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The light at the end of the unemployment tunnel

Photograph: iStock

Text: Narcis George Matache

Nothing leaves a deeper scar on the soul of an international in Denmark than the search for a job. In a country with low unemployment, one would expect finding a job to be an easy task. Yet, just whispering “unemployment” to an international can lead to a severe emotional response. A decent job is nothing short of… the holy grail for us. However, just when we believe all hope is lost, there comes a train towards freedom, with entrepreneurship written with large letters on it.

I faced unemployment more times than I can count, forcing myself to become creative and think outside the box. Tens of thousands of my peers have followed in the same footsteps. Finding a good job in Denmark is like striking gold. It happens rarely, but when it happens, it’s time for celebration.

Most of us have at least some form of tertiary education, are acquainted with the Danish culture and mindset, speak Danish mostly, and yet, our ethnical background, and our names can play a larger role than our qualifications. Instead of being seen as a precious resource by companies, we sadly aren’t always viewed this way. Being international, each of us can represent an opportunity for a Danish company to expand abroad.

Many of us make Denmark our home and are proud to represent her internationally. We can excel, are dedicated to growing together, we just need to be accepted. Long time unemployment is a sad reality for some that can seriously affect mental health.

But it’s not all bad news, and there are some in our community, that has taken the bull by the horns. Entrepreneurship is growing in Denmark, and internationals are part of this growth. Their ideas have brought pride for Denmark abroad, by winning one international competition after another – and showing Demark in a positive light.

Battling unemployment via entrepreneurship

If there ever were a perfect place where you could turn your idea into a business venture in Europe, Denmark would be your best bet. There is no shortage of co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators, start-up competitions and funding opportunities. Your municipality will help you ride the bureaucratic wave in minutes, and the language barrier would melt as you turn into an entrepreneur.

"Former industrial hubs like Aalborg, try very hard to become as accommodating as possible to entrepreneurs."

Former industrial hubs like Aalborg, try very hard to become as accommodating as possible to entrepreneurs. It’s no wonder that the International House North Denmark (which is based in Aalborg) has become the playground of some of the most amazing creative energies in town. A place for internationals, made by internationals, with positive effects on the entire Danish society.

With an aim to winning the title of the best city for entrepreneurs in Denmark, Aalborg is tirelessly building a synergy between educational institutions, growth programmes, investors, private consultants, business promotion actors and other companies. An entry point in this synergy for an international is International House North Denmark. There you can find the tools you need to start and operate a business.

That being said, becoming an entrepreneur cannot be the only choice for an international (besides leaving the country, of course). It is high time, business in Denmark started viewing us as a resource for Danish society, so that we can increase the export volume, the national wealth and the number of innovation breakthrough.

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