Entrepreneurship is not just about money and fame, its is also a social issue, says the young entrepreneur.
19-year-old entrepreneur Riku Korhonen, a 2013 Helsinki Business College graduate, says he experienced a real wow-moment when he was asked to be featured in the second volume of Taivas+Helvetti (Heaven+Hell), a book collecting the stories of successful entrepreneurs.
“I gave a speech at the publishing party of the first volume and it was a great leap for me to actually be featured in the second one. I immediately told Mika Mäkeläinen that I’d love to be in the book! It’s great to be given a chance to share my story to inspire others.”
Riku’s journey has been rapid in other ways too: only a couple years ago he was a normal student. By now he has already founded two companies.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Riku gives speeches at schools and events.
“I try to visit a school once a week. The reason why I do it is the possibility that my speech will totally turn someone’s life and dreams around. If someone were to listen to me and then go do their own thing – it’s great to see a person’s eyes brighten with enthusiasm!”
Riku’s career as an entrepreneur began when he participated in the JA Company program in Helsinki Business College. During the program Riku turned his video gaming hobby into a working business plan. RikuCo NY became RikuCo Oy just last year. After Riku agreed to take care of the paper work, he also founded a property renovation company with his friends.
And this young entrepreneur certainly doesn’t regret it.
“My career has turned out to be completely different from what I imagined just a few years ago. I never even considered becoming an entrepreneur. My attitude changed completely during school, since I got to do things that really interested me. My skills have increased immensely in many ways, all thanks to the things I learned in school and working life.”
During the JA Company program Riku learned especially to appreciate work done by others and the abundance brought by entrepreneurship.
“Thoughts about fancy cars turned into thoughts about other kinds of riches. Entrepreneurship isn’t money and fame, it’s also a social issue. I learned to appreciate others for the work they did and I realized others may get a portion of what I do: either as inspiration or by being employed.”
Riku encourages youths to participate in the one-year JA Company program. He founded RikuCo NY alone, but managing a company is easier with others, especially if one feel insecure about the necessary skills or appearing in public.
“Friends can become a strong team with which to start working: others are more marketing-oriented while others have different strengths. Together asking questions and networking become easier.”
Working with the authors of Taivas+Helvetti has proven to Riku the power of teamwork.
“The team behind Taivas+Helvetti is amazing, they have great people working on a common project. They have set their goals and dreams high and their attitude towards inspiring others is admirable. That’s something everyone can learn from!”
It seem Riku message resonates well with youths, judging from all the positive feedback. Take look at this comment from August:
“––the speech was extremely motivating. My parents have always told me there’s no way to turn gaming into a business even when I’ve expressed interest in the business. Seeing a 19-year-old making money in a field I’ve always been told is impossible to succeed in makes you believe that anything is possible if you just work for it. ––“
Occasions like this, where sharing his produces results, are important to Riku. He encourages everyone not only to read Taivas+Helvetti vol 2, but also to become an example and go to schools to share the story of their career.
“Finland’s future is a common undertaking. We need more inspiration. Those who have talked to youths now that it makes a difference.”
Riku Korhonen and Mika Mäkeläinen.
Taivas+Helvetti vol. 2 was published on September 5, 2014. For each sold book, the authors donate a free copy to a selected youth. Order books (written in Finnish) and read Riku’s story at taivasjahelvetti.fi.
Read more about JA Company Program
More news on the subject:
August 20 2013: RikuCo NY awarded in London