Finnish countryside

Rural areas and entrepreneurship

The Finnish countryside is synonymous with forests, lakes, busy villages, funny events, innovative entrepreneurship and modern technology. The Finnish countryside is beautiful, clean and dynamic.

The trend in Finland is similar to the rest of the world: people are increasingly living in urban areas. However, while research suggest that every third Finn would like to live permanently in the countryside, today this is possible for only one fifth of the population. On the other hand, people living in urban areas spend a great deal of their free time in the country, making the most of the many opportunities it offers for recreation and exercise, or just enjoying some rural peace and quiet. Finnish people have more than 400,000 holiday houses, most of which are located on lakeshores in rural areas.


The opportunities provided by Finland for entrepreneurs were ranked seventh best by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index 2014. In Finland, entrepreneurship is held

in high esteem, and even the curricula of the school system include education in entrepreneurship. Finland has more than 350,000 enterprises, of which 20% are involved with agriculture, forestry or the fishing industry. The Finnish Rural Development Programme provides strong support for entrepreneurs in rural areas, irrespective of their line of


Plenty of scope for enterprise in rural areas, the Finnish countryside is regarded as an excellent environment for innovative entrepreneurs.

In Finland, farmers still mainly operate on family farms. The total number of farms is decreasing by about 3% every year, while the remaining farms are growing larger both in terms of total field size area and livestock numbers.

Grain growing is essentially different from other European Union member states, due to the country’s natural conditions and geographical location. While the proportion of winter grains – rye and winter wheat – of the area under cultivation is relatively small compared with other countries in the European Union, the proportion of spring grains – barley and oat – is large. Because the growing season in Finland is short, the yield per hectare remains at a lower level compared with the best areas in the European Union. The quality and quantity of crops also vary widely.

The aim of the farmers’ support in Finland is to safeguard the profitability and continuity of agricultural production. Support is paid on the basis according to the arable area, number of animals/livestock units (LU) or quantities produced. Farmers may also apply for support to start a farm and for investments.
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Date updated: Feb 17, 2020