02:56 GMT +322 August 2018
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    Talent Search: Finland Seducing Innovative Immigrants With Residence Permits

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    In a bid to attract innovations from non-EU countries, Finnish authorities will lure talent with "startup residence permits." In the future, leading Finnish companies may therefore be founded by Indians, Americans or Africans.

    Starting April, Finland will issue residence permits to non-EU citizens, provided that they come up with radiant business ideas, national broadcaster Yle reported.

    A foreign company's prospects for excelling on both the Finnish and the international market will be assessed by the Business Finland organization, with a staff of around 600 people and almost 40 offices abroad.

    Business Finland was established earlier this year as a result of a merger of the government funding agency Tekes and the innovation consulting company Finpro. It is expected analyze up to 700 companies annually, of which up to 500 will receive government funding. The bulk of the companies surveyed are expected to have a tiny amount of staff, only 2-4 people.

    According to Jukka Häyrynen from Business Finland, the Nordic nation can clearly benefit from innovative foreign enterprise, with the best competitors potentially making millions.

    "We have a deficit of immigrants who create successful innovative companies. They have skills that cannot be obtained within the Finnish base culture, and hail from Africa, India, the Far East or South America, where markets are very large," Häyrynen explained to Yle.

    At present, foreign students receive a residence permit in Finland for the duration of their studies, but after graduation they must either find a job in Finland or leave the country. According to Häyrynen, the goal of "startup-residence permits" is to get people to stay in the country.

    "Of course, we want more talented people to stay in Finland, but not everyone chooses our country," Häyrynen said, citing fierce competition for foreign talent between Estonia, Denmark, Holland, France and the UK. "We'd like to get our share," he added.

    Business Finland aims at promoting the Finnish government's objectives to clarify and simplify the business service system, foster the global spread of the Finnish innovation system, double the export volumes of small and medium businesses by 2020, as well as allocate human resources towards the client interface and operations abroad.

    Finland, a country often associated with Nokia, Linux and Angry Birds, has seen a post-recession boom resulting in dozens of startups, such as Host My Pet, Lullame or Yousician.

    READ MORE: Ho ho ho! Finland Seeks to Save Rudolf With 'Reindeer Bell' App

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    startup, immigration, innovation, Scandinavia, Finland
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