The city of Aarhus has been experiencing steady economic and population growth within the last decade and through this period of prosperity, there has been an increase in immigrants making up 15.9 percent of the population, according to Statistics Denmark.
By Paul Ghusar and Dominik Patzner
Business ownership in any country can be a daunting venture but in Aarhus, it is not only encouraged, but there are many resources for entrepreneurs to access in order to start a viable business in the city.
Services like Start-up Denmark provide a pathway for non-EU foreign enterprises to access opportunities to get a residence permit and to establish a company.
After a business plan is created, an entrepreneur can submit their idea through the platform and if it is approved by the Danish Business Authority they are eligible to receive benefits.
Denmark shows support for promising ideas
For EU residents the process is easier – this was exactly the case for Iulian Andrei Plop, a 30-year-old barber from Romania. Plop arrived in Denmark four years ago. He worked in different barbershops during his time here and decided to open up his own business one year ago.“It’s pretty easy actually, I thought it would be harder than back in Romania. Everything is online, you can open up a business in 5 minutes,” said Plop.
“When you are motivated, the things come to you naturally.”Plop’s motto
The National Centre for Immigrant Entrepreneurship initiated in August 2010, has the support of The Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, and the Ministry of Employment. The organization was established to ensure the facilitation of starting a business and to assist with the success and retainment of such businesses. Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds: “The aim is to improve the survival and growth of immigrant entrepreneurs and companies owned by immigrants.”
Khaled El Mais is the owner of Amir’s Lebanese Restaurant in downtown Aarhus has benefited from the ease of the business start-up opportunities. He has been living and working in Denmark for 27 years and had the opportunity to open his boutique restaurant.“ The Danish give you more energy and power to start, it is very easy,” said Mais.
Potential immigration tide on its way
After a short pause caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, once again Europe faces rising numbers of arrivals from non-European as the external border opens in summer. “In July, the number of illegal border crossings rose by nearly a third from the previous month to 8650,” according to FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
Denmark is still one of the countries that are very popular among people coming to the EU. The local government made crossing the land border much more difficult by putting checks on the German border in 2016. Despite the border-checks, a flow of immigrants seeking residence permits may come here. Not only in Copenhagen but also in Aarhus, where immigrants take a considerable part of the city population.