”Developmental work can be really challenging as an entrepreneur when the day-to-day operations take up so much of your time. That is why you need other people to push you along and encourage you.”
How can a traditional flower shop and garden store grow and develop? Where is the business going and what does the future look like? At Järvenpään Kukkatalo, regeneration is daily work. That is also the idea the company had as it joined the Kasvu Open competition and Keuke's Koelento project.
“As I was writing a speech for the seminar on future developments organized by Suomen kukkakauppiasliitto, my head was filled with ideas and questions. I began to think about the direction I should take my company and who our future customers could be.”
Kasvu Open provided Järvenpään Kukkatalo with new perspectives and good advice for developing its business operations.
“Developmental work can be really challenging as an entrepreneur when the day-to-day operations take up so much of your time. That is why you need these types of growth programs and people like Keuke who can encourage you and spar with you and push you along.”
Järvenpään Kukkatalo will soon celebrate its 25th birthday. The flower business has become an integral part of the enterprising siblings Saija Sitolahti and Joonas Nieminen, and their family now has gardeners and florists in three generations. 55 percent of Kukkatalo's turnover comes from the flower shop, 36 percent from the garden store, and 9 percent from the funeral home.
In 25 years, the basic business of Kukkatalo has barely changed. Some new trends can however be seen.
“Flowers go great in any situation. I believe that people will continue to buy more and more flowers in the future. Supermarkets have made buying flowers easy. That has also propelled our sales at the same time. One potential idea worth thinking is how we could utilize this situation even more effectively.”
“We have continued our development inhouse using the tools and information we received from Kasvu Open. Service development is generally important, but I think that the most valuable thing we received from Kasvu Open was awakening to digital possibilities. How we can utilize digital services better and how the customers of the future want to make their purchases.”
“Keuke spurred Järvenpään Kukkatalo in the Kasvu Open competition. Järvenpään Kukkatalo has also received ideas and assistance from Keuke for developing new services."
Entrepreneur Saija Sitolahti, Järvenpään Kukkatalo Oy, Järvenpää
”We felt that for our change of generation we received as much personal and well-informed consultation as we needed.”
Kuljetusliike Usvola Ky from Järvenpää specializes on earthworks and has operated for nearly 70 years. Today, the company is run by siblings Carita Palmqvist and Tapio Usvola as the third generation in charge. The change of generation came to be unexpectedly.
“Our father, who was previously one of the owners of the company, passed away suddenly. This resulted in several significant and sometimes difficult changes in the company. Rearranging the shares of ownership in the company and a change of generation became inevitable on short notice.”
“With unexpected events such as this, it is normal to feel at a loss. You don't know where to start or even what to do. The bank pointed us toward Keuke's services. After we approached them, things quickly began to clarify. We received a lot of valuable consulting and Keuke's representative took part in various meetings related to the change of generation.”
The services provided by Kuljetusliike Usvola include earth-moving and transportation, excavation work, provision of earth materials and aggregate, as well as snow clearing for properties. In addition, the company also produces soil for all forms of landscaping from gardens to larger green spaces.
“Our cooperation with Keuke will not end here. Now that we have completed the change of generation, it is time to look ahead and develop our operation. Keuke will also be involved here, providing advice and sparring with us.”
“It feels amazing that these types of services are provided to entrepreneurs – and free of charge. We warmly recommend Keuke's services to everyone!”
“We received competent and personal service with matters related to a change of generation. With Keuke's help, we also found brilliant specialists to support us in a challenging situation, such as an expert on limited partnerships.”
Entrepreneur Carita Palmqvist, Kuljetusliike Usvola Ky, Järvenpää
”I will never run out of ideas, but it takes skill and competence to focus on what's essential. Keuke has specifically helped me with turning ideas into earnings.”
The sense of smell is one of the least well-known and researched of our senses. However, scent memories are stronger than visual memories, and scents affect our emotions directly. Kenzen Oy from Järvenpää develops products and methods based on the sense of smell.
“There is huge potential in the sense of smell and scents. Research on the topic is relatively scarce, but it does raise a lot of interest. At the moment, several large companies are interested in utilizing scents.”
One of Kenzen's main areas of interest is memory training for the elderly.
“Medical research has discovered a connection between a reduced sense of smell and dementia. Early identification of symptoms is important for delaying the progress of memory loss diseases. Scents could, for example, facilitate recalling things that are connected to scent memories.”
Among other things, Kenzen has developed scent puzzles for people with memory loss diseases and the elderly, where scents and images are combined to help activate the brain. Developing the sense of smell and identifying different smells can also be significant for occupational safety.
“In workplaces where hazardous solvents and other similar substances are handled, it is very important that the employees are aware of and can identify dangerous smells as well. Scent training can activate the ability to identify these hazardous substances.”
Of course, scents also have plenty of positive and pleasant aspects. Scent molecules are essential to various drinks, such as wines and whiskeys. This provides the basis for the Nosing courses offered by Kenzen, where participants learn about the effect scent molecules have on the perceptibility of a drink.
“The Foundation for Finnish Inventions has helped me with productization. Together with Keuke, we have considered various options and perspectives on how to develop our company and ideas further. The capital, funding, and creation of networks are of course the most significant issues for any new company. Toing and froing can be quite tiring, so it is brilliant that funding applications, for example, are completed correctly the first time around.”
Managing Director Jari Tuominen, Kenzen Oy, Järvenpää
”Outsiders have a different perspective. We want to utilize this point of view as much as possible. Keuke has been a massively significant help to us.”
Lentävä Lapanen, located in the center of Järvenpää, is the only knitting café in Finland. The idea of combining a yarn shop and café came about as if by coincidence, say entrepreneurs Tarja Jussila and Taina Schildt with a smile on their faces.
“We're neighbors and we're both compulsive knitters. Supermarkets have quite a limited supply of different yarns, which is why we wanted to establish a yarn shop. But then we took the idea further and came up with the knitting café concept.”
The services provided by Lentävä Lapanen consist of selling yarn and knitting accessories, running the café, and organizing a wide range of events.
“We organize a lot of courses and other events. We also host various groups, even some who engage in activities other than knitting, such as board games.”
Jussila and Schildt set up their business in a hurry. The company was established in October, and three weeks later the café opened its doors.
“The Finnish Enterprise Agency helped us with establishing the company. We also contacted Keuke almost right away, as we had heard positive things about its services from acquaintances. We have been very happy.”
The owners of Lentävä Lapanen are full of ideas. Their future plans include importing yarns and developing their own products. One of the products developed by the company is a kit for Jäpänen, the signature mitten of Järvenpää.
“We have a lot of ideas and we want to keep developing our concept. And that's the most fun aspect of the whole thing.”
“Keuke immediately believed in our novel concept. Keuke helped us to apply for a development grant from the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and provided us a lot of valuable information related to employment, for example. We have also taken part in their growth training.”
Entrepreneurs Tarja Jussila and Taina Schildt, Lentävä Lapanen Oy, Järvenpää
”My plans were taken seriously from the start and I have received help in a versatile manner as I have needed it”
A typical young, growing company operates in the social and health care or wellness sector. One such company is New Organics Oy from Järvenpää that produces and sells health foods and supplements and organic cosmetics. The business idea of New Organics consists of completely organically produced health foods and supplements without any additives.
“Our goal is to become a significant operator in the wellness product sector in Finland within five years. We provide products to pharmacies and health food stores. According to our vision, our turnover will reach 10 million euros in five years.”
New Organics Oy has received support and guidance for the development and growth of the company from Keuke.
New Organics was established in early 2003. The idea for the company had matured for five years.
“Our concept is based on global megatrends in the health product and the entire wellness industry in general. At the moment, these trends can only be seen faintly in Finland and in throughout Europe. We now employ six people, but I believe that in five years we will have 30 employees.”
The range of products offered by New Organics includes pure, organic, and ecological health and wellness products.
“Our Puhdas + brand means that the products do not include hidden fillers, preservatives, colorants, flavorings or magnesium stearate. This is made possible by product development and the capsule form.”
“I have received valuable information and good service with the issues and questions I have had, such as marketing, financing, and employment. I have particularly needed specialist help with funding, export, and contacting professionals in various fields.”
Managing Director Ari Vepsäläinen, New Organics Oy, Järvenpää
”It always pays to open your mouth and ask for help. It can also make entrepreneurship a whole lot easier.”
Taavi Schönberg and Mika Koskiola, who had worked together, established a company, as they had their own ideas of how to provide services and do things differently.
TM-Tieto Oy provides ICT services in the Central Uusimaa area. Its customers include small and medium-sized enterprises and small organizations. In addition to administration services, the company's expertise includes maintenance, design, and consultation services.
“In the beginning we were quite lost as entrepreneurs and didn't really know about things. The Finnish Enterprise Agency of Central Uusimaa helped us with establishing our company and we were in close contact with Keuke during the early period.
Young entrepreneurs typically speak positively about entrepreneurship. Even though surprising issues may emerge, most things fall into place.
“It always pays to ask for advice. You should definitely avoid spinning in place alone with your thoughts and questions. “
At the moment, TM-Tieto is kept busy by mobility-related issues. Customers want to replace portable computers with lighter tablet devices, and suitable solutions are sought together.
"Some programs just don’t work with mobile devices, but we always try to find a suitable solution, suitable product, and suitable device. Nowadays, our work consists increasingly of consultation.
“There is also plenty of work to be done, sometimes even to excess. Recruitment is one of the challenges we have discussed with Keuke's specialists. In our line of work, you have to train the employees yourself and familiarize them with the job, which is expensive. Apprenticeship training is one of the solutions we have considered.”
“Keuke was a really important partner in the early stages of our company. We budgeted and planned financial matters. The most concrete information we received was probably related to hiring an employee, the employment contract, and dismissal. That information was truly valuable to us.”
Entrepreneur Taavi Schönberg, TM-Tieto Oy, Järvenpää
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Keski-Uudenmaan Kehittämiskeskus Oy
Business Development Centre Ltd. Helsinki Region North
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