Rovaniemi Entrepreneurs’ Association (Rovaniemen Yrittäjät) in early November awarded five businesspersons as Entrepreneurs of the Year. The awardees are Jouko Rajanen of Choco Deli, Kari Rautionaho of Suomen Akut Oy, Valentijn of Kontiovaaran Husky (Bearhill Husky), Petri Teppo of Studio Artica, and Mikko Riskilä of Lohiapaja Oy who has also owned the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Mikko Riskilä, 30, has been running his family business Lohiapaja since 2017. His family bought the company in 2003. Lohiapaja, just off the Arctic Circle, about 24 kilometres north of Rovaniemi, processes meat and smoked fish.
“I was quite surprised!,” exclaimed Riskilä. “I never thought I would win this. But, of course, I was happy. It felt so distant, because I usually think this as a hobby. But, now I am the person who got the honour from amongst all under-35 entrepreneurs in Rovaniemi. So we must have done something right in Lohiapaja,” the young entrepreneur told in reaction to the award.
Riskilä said they started their family-run meat and fish smokehouse business in 2003, in addition to their own fish and meat products that are popular in the local market.
“We produce cold-smoked and warm-smoked meat and fish, sausages, salamis and canned products,” said Riskilä.
Dwelling on the initiation of the business, he said, “One day in 2003, My father asked me, did I know that former owner (Ilmari Holm) was selling his company Lohiapaja and then father asked from me should we create something new and better from Holm's company?’"
“I was a mere teen of 14. So I didn’t understand what that meant. So I was like "OK, whatever, let’s do it.”
Riskilä thinks premium quality products are the main reason behind the success of the business.
“I am very outspoken and straight, but really easy to approach. I am full of ideas and sometimes the ideas nail the goals and sometimes a little less. I have really good advisers and mentors around me. I know that one individual cannot do and know everything. As I have always said, good entrepreneur gets people around him who can do things and jobs better than him. One very important skill of an entrepreneur is to be able to say no,” said Riskilä.
Esko Määttä, Chairman of Rovaniemi Association of Entrepreneurs (Rovaniemen Yrittäjät ry) said that Mikko Riskilä is a hard-working and always cheerful person, eager to develop and help others do so, too. He has been an active member on the board in Likiliike Rovaniemi – the community of local entrepreneurs of Rovaniemi.
“Lohiapaja is a family business, where he is now a partner. They have given a facelift to all their communications and customer services, making them more personal and modern; they are active, yet they still respect their heritage and, of course, cherish the soil from which the raw materials of all of their products come,” Määttä told.
From here you can find all the articles about the awarded entrepreneurs.
City of Rovaniemi - Daily Finland Report