Chinese talent in Finland – Can you afford not to engage?

For Peter Vesterbacka, well-versed in the immense opportunities offered by the Chinese export market, Chinese language proficiency represents an important building block for Finland’s future economic prosperity. As he has it, a workforce proficient in the language would attract Chinese and other international companies to base themselves in Finland, and also smooth the way for Finnish companies keen to access the huge market in China, which continues to see growth despite a recent slow down.

Read more

Growth for all companies – Not just startups

A vision of growth requires the right attitude, and any company can be a growth company. Examples include the guys at lääkärihinta.fi that were part of Summer of Startups, as well as the brave migrant restauranteur who has just expanded my favourite lunch restaurant Zava. It’s all about choosing between the willingness to create new things and simply trying to survive and defend the current position. 

Read more

Wherever you – Delivering user-focused services

I have now spent nearly five years in my post as Espoo’s Economic and Business Development Director. In that time, our operating environment has undergone significant, wide-ranging chage. Currently, around 30% of higher education graduates consider self-employment as their most likely career path, when just five years ago the same figure was as low as 5%. Small businesses are expected to be significant employment generators in the future. Social media has become the most potent communications and marketing channel available, and new business opportunities are being created in these interfaces. For a business to operate internationally is no longer the preserve of the few – it is now the rule, not the exception. Savvy business people are making full use of the benefits offered by digitisation, as they generate new, customer-driven services.

Read more

Espoo – Delivering sustainable growth

The resultation levels as well as the best health in Europe. The population is growing and the city is considered safe. Our city’s appeal is underpinned by our varied leisure offering, including sports and culture as well a wide variety of other public services. Espoo residents report high levels of confidence in one another and the wider society around them. Our CO2 emissions are already low and continue to fall. Significant contributors to our shrinking carbon footprint include the launch of the Suomenoja CHP plant, the Kivenlahti biomass station and the low-emission electricity available for local households. Read more

Espoo Birds flying high

The Espoo and wider Finnish economy received a new and unexpected boost when the Espoo Innovation Garden-based entertainment media company Rovio’s Angry Birds flew out into the world – and most recently to a cinema near you. In its coverage of the story, Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat rightly noted that, with the film, Rovio has established itself as a world-class studio. The film might not have been made in Finland but it is precisely that unique brand of fearlessness and innovative thinking so typical of Finland and Espoo that paved the way for this new style of project, generating new growth opportunities for Finland, and Rovio’s native city, along the way.

Read more