“Don’t become an entrepreneur!” – Daniel Rahman, Co-founder & CEO of Integrify

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Since early childhood, Daniel Rahman has seen the contrast between Finland’s inefficient labour market and the job struggles people face when they first move here. He asks, “why aren’t we putting skilled workers into the jobs they’re qualified for?” Growing up, Daniel developed his interest in socioeconomics, especially the topic of the labour force and immigration.

Together with the determination to become an entrepreneur since he was in school, Daniel has followed his dream and successfully set up several companies, including Integrify – an organization that teaches software development and data science to talented and highly educated people and then connects them with jobs.

“We want to make Europe better” – Lasse Mäkelä, Co-founder of Invesdor Group

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You can hardly be sure if you like something until you try it out. And it’s often the case that people take on the entrepreneurship journey unintentionally. Lasse’s story on how he became an entrepreneur is an example. Sometimes all it takes is just a motivation to do good things. And entrepreneurship comes as a powerful tool to achieve one’s dream.

“The business was founded to solve my own health problem” – Aki Soudunsaari, Co-founder of Naava

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Being raised under the northern lights and suffering from bad indoor air quality himself, Aki was so motivated to find a cure for his own trouble. With dedication and a belief in doing good, he turns out to be an entrepreneur “exporting” Finnish air to the world. In 2017, he was nominated to be among the finalists for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Finland, also as PWC’s Most Valuable Entrepreneur (2015) and Young Academic Entrepreneur (2014).

“One of the most important activities for entrepreneurs is to go on vacation” – Raija Lehtinen, Owner of Punainen Lanka

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It was a busy day close to Midsummer. We met Raija in her colorful button and textile accessory store – Punainen Lanka (“The Red String” in English) – at Hakaniemi market hall. Customers came every now and then during our interview. There was one lady came looking for badges. Raija and she had a long conversation like two friends after a long time no see. We thought the lady must be a regular customer. But later Raija told us this was the first time they met. We were amazed by her customer service. She treats customers in a way that makes them want to buy and keep coming back.