During the last couple of years, Finland has become famous of it’s big amount of Start Up -companies. This is mostly the result of Finnish entrepreneurship education, which has grown a lot.

A big actor behind the spreading of entrepreneurship in Finland is JA Finland (Junior Achievement Finland), that provides education programs built around entrepreneurship and learning by doing. JA’s target groups are all the students, from elementary schools to universities. JA’s programs are always free for the students and it’s a part of JA Worldwide.

The goal of entrepreneurship education is not straightly to make entrepreneurs, but to prepare young students to the challenges of changing and modern working life. Programs are teaching attitudes, substance skills, social networking and spontaneity.

I took a part of JA Finland’s ”Year as an entrepreneur” -program with my classmates when I was studying a double degree in a media high school. We started a company called ”Avedia”, and provided media services: web development, graphic design, videography, photography… We got a lot of new friends, customers, networks and maybe the most importantly: grew up to a real team. The program included a competition between all the companies. Avedia won the regional final in Kainuu, Northern Finland. In the national final we placed second and won the prize of the best exhibition stand.

That year completely changed my life. I’ve always been an introvert, but during that year I changed to more outside-turned, started smiling and got rid of the fear of telling my own opinions during conversation.

We enjoyed that year so much, that we decided to continue our company under the cooperative of our school. Entrepreneurship completely got got me, and that is also the reason, why I decided to move to Tampere, 450 kilometers away from my hometown where I have spent my whole life before this. The reason for moving was Proakatemia. During the last school year I thought my the future a lot. Then I heard about team academies, that are a next natural step for Finnish entrepreneurship education.

Proakatemia at Tampere seemed the best, I got in and here I am!

– Jesse Eskelinen, a student and a member of Marketing & Communications team of Proakatemia