A new public competition is attempting to shake up the perception of entrepreneurship as a career path in Finland. Harva on Rautaa (literally "few of us are iron" - taken from a 70's Finnhits song) will select one Finnish entrepreneur per city and have them battle each other for five months. Progress can be followed on their website, where they plan on publishing one at least one video clip every day of the week. Finnish entrepreneurs can also apply with a deadline of today.
The competition is being put together by Pasi Ilola, and is supported by the Software Entrepreneurs Association (Ohjelmistoyrittäjät), Teknologiateollisuus, Tekes, Microsoft and others.
Rather than selecting the companies with the highest growth trajectory, the goal is to make entrepreneurship more known and visible in Finland.
"We want to show what it's really like to be an entrepreneur: all the stress, the long hours, the doubts and worries. And we want to make Finns realize that it's these people, and their companies, who are the ones making this country grow. For the Finnish economy is going rapidly down the drain, and entrepreneurship is the only thing that can block that from happening," says Ilola.
In practice they will follow each company's progress through monthly coaching sessions with some well known names in Finland's business and entrepreneurship community. The entrepreneurs will spar about topics including pitching, sales, marketing, internationalization, and so on.
The website to check out is harvaonrautaa.fi, which is available in Finnish. The deadline to apply is unfortunately today, so get those applications in. Are you Finland's most ironic entrepreneur? Wait - something got lost in translation.