Pirkanmaan SYKE - Developing Social Enterprises within Tampere Region




Minna Apajalahti



Development Partnership



The Act on Social Enterprises came into force in Finland at the beginning of 2004. The aim of the Act is to employ disadvanced people by utilizing the enterprise system. When Pirkanmaan SYKE -DP started there were no social enterprises at all in Tampere Region. The new sub-regional employment strategies emphasized the need of working places for disabled and long-term unemployed. Social enterprises were seen as a solution. The big question was: How to create social enterprising in Tampere Region?


A new approach: Think like an entrepreneur! Social entrepreneurship is a personnel solution from the entrepreneur's point of view. The enterprise's employment decision is just a plain and practical business decision - even if the person in case is disabled. Act locally! Introduce new ideas personally, especially if there are prejudices involved. Expert customized consulting to small or even micro companies in - social entrepreneurship and registration - employment and business subsidies - business development - business start-ups New way of recruiting - the employer may choose from several applicants recommended by the employment office unit that serves the disabled persons (instead of employer-service units) - the disabling factor can be openly discussed between the employer and the employee: a more suitable task combination or better working conditions may be created


- Local advisory plans - FAQs and cases in the web - Guidebook: o Benefits in being a social enterprise o Service model: How to find a potential social enterprise? - Guide cd for a social enterprise (national level) - Guidebook for start-ups in Social Economy (transnational level)


83 social enterprises (SE) were registered during the project (that was slightly over 50% of all SEs registered in Finland). 8 enterprises were waiting for the Ministry's decision. SE's employed 139 disabled or long-term unemployed persons. Over 90% of these working-places were totally new. Every sub-region and employment office has expertise in advising SE start-ups. Changed attitudes: In January 2008 75% of the entrepreneurs would recommend social entrepreneurship to other companies (54% in 2006).