Forty enthusiastic young people have started in the summer entrepreneurship programme organised by the City of Helsinki together with the 4H association of the Capital Region. In the programme, young entrepreneurs receive a €300 voucher for starting a business from the city and entrepreneurship training and a personal business mentor from the 4H association. The young entrepreneurs hope that the programme will provide them with work experience and useful networks.
For several years now, the City of Helsinki has been offering young people aged 15–29 the opportunity to experience working life through summer entrepreneurship. This spring, 130 young people applied for the summer entrepreneurship programme organised by the 4H association of the Capital Region. Around 40 of them will get to turn their business ideas into reality.
The selection criteria for summer entrepreneurs emphasised the young people’s business ideas and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. No previous work experience was required.
– We hope that the programmes will lower the threshold for becoming an entrepreneur and this will become a viable alternative to paid employment for young people. Many young people have special expertise that could be productised into profitable and pleasant business, says Hannele Kostiainen, Business Advisor at Business Helsinki.
– The summer entrepreneurship programme provides positive experiences of running a business and most participants from previous years have continued as entrepreneurs after the programme, Kostiainen adds.
Friends founded an inclusive, vegan summer cafe
The city of Helsinki has provided one group of entrepreneurs cafe facilities from a red cottage located at Mustikkamaa Edible Park. This year, the cafe is run by friends Runo Vainio, Kuura Virtanen and Marika Kauppinen.
– The cafe at the Edible Park was looking for entrepreneurs for the summer and a suitable group formed when asking friends to join. We developed the cafe around our interests and the vegan theme emerged as the most prominent one. Moreover, in addition to Finnish and English, our accessible cafe will also serve customers in the Karelian language and Finnish sign language according to our abilities, Runo Vainio says.
The young entrepreneurs believe that the summer will tell what entrepreneurship feels like. What makes entrepreneurship appealing is the freedom and chance to make your own decisions.
– There is no need to be embarrassed about failing in front of bosses. You can just focus on the next challenge. And you can also give yourself a bigger pat on the back when you do well, Vainio says.
They are looking forward to a summer filled with successfully set cheesecakes along with drinks and pastries made of garden-picked ingredients as well as a variety of customer encounters where language minorities are also taken into account.
Freedom and chance to be creative make entrepreneurship appealing
Sakari Kauppinen got his business idea when he came across a video by an American social media influencer showcasing 360° photography equipment. Inspired by this, Kauppinen started browsing online for such methods and learned about the central parts of the work process, publishing platforms and equipment. Kauppinen then selected the options that best suited his needs and acquired the equipment.
– I have always been curious and quickly interested in new things. My business focuses on photographing properties and other things using a 360° camera. I will develop my service in the future by starting virtual home staging where an empty apartment is furnished virtually, Kauppinen says.
– I am looking forward to a summer filled with new positive customer encounters. I am confident with my idea and think that others will also be interested in my product. In my opinion, the 4H programme is an excellent opportunity to dive into entrepreneurship. I am looking forward to the entrepreneurship guidance and learning new things! Kauppinen says excitedly.
Lack of summer job sparked idea of founding a business
Silja Rantala’s Matilda Valdén clothes brand was born when she struggled to find a summer job. Rantala was in need of money when she realised that she could turn her beloved hobby of sewing into a business idea. She found out about the 4H association’s summer programme through school and decided to take on the challenge as a first year fashion and clothing student.
In clothes design, Rantala is particularly intrigued by making unique products. The first product ended up being a corset top as she likes to wear jeans and a corset top herself. The idea is to expand the clothing range later.
– I like the fact that you do not see similar products on the streets. Recycling is important to me and I strive to use recycled materials in my products as much as possible, Rantala says.
Rantala is looking to obtain customer service experience during the 4H programme as it is an important part of the industry.
– Making products is fun and relaxing. I am sure that I will face many new things and surprises. Luckily, I have received a lot of support from the 4H mentors and it is nice that you can always ask them for help, Rantala adds.