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Home > Life Stories > The Ethnic Food Entrepreneur - Finland - 1

The Ethnic Food Entrepreneur - Finland - 1

Mr S is an Irishman, who met his future wife on holiday in Spain. She was Finnish. The couple moved in together and when their first child was born they decided to move to Finland. They felt that Finland was a good place to raise and educate their child. When the decision to move was made Mr S started to look for language teaching jobs in Finland, and after a couple of months found one. From then on he had several jobs in different language centres.

A year ago he and his wife opened a little corner shop style grocery in a market hall in southern Finland. Today the shop employs Mrs S full time and Mr S part time. Their idea was to import British groceries to Finland. The idea was born both from Mr S’s personal yearning for British food in Finland and from the fact that these products are not available in Finland.

Stalls available are not often available in the market hall but they were lucky that there was one becoming vacant within some months when Mr S enquired. There were also other applicants but fortunately the city council decided in favour of them. Their company has also a web shop but most of the trading gets done from the market hall premises.

Mr and Mrs S made a business plan with the help of the local start up-agency. This business plan was very useful not only for themselves but as a tool to communicate their ideas with the city council and financers. They got a business loan and a start-up grant which helped them to start. One thing that Mr S thinks is peculiar to Finnish society is that Finns seem to be obsessed with the Internet. Therefore, Facebook and other web-based media are important ways to get your name known.

Mr S advises other immigrants who are planning to start up their own business to study the market and business opportunities carefully and to ask and listen to all the advice available before starting up the business. He is very satisfied the way things are going now and would do everything same way all over again. Mr and Mrs S are hoping to branch out to other market halls in Southern Finland in the future.  

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