Encounters at EDE on 6 June.
With love and perseverance to success
The European Day of the Entrepreneur was held for the tenth time in Turku, this year at Logomo. The event’s keynote speaker was Duudson Jarno Laasala who drew a packed auditorium of entrepreneurs to discuss the path to success, in most cases in a slightly safer manner than that of the Duudsons.
The Duudsons journey to gaining a worldwide reputation was founded on perseverance and a love of what they do.
Four friends from Seinäjoki’s road to Hollywood may not be the first thing to come to mind when considering the determinants of Finnish business success. However, snowboarding's and skateboarding’s culture and attitude of “Be the world’s best” turned the quartet into what is currently Finland's largest TV phenomenon. In addition to attitude, there is more than a decade of hard work that went into achieving their objectives.
From the beginning, the Duudson’s goal was to be on the world stage. The destination was clear, but the route and means to get there were much less clear. In building success help and advice was sought and obtained from Markus Selin, Renny Harlin and Saku Tuominen.
– Finns are the best in the world at helping, but we were not able to ask for help, says Laasala when describing their basic character. – Our perspective has now changed completely from those early days.
– Since 2004, we’ve given our all for our international success. Time, money, friendship and other relations have taken a side role. Without total commitment this would not have been successful, he emphasises.
When, after much adversity, the doors finally opened the Duudson's success helped other Finns into the international arena. Both Mad Adventures and Kill Arman became TV programmes that very quickly found international distribution.
According to Laasala, the Duudsons is a dream job.
– Despite the hard work, it's never been just a question of business, but about the love of making programmes for television. When each of us can realise their own desires and abilities and remember to respect his colleagues, then the prerequisites for success are in place, said Laasala summing up his message.
Co-operation also creates new opportinities in Turku
The Turku region has been affected heavily by the global economic downturn. The financial performance of SMEs has fallen by almost a third during the recession. That is similar to the circumstances the region was in when the European Day of the Entrepreneur was first held here, 10 years ago.
The Duudson-Laasala path to success was given a generous reception by the audience at Logomo.
– The goal is to be Finland’s most business friendly region, stated Niko Kyynäräinen, the Acting-Director of the Turku Region Development Centre, when looking to the future. – Such a goal cannot be reached through placing newspaper advertisements, new practices are the way forward, he continued.
The European Day of the Entrepreneur programme has been built largely to meet the needs of the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises.
During the day, entrepreneurs had the opportunity to gain information about the visual presentation of their company or online business as well as business angels, business mentors and business risk. In addition to the roundtable discussions there was also the possibility to explore internet-marketing and internationalisation as well as the usefulness of play and playfulness in other areas.
Networking was also stressed as a practical way of working. Turku Region Development Centre projects are increasingly about shared effort and working in conjunction with other companies and the gaining of further advantages in direct business operations.
An excellent example of that is the Fortuna block which started to develop on the basis of local enterprises’ ideas and cooperation. The public sector then became involved to help facilitate the aim of growth.