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Can I start a business while I'm unemployed and receiving Kela benefits?

Yes. If you decide to start a business while unemployed, you can still continue to receive unemployment benefit payments for another 4 months.

The Kela unemployment benefit is affected by the income from your self-employment, which means the more money you make from your business, the less money you get from Kela. You will need to report your self-employment income in the unemployment status report. To learn more, click here.

Source:   Kela
Category:   Unemployment | Kela
What financial resources are available to entrepreneurs?

1. The Three Fs (Friends, Family, & Fools)

2. Startup Grant (TE-Palvelut)

3. Funding from Business Finland

4. A loan for Nordea

5. Investors/Angel Investors

Source:   Earner
Category:   Entrepreneurship
What are the Three Fs?

Friends, family, and fools.

Friends and family members may want to help out your business by lending or giving you money. In some cases they may want to invest and/or get equity for helping you out. In short, welcome to crowdsourcing. In crowdsourcing, you collect funds from a larger group of people who have a vested interest in your success. Each year between 35-40% of startup ventures receive capital from friends and family.

Wait, didn't you say "fools" also? Yep! The reason fools are grouped into this category relates to the risk associated with helping out that friend who has a mind blowing business idea. Best advice: invest if you want to, but make sure your paper work is in place to help lessen the damage, in case that investment doesn't work out.

Source:   The Business Professor
Category:   Entrepreneurship
Tell me more about the Startup Grant (Starttiraha).

The purpose of startup grants is to encourage new businesses and promote employment. The grant provides an entrepreneur with a secure income, however the startup grant doesn't last longer than 12 months.

Startup grant eligibility leans more towards people who will eventually quit their job and focus full time on entrepreneurship. To learn more about the startup grant, eligibility, and necessary steps, click here.

Something to think about: the daily allowance from the startup grant could change, so to keep this accurate, let's say the monthly income from this grant is less than 700 euros per month (before taxes). If you have a job paying more than that, is it worth it to quit that job for 700 euros, or less, per month? At Earner, we encourage entrepreneurship, but we're keeping it real. Do what's best for you.

Source:   TE Palvelut
Category:   Startup Grant
Let's talk about Business Finland.

Business Finland offers Finnish companies a unified customer journey for innovation activities, internationalization, investments, and tourism promotion. Business Finland is run by the Finnish government, where they fund innovative projects. They help new companies grow on a global scale by supporting and funding them. To read more, click here.

Business Finland has funding opportunities from Research and Development to Innovation Aid for Shipbuilding, but one of their most popular funding opportunities is the Tempo Grant. Have a look at their website and contact them, if you want to apply for funding, but aren't sure which path to take. To learn more about the funding services Business Finland provides, click here.

Source:   Business Finland
Category:   Business Finland
What is the Tempo Grant?

The Tempo Grant, provided by Business Finland, is intended for Finnish startups, SMEs and mid cap companies aiming for international growth that have the desire and ability to build their expertise and solutions into an international success story in innovative ways. Innovation can mean a lot of things, not just the technical implementation of a product or service. The result to be achieved must have a credible advantage over potential competitors.

It's important to note that before you can apply to the Tempo Grant, your company will need to have EUR 30,000 in assets. Some startups find that first investor and use the invested EUR 30,000 to apply. Some take a bank loan. Got that wealthy family member? Ask them to invest EUR 30,000 in your startup. The maximum amount awarded for the Tempo Grant is EUR 50,000. Oh yeah, Business Finland will only pay 70% of the funding (up to EUR 35,000) after the funding decision, and you'll get the rest in conjunction with the project's final report. To learn more about the Tempo Grant, click here.

Source:   Business Finland
Category:   Business Finland
What about that Nordea loan?

Sometimes you just have to take that loan. Fortunately there are resources available. As an entrepreneur hoping to get a Nordea bank loan, there are some things to consider. According to Nordea representatives, it strengthens your chances of getting that loan if you already have customers for your business. Why? Simple. If your company has some income, then it's less risk for them and it shows that you can pay that monthly bill from Nordea.

If you do have customers, and you meet Nordea's qualifications for a loan, then you can get from 50,000 EUR to 100,000 EUR. On top of that, Nordea can help you out with VCs, advice you on exiting a company, setup accounts in other countries they serve, for that international expansion. Oh yeah, they can lease equipment, such as laptops.

We aren't specialists with Nordea's services, so it's best to contact them for questions. In the mean time, click here.

Source:   Nordea
Category:   Business Loan
Anything else about bank loans?

Yes, don't forget about the Finnvera Start Guarantee. The Start Guarantee is intended for newly launched enterprises that are owned by private individuals and meet the SME definition applied by the EU. Another criterion is that no more than three years has passed since their entry into the Trade Register. Start Guarantee can be granted for Finnish companies or registered private entrepreneurs but not for cooperatives.

How do you apply? Your bank files an application on your behalf. You or your company don’t need to be in direct contact with Finnvera.

How much does it cover? Finnvera’s guarantee coverage can be at most 80%. In short, if you aren't able to pay back your bank loan, with the Finnvera Start Guarantee they will pay back up to 80% of your loan for you. This means you'll have to pay back only 20% of your loan plus any gathered interest. To learn more, click here.

Source:   Finnvera
Category:   Business Loan
What can you tell me about investors?

An investor is a person who believes in your product or services and is convinced that your company will do well in the long run. So they say they'll pay you a certain amount of money in exchange for a percentage of your company. This investment money can help you further develop your product and pay your salary. What the money can be used for may have limites, depending on the investor.

Of course investors want to make money back. This is usually done if you were to exit (or sell) your company. "What is your exit strategy?" will be often asked from interested investors when speaking with them. So have an answer prepared in advance. Psst... you don't have to sell your company if you don't want to.

Source:   Earner
Category:   Investing

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