Nordic Business Forum Oy was founded in December 2008, and it operated until November 2011 under the name Finnish Community of Entrepreneurship.
The decision to change the name was made in agreement with an initiative by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. The reason for the initiative was the similarity between the names “Suomen yrittäjäyhteisö / Finnish Community of Entrepreneurship” (limited liability company, member of Suomen Yrittäjät ry) and “Suomen Yrittäjät ry” (Federation of Finnish Enterprises), which could potentially lead to confusion.
Nordic Business Forum / Finnish Community of Entrepreneurship organized its first training sessions at the end of 2009, and the yearly main event has grown to be one of the most significant business seminars in the Nordics.
Hans-Peter Siefen began his entrepreneurial career at the age of 19 in 2003, concentrating on direct sales. Jyri Lindén embraced the path of entrepreneurship the very same year, at the tender age of 15, co-founding a school magazine with Mikko Jaatinen. The magazine won the Best Enterprise Award of the Vuosi Yrittäjänä (eng. “A Year as an Entrepreneur”) -program.
Hans-Peter Siefen and Jyri Lindén happened to be sitting next to each other at a marketing lecture at Jyväskylä University in the autumn of 2007. The conversation very quickly tended towards the similarity of their interests in entrepreneurship and business. At the turn of the year 2007-2008, Hans-Peter assumed the leading role in an investment services venture team in Jyväskylä, called Nordic Trust Oy. After a spell of outstanding results, he recruited Jyri into his team. Very quickly Jyri rose to be one of the key players in the organization. Hans-Peter ran offices in both Jyväskylä and Tampere.
At the end of 2008, new offices for Nordic Trust / RVM Yhtiöt Oy were needed in Jyväskylä. The Schauman castle proved to be an ideal environment. Hans-Peter and Jyri decided to lease out 320 square metres of office space. 250 square metres of that space were leased on to other companies. A company called Visionum Oy was founded for this purpose, and a trade name was reserved for the entrepreneurship community. Thus the Finnish Community of Entrepreneurship was born.
Since 2005, Hans-Peter had a written goal and a dream to start a training business. Based on his good results in direct sales, he found himself teaching sales and organizing client events and training sessions. This continued when he began selling investment products in the insurance and investment business. Hans-Peter has organized hundreds of events and training sessions since 2003, encompassing audiences of 10 – 1000 people. From these events, a network of people who are enthusiastic about developing themselves and their business competence was built.
A strong yearning for founding his own training business came from his own experience. He felt training was interesting, and the returns were amazing. Training sessions and seminars were also a great place to network and get to know like-minded people. Hans-Peter went to his first training event for entrepreneurs in May of 2003, at the Kulttuuritalo in Helsinki. The speakers were impressive. There began his active training, and it also sparked the interest for his teaching. During training, he found inspiration, great learning and the right kind of contacts as well as ground-breaking ideas. This experience was shared with Jyri, especially since 2007, when Hans-Peter took Jyri to a sales training event in Tampere. Jyri also became a passionate trainer, and shared the desire to found a training business with Hans-Peter.
In their business plan, the training operation was not planned to be kicked into action before 2013. However, the schedule was changed due to the two knee surgery operations that faced Hans-Peter in 2009. In the aftermath of the later operation, when he was supposed to be resting at the hospital and later at home, Hans-Peter began enthusiastically working on the idea of the training enterprise. The plans and Excel-sheets were abundant, and very soon trainers and renowned coaches were contacted. The first event was organized in November 2009.
The enterprise has been developing since then at a dizzying pace. A little less than a year after the first event, in October 2010, the seminar at Paviljonki Jyväskylä attracted more than 700 entrepreneurs. At that seminar, the Finnish Community of Entrepreneurship made public their plans to take it to the next level: in the seminar of 2011, the main speaker would be the Vice-President of USA, Al Gore. At the seminar of 2011, there were 1800 participants comprised of leaders, key players and entrepreneurs from all over Finland and Europe. In the process, the company had grown from two to seven young entrepreneurs.
The yearly main event of the company, Nordic Business Forum, has grown to be one of the most significant business events in the Nordics. In 2012, the seminar will be starred by four internationally revered speakers: the founder of Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson, the speech-writer of Vice-President Al Gore and best-selling author Daniel Pink, business coach and writer Brian Tracy, and professor Hans Rosling.
In 2009, Hans-Peter and Jyri branched out the company’s operations into real estate investment. The investing side of the business has grown rapidly, and it will be detached into its own company after closing the accounts of 2011. The diverse businesses will form a group.
The development of the turnover of Nordic Business Forum Oy in its three first years of operation:
2009: c. 43 000 €
2010: c. 280 000 €
2011: c. 3 030 000 €
In the next five years, we are pursuing a yearly growth of 25%. In the next ten years, our goal is to develop our yearly main event into one of the most noteworthy business seminars in the world, and to significantly spread through it, and our other events, the spirit of entrepreneurship and unique tools with which people may reach their full potential.