JA Finland’s company programmes are stepping stones for students into the real world of business. Afterwards, many feel ready to found a company of their own.
As a part of JA Finland’s curricula, all student company activities are ceased at the end of the programme year.
However, several student companies are so successful that the students wish to remain in their business, in which cases they are encouraged to start up an actual company.
“Every year several students step into the world are entrepreneurship and many of them turn up quite successful. For example, the Finnish company Virkkuukoukussa was founded during one of our company programmes and since then they have registered the company into the stock market. Currently they employ ten people,” said JA Finland’s program manager Turo Numminen.
Many promising companies were founded also this year.
Season One takes Finnish design out to the world
Season One from Turku decided to continue their business operations already during the Uskalla Yrittää finals, where they won the first prize for the best student company from an institution of higher education.
Founded by four young designers, Season One’s business idea was to provide designers with a channel through which they could get their product ideas manufactured and delivered to retailers. Their first official product catalogue will be launched this fall.
“Our products can already be bought by contacting us directly, though. For example, our kitchen towels can be bought in Turku also from Leenaelina,” said Season One’s CEO Niko Räsänen.
This summer will be a busy one for the Season One team. In addition to finishing up their product catalogue, the European JA finals in Macedonia are awaiting them in July. The ICFF furniture fair in New York gave them a taste of what it’s like out there in the big world.
“ICFF was a great experience for us, we saw how the design business works and we made some contacts in North America. We received some positive feedback and comments on our company”, Räsänen said.
photo: Season One
AD Pineapple encourages students to take up entrepreneurship
Chosen from the student companies from high schools and vocational schools, Finland will be represented in the European finals in Bucharest by AD Pineapple. They have also opted to continue their operations after the JA year.
Offering media services, AD Pineapple aims to establish a co-operative internal to Kainuu Vocational College, run entirely by students. This co-operative would be formed out of several companies.
“The AD Pineapple team is primarily responsibly for the co-operative project. We want to encourage other students from the Kainuu region to become self-employed too, and therefore this sounded like a good idea,” said AD Pineapple’s CEO Tomi Rytkönen.
According to Rytkönen, AD Pineapple is doing a fine job continuing its operations after the end of the JA year. Since school is out for summer, the team has plenty of time to concentrate on their company.
“Our company has become quite well known here in Kajaani, and we seem to be gaining more and more customers all the time”, Rytkönen said.
The AD Pineapple Team, studying to become media assistants, also agreed with their teachers that they would be allowed to work on their company during class, as long as what they are doing is relevant to the class topic.
“Creating web pages for actual customers is much more educational than the basic exercises given to us.”
photo: AD Pineapple
Meet the aspiring entrepreneurs.
At least the following companies will continue their operations after the JA year (list incomplete):
Establishing manufacture and retail networks for Finnish designers
Season One’s exhibitor profile at ICFF
Interior design services and products
Electronic educational material
Badges for private and corporate events
Is your company also continuing after the year but you’re not on the list? Correct our mistake and email us at [email protected]!
During JA Finland’s company programmes (Company Programme and Start Up Programme) in 2011-2012 over 900 student companies were founded by nearly 4000 students.
Join our activities in autumn!