Get inspired by entrepreneurship at Turku UAS
The year 2021 is a jubilee year of entrepreneurship in many ways. At Turku UAS, we celebrate the five-year journey of business mentors and the 10th birthday of Business Academy. On a global scale, the young entrepreneur of the year will be nominated already for the 10th time in a row.
Text: Jaana Kallio-Gerlander
We have also participated in the contest titled Global Student Entrepreneurship Award for five years in a row.
Five years ago, an European Union report (The Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020, 2015) stated that 18–40-year-old Finns were the most reluctant in the EU to become entrepreneurs. Today, the situation couldn’t be more different. The same survey was carried out in 2019 and in the same age group, every other respondent considers entrepreneurship and running their own company a worthy alternative in the future.
Most students consider entrepreneurship a possible future alternative and many start as entrepreneurs already during their studies.
The earlier report revealed that the obstacles to being an entrepreneur were mostly about the fear of going bankrupt. Bankruptcy was a source of fear, as it caused shame and left the entrepreneur outside society. The latest report reveals that today, the largest obstacle to entrepreneurship is lacking a business idea.
Entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a true alternative, and the statistics of the Invest Europe association also reveal that in 2019, Finland was at the top of the European start-up statistics, just like the year before. Finnish start-ups also attracted the most initial stage capital investments, or venture capital investments, proportioned to the gross domestic product of the country. However, we still have a lot of catching up to do before we reach the top of the world.
Business mentors help in questions related to entrepreneurship
This year, the preliminary results of the Entrepreneurship survey, which was also aimed at our students, show that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs have changed. In addition to the classic forms of entrepreneurship, different light entrepreneurship, multi-entrepreneurship, friendtrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship opportunities were highlighted.
Funding is searched open-mindedly and to an increasing extent, from both private investors and different kinds of crowdfunding channels, but of course from the bank, too. Internationality is important and more often than before, enterprises founded by students aim at the international market immediately after being launched. Services and products are increasingly intangible.
In addition to the classic forms of entrepreneurship, different light entrepreneurship, multi-entrepreneurship, friendtrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship opportunities were highlighted.
Most students from Turku University of Applied Sciences consider entrepreneurship a possible future alternative and many start as entrepreneurs already during their studies. The business mentor team helps and supports everyone from Turku University of Applied Sciences, both students and staff, in different questions related to entrepreneurship.
The business mentors are experts from different parts of Turku UAS, and most of them are entrepreneurs themselves. Support can be obtained for starting a business or related to commercialization or funding.
Sales work at the core of entrepreneurship
As we celebrate entrepreneurship, we also celebrate our sales education. Successful sales are at the core of entrepreneurship. Sales competence is bound more closely to the educational supply for entrepreneurs together with customer competence.
Otherwise, too, a lot has happened in sales. A new research group and Research Group Leader in sales have started at Turku University of Applied Sciences. We have arranged the international Turku Sales Competition and Best Virtual Seller sales competitions virtually for the first time ever and as the only ones in the entire Europe. Our sales laboratory, SalesLab, is also undergoing a renewal, and offers all kinds of companies and entrepreneurs the framework to conduct e.g., product and service testing with us.
The importance of sales is understood increasingly better and this way, the esteem of sales will continue to grow. 20–30-year-olds have especially understood the importance of sales. Last year I talked to some sales and entrepreneurship students. I was contemplating out loud how sales need a facelift. Both the students were a bit taken aback and wondered what I meant. As we continued to talk, it became apparent that for them, sales, entrepreneurship and marketing form a triangle which is at the core of succeeding in business. And that’s exactly what it is! I was so happy and satisfied when I listened and talked to young people for whom it was obvious what it takes for a business to succeed. Thus, in our education and RDI openings, we are on the right path.
Sales, entrepreneurship and marketing form a triangle which is at the core of succeeding in business.
The future is already here. New forms of entrepreneurship and sales must be available right away. Right away does not always mean that you have a clear roadmap on what to do. It’s often better that while you plan, you also proceed. This takes a will to fight, as the Asian heroes in tactical warfare once stated.
A will to fight means an understanding of the importance of the task, the ability to overcome fear, anxiety and obstacles and the willingness to put in motion the mental and physical forces to accomplish the task. In addition, it takes commitment. I believe we have all of these.
This article was originally published in Finnish in the Entrepreneurship theme issue of Talk magazine.