Forty immigrant entrepreneurs of Rovaniemi met in the Arctic Circle to know each other better and to share their business experience.
Forty immigrant entrepreneurs of Rovaniemi met on 25 October in the Arctic Circle to know each other better and to share their business experience.
Rovaniemen Kehitys Oy (Rovaniemi Development Ltd), an agency that offers business development services free of cost, organised the event.
On their arrival by a bus at the venue, the participants first paid a visit to Santa Claus at his home. They then held a discussion on Arctic businesses, which was followed by a dinner at the restaurant of Nova Skyland Hotel.
Nova Skyland Hotel, a 5-minute walk from Santa Claus Village and two miles away from the Santa Park, was opened in November 2017. Nova Skyland Deputy Director Tian Zhang told how she and her associates undertook the initiative to set up this 4-star hotel in a forest close by the Santa Claus Village. She also pointed out the key features that have already earned this modern accommodation facility a widespread reputation in a very short time.
The meeting participants then held threadbare discussions in separate groups for quite a long time on the perceived business possibilities and difficulties in business operations in Rovaniemi. It was the principal session of the event, when the entrepreneurs as well as the event organiser were seen to interchange groups and share ideas on the topic of the discussion.
During the meeting, Johanna Kiviniemi from Santa Clause Reindeer made the announcement that, for the first time, Mrs. Santa Claus will have her own office scheduled to open in March 2019.
“In the upcoming season there will be something new, something that has never been seen in the Santa Claus Village,” said Kiviniemi in a dramatic style, adding, “Everybody knows that Santa Claus works here, and everybody knows that he is married. There is Mrs Santa Claus, who has been complaining about not having an office of her own. So we are going to have a Mrs Santa Claus Hut.”
Dwelling on his company’s main activity, which is rearing reindeer, Kiviniemi said they had launched this business 10 years ago with just three reindeer. That number rose to ten in a few years. But, “in the current season, we will have 39 working reindeer, which will demonstrate the significant growth our business has achieved”, Kiviniemi told the gathering with obvious pride.
During the group discussions, Thomas, an entrepreneur-cum-musician, entertained the participants with some really cool music numbers. Everybody enjoyed the show, with their smiling faces expressed their appreciation.
A participant representing Food Tour Rovaniemi congratulated the event organisers for the successful holding of the meeting and said it presented the participants with a rare opportunity to find potential business partners as well as to know other entrepreneurs of their same city.
Another entrepreneur, Ben Taylor, representing Explore Lapland Oy, said he was glad to have this chance to meet people facing same or similar situations like him and who, too, are now looking forward to the upcoming winter season.
The key event organiser, Rovaniemen Kehitys Oy Business Adviser Eija Lange said, being a new member of the company, it was the first event she had participated. But, she said, the event did meet its purpose to interconnect immigrant entrepreneurs running businesses of diverse nature in Rovaniemi.
Jarmo Siivikko, a newsman from the national broadcaster Yle, termed the event’s atmosphere great, saying he was happy to see the immigrant entrepreneurs gathered sharing their business ideas.
Riitta Kemppainen-Koivisto from Sie&Mie Keskus said she would be looking forward for the future editions of this event.
Speaking at the event, Mayor Esko Lotvonen said Rovaniemi is fast becoming one of the busiest cities in Finland with local and international trade taking place on a daily basis. “Apart from being a centre of trade,” the mayor said, “we are earnestly working to make Rovaniemi one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.”
Mayor Lotvonen also asserted that the city and its local entrepreneurs are ready as well as happy to host and collaborate with immigrant and international entrepreneurs.
To the participants, Lotvonen said, whenever they come across any idea that may improve their businesses, they should never hesitate to consult Rovaniemen Kehitys Oy.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report