Business assistance service to be strengthened with the EU’s support
Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu financial assistance service for companies, which was established in 2009, has helped and advised entrepreneurs and SMEs facing payment and financial difficulties. The objective is to further develop the service for entrepreneurs and to build, with the support of the European Commission, a national early warning model where profitable companies in difficulties can return to the growth path.
Primarily, the operating model aims to encourage entrepreneurs to seek help early, to improve their coping skills, to provide opportunities for a new start and to shift general attitudes towards business failures. The model will utilise existing national and regional cooperation networks and the best examples from Europe, including the Danish model.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown in a concrete way that we need low-threshold advisory and support services to help entrepreneurs and businesses facing temporary financial and payment difficulties in order to avoid unnecessary bankruptcies and job losses. It is particularly important that entrepreneurs are not left alone and that they can look to the future,” Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä said at the launch of the Early Warning model on 1 October.
The Early Warning model is based on the Insolvency Directive, which has been updated and adopted in EU, as well as the Directive on preventive restructurings, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures. The latter obliges the Member States to introduce measures to prevent the insolvency of entrepreneurs by July 2021. Finland will receive expert support from the EU Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme for the development and implementation of its Early Warning model.
The national Early Warning model is also part of the implementation of the Government’s entrepreneurship strategy.
Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu service is supported by a broad advisory board, which is composed of representatives of key stakeholders and other groups providing advice or crisis assistance to entrepreneurs in financial and payment difficulties. These include the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Justice, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, the Confederation of Finnish Industries, Finance Finland, the Office of the Bankruptcy Ombudsman, Finnish Tax Administration, Finnvera, ELY Centres, Finnish Enterprise Agencies, SEKES, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Finnish Association for Mental Health, Business Mentors Finland, church social work, Guarantee Foundation and the Velkaneuvonta debt counselling services.
Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu financial assistance service
- The aim of Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu assistance service is to help and advice SMEs and entrepreneurs in financial and payment difficulties and to prevent unnecessary bankruptcies by offering low-threshold expert advice for free.
- Based on the information received from the caller, the advisers are responsible for assessing the entrepreneur’s situation, providing independent advice and instructions, and, if necessary, directing the entrepreneur to other services.
- The advisers are experts in business finance and restoring companies to health.
- The service is confidential and free, with the exception of normal call charges.
- The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.
- Contact information for Talousapu financial assistance service
Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7213
Tuija Groop, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 9246, [email protected]
Jari Leskinen, Development Manager, Customer Service Centre of the employment and economic development administration/Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu assistance service, tel. +358 29 502 4468, [email protected]