Entrepreneurship is one way for Ukrainians who have come to Finland to find employment and make use of their own professional skills. NIHAK helps them to get started, and language is not always an obstacle.
Kateryna Ankudinov is from Kirovagrad in central Ukraine. She came to Finland with her child last September. Ankudinov’s mother had worked in Nivala, and there she found a home, as well work for a trained care professional as a care assistant.
Andukinov has a day job in a nursing home, and in the evenings and on the weekends, she receives clients. She is also a trained eyelash technician, and there was a demand for a skilled artist. That’s how her company, Lashmama, got started.
To start the company, she received encouragement from NIHAK project worker Nataliia Dikhtiarenko, and Kimmo Niskanen, Business Services Manager, provided practical help. In addition, a local accounting office provides service in Ukrainian.
Until now, Andukinov has worked with customers at home, but her dream is to have her own studio. She has plans to further develop the service for regular customers.
-The most important thing in this work is that the customer is satisfied with the results. I’ve got a lot of good customers here, both Finnish and Ukrainian, says Andukinov.
Although she doesn’t share the language with all of her customers, it has not held her back from working with them. Catalogues help to find what they want and, if necessary, interpreter assistance is also available in town.
Andukinov comes from a culture where people value high-quality beauty services. Making eyelash extensions is a highly professional job in Ukraine. Andukinov has been active in the field for five years and has won prizes in international competitions.
Word of her skilled service has spread amongst customers. Andukinov says that there is a lot of work available, even without a significant marketing push.
Information and help is available
Ukrainians under temporary protection have full rights to work, start enterprises and study in Finland. In the autumn, NIHAK arranged an entrepreneurship theme evening for foreigners, especially Ukrainians. At least three of the ten participants have started their own business.
–For many, working as an entrepreneur is new, and our bureaucracy can be a head-scratcher. However, setting up a business here is relatively easy, and help is available. NIHAK’s method is to work together instead of just telling you what to do. The service can be provided in English and, if necessary, a Ukrainian interpreter is also available, says Kimmo Niskanen.