The Startup Refugees staff really pushed me out of my comfort zone in developing my business 


Startup Refugees Business Program offers services for refugees and newcomers who are running a business in Finland or who are interested in starting a company, freelancing, or other income-generating activity.

Entrepreneurship Course is for newcomers who want to start a business. Business Development Services are for immigrants already running a business or who have a good foundation about entrepreneurship related issues, like Entrepreneurship Course graduates. In addition, we organise events and activities that are open for everybody to join.

Both native Finns and immigrant entrepreneurs and business professionals participate in creating our courses and services. Startup Refugees network has more than 700 members ready to support newcomers in starting and developing a business. Startup Refugees matches you with business experts who can offer support in starting and developing your business. For example companies like Supercell, Slush, Futurice, Taival, Tieto and Flow Festival have offered their expertise and opportunities to our business teams.


Entrepreneurship Course

  • Do you have a business idea?
  • Would you like to start a company in Finland?
  • Or have you already started a business but you want to develop your business skills to run it?
  • You do not have a business idea yet but you are interested in learning more and finding out what it takes to become an entrepreneur?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have good news: Startup Refugees Entrepreneurship Course is for you!

During the course, you will get a chance to:

  • Learn how you can turn your idea into a real business
  • Receive information and practical tips in product development, marketing, financial and legal issues
  • Network and learn from business practitioners
  • Start building your customer base
  • Test your business idea and products with real customers (the situation allowing)

The course includes workshops, practical home assignments, prototyping, pitching, and mentoring (total 50 h of work) but joint activities are organised on weekends and in the evenings to allow participants to work or study full-time at the same time. You get a certificate from the course.

Entrepreneurship courses in autumn 2021:
23.8.–8.11. Online, in English.
14.9.–23.11. Online, in Finnish. 

The application period for the autumn 2021 courses has ended. All the applicants will be contacted personally. Course participants will be selected based on interviews, motivation, and background. We give priority to those who have challenges in finding entrepreneurship-related information and support in Finland due to their language skills, cultural, educational, or similar reasons.

They also understood that their audience are foreigners in Finland and tailored the workshop just perfect for us.

It made a huge impact since I gain more insight of the market I want to enter.

This information (on finances) made me reduce my anxiety and gave me confidence in opening a business in Finland.


Business Development Services

Services for early-stage businesses include:

  • Workshops
  • Business advice by our staff and at Taival Clinics
  • Mentoring
  • Marketing, testing, and selling new products at market validation events
  • Customised services and support e.g. in company registration, business idea development, pitching, marketing materials, digitalisation
  • Networking events
  • Invoicing and selling your services through Startup Refugees Cooperative before you have a registered company or get a residence permit

Please leave us your contact information HERE if you would like to access our Business Development Services. 


Material bank with videos and guides in different languages for entrepreneurs facing challenging times – like corona virus situation – can be found HERE.

More information
: Helsinki: [email protected], tel. 044 2379 572 and [email protected], tel. 044 9740420, Oulu: [email protected] or tel. 041 318 2447. Services are available in English, Finnish, Arabic.


Being a migrant isn’t a determining factor to fail (in business) – program participant


Who can apply?

Startup Refugees Business Program offers support to immigrants who are committed to turning their business idea into reality. You might just have an idea or a dream of starting a business or you might be already running your own company. You do not need to be a refugee but those who struggle to get similar information and service elsewhere come first when we select the participants.

How does the Entrepreneurship Course work?
The program runs for 2+1 months in total. The course starts with workshops, company visits and homework. The participants who show high motivation will be also offered coaching and mentoring by the best experts in Finland. For example companies like Supercell, Slush, Future, Taival, Tieto, and Flow Festival have offered their expertise and opportunities to our business teams. You will also have an opportunity to test your idea in practise with the support of Startup Refugees in events and other pop-ups.

How much time does the course take? Can I join if I’m working or studying?
The program requires maximum of 30 hours of your time each month. Most of the workshops and business visits will be held after office hours and on weekends, so you can continue working or studying at the day time. The effort you put into the course is up to you. However, starting a business requires motivation, dedication and a hard work!

What is Startup Refugees?
Startup Refugees is a non-profit organisation supporting refugees and newcomers in employment and entrepreneurship. Our network consists of 700 parties, including companies, government officials, NGOs, universities, congregations, research institutes, communities and individuals who support immigrants in starting businesses and entering the Finnish labour market.