started her own business, Sillat Ltd. Today, the company operates on a very popular area, i.e. employment services.

- Our HR services include staffing and recruiting, Loikkanen tells.

According to her experience, there are not many possibilities for researchers graduated from universities to get employed. This is why she decided to start her business.

- Originally, I am a doctor of biochemistry, and I have worked in a university.

Sometimes it also runs in the family to run your own business. This is the case with Andreas Andreou. He came to Oulu from Cyprus thirteen years ago. In 2000, he opened his own restaurant, Crecian.

- My family had a restaurant in Cyprus, and I had worked there for several years. Maybe that’s why it was so natural to start this restaurant in Oulu, Andreou states.

How to get started?

- The first thing is to learn the language, Loikkanen points out and continues that it really is the first thing to speak and understand Finnish. Occupational skills come second.
- I participated in a training that was tailored to immigrants, who were planning to be entrepreneurs, Andreou tells about his first steps in Oulu.

Andreou also mentions startup money. It is financial support that, for example, the EU or an employment agency can grant to new entrepreneurs.

For more information, see, for example the website of Employment and Economic Development Office.

- I must say that knowing the Finnish laws is really necessary. But still, my experience is that to be an entrepreneur is quite the same wherever you are, Andreou concludes.

Ildikó Loikkanen also participated in a training course. This training was organized by ESMO, and it lasted only for a couple of weeks.

- I have also got useful support and information from the services offered by the city of Oulu, Ildikó mentions.

Always room for new skills

- Our mission is to provide human resources according to our customers’ needs, Ildikó describes the business idea behind Sillat Ltd.

Currently, there is a shortage of sales people and shop assistants.

- For a job seeker I would like to say that be active and persistent. For those, who are planning to start up a business, I would like to say that being a businessman or a businesswoman is very challenging and interesting. No one day is similar to the other.

Andreou also says that there is always need for skilled, flexible and hardworking people.

You can find specific information and how to apply from the Studies and Applying section of Oulu UAS website.
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