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The paradox of Finnish entrepreneurship
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The paradox of Finnish entrepreneurship

Why must entrepreneurship be expressly promoted in Finland, when its economy is considered to be amongst the world’s most competitive?

Entrepreneurs are valued in Finland. The prerequisites for entrepreneurship exist. However, entrepreneurial activity and the number of growth companies are at a low level by international standards. The promotion of enterprise is a permanent subject of Finnish economic and commercial policy.

But why don’t Finns want to set up their own businesses? [:se]Why must entrepreneurship be expressly promoted in Finland, when its economy is considered to be amongst the world’s most competitive?

Entrepreneurs are valued in Finland. The prerequisites for entrepreneurship exist. However, entrepreneurial activity and the number of growth companies are at a low level by international standards. The promotion of enterprise is a permanent subject of Finnish economic and commercial policy.

But why don’t Finns want to set up their own businesses?

According to the report, the key reason for the paradox of Finnish entrepreneurship is to be found deep in the spiritual traditions of the nation. Finnish society is branded with the long tradition of `pulling together’ which originates from the 19th century Fennoman movement. This tradition has turned out to be a trump card at many crisis points in history. But times have changed and Finland is now part of the global economy. The attitude of collective entrepreneurship, however, still regulates Finnish choices and decisions, and the content of social and cultural discussion at the expense of private enterprise.

The successful promotion of entrepreneurship requires that people be conscious of and deal with the special characteristics stemming from the Finnish history of ideas. Nobody benefits from a society which paradoxically encourages work but rejects enterprise.

The report is written by Professor Karl-Erik Michelsen of Lappeenranta University of Technology. This report is in Finnish.

Attachment: 1355_yrittajyyden_paradoksi.pdf