Business studies inspired to become an entrepreneur in Lapland
Three Vietnamese business students from Lapland UAS, Judy, Mira and Cella, started own business in Rovaniemi in a tough situation, right when COVID-19 came to Finland.
- Finland is famous for its high-quality education. That was one reason why I chose to come to Rovaniemi to study International business, says Judy Thai, now a Master student in Tornio.
Judy, her sister Mira and their friend Cella opened a Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Noodle Bar 26 in Rovaniemi this spring. And immediately the situation turned challenging when COVID-19 hit the world.
- There were no Vietnamese restaurant here in Rovaniemi, so we thought that this is our chance. The restaurant reflects the personalities of us, the owners, and our Vietnamese culture. It is so much more than just healthy food, it is an experience, says Judy.
- Business is always tough, but we are not going to give up. Teamwork is everything and together we can achieve more! this is our dream come true, a concept of ours and we are going to work hard to make this a success, says Judy.
Judy has been working in different kinds of jobs earlier, for example as a tour guide, where she learned a lot about Finland and Lapland.
- Finland is so different from Vietnam. Here it is fresh, so beautiful, simple and quiet. In Vietnam everything is so hectic and busy. Even happiness as a concept is different here than in Vietnam. Finns love to go to the forest. Silence is luxury! And here are more reindeer than people, it is amazing! Judy laughs.
Studying business in Lapland UAS has given the information needed as an entrepreneur and courage to start something totally new.
- Our teachers in Lapland UAS have helped us a lot and supported us. They are so open and share things. We have learned a lot! Also, Business Rovaniemi has been a great help for us too, Judy continues.
- There are so many things to consider when you start a new business in a foreign country. I would like to write a book about it someday, to help other people, who consider the idea of new business in some foreign country, tells Judy.
All the three students, Judy, Mira and Cella have many new ideas for the future.
- We want to develop this business further. We use natural ingredients for healthy and delicious food and want to innovate new products. We want to improve and make it better step by step. Our lives are full of work now! says Judy.
- Hopefully it will be better now. COVID-19 has caused a lot of trouble to all the entrepreneurs but the key is to think about the customers. We want to make sure that it is safe to visit our restaurant. We just have to adapt our actions and ensure the safety. That is why we are not offering a buffet, but lunch and a la carte -meals.
- There is strong will to survive this first year as an entrepreneur and make products that are unique and healthy. Attitude means everything; attitude, skills and knowledge! concludes Judy.
Lapland UAS BBA programme of International Business has an entrepreneur-like approach to business development which provides students a strong foundation of sustainable business principles. Sustainability is a cross-cutting theme in the programme. Students learn about possibilities of establishing a business of their own and creating an individual entrepreneurship path for themselves.
Judy, Mira and Cella. All photos by @michaelmeadphotography