Many entrepreneurs have found ways to do meaningful work from their home area. Customers and the work community can find each other from anywhere in the world through the Internet. Remote work is becoming more common and this has made everyone aware of the wide range of jobs that can be done, regardless of location. For rural entrepreneurs, the same has been commonplace for a long time. This story introduces four companies in the NIHAK area who take advantage of the opportunities of the Internet in different ways. For some, e-commerce is a way to sell their own know-how, while for others, they do expert work from home, for customers that can be on the other side of the globe.
Equestrian Academy: Online training with four hooves
The Equestrian Academy, founded by Mervi Pakola, is located in Nivala’s Rajaperä, but its customer base extends all around Finland and soon also abroad. For more than a year now, Pakola has also offered horse handling training through online courses.
Pakola has been a full-time entrepreneur since 2013, and she has developed her company’s course offering on the basis of her own practical experience and research data. Her background includes long-term training and experience working with horses.
“As an entrepreneur, I offer basic training for everyone working with horses on how to solve various problems. Online courses are a solution for those for whom the distance is an obstacle in participating on site,” Pakola says.
The Equestrian Academy has become well-known in the field and has reached a wide customer base in Finland. The online courses quickly also found hundreds of users. The next step is to start expanding our courses abroad.
One challenge is to gain awareness outside Finland as well. Pakola is assisted by translation and marketing professionals, with whom course content and marketing material are provided in English.
All Consulting: Office in Pyhäjärvi, network around the world
It is possible to do expert work regardless of location, but still be a part of an extensive international network. This applies to Annaleena Laurikkala, who mainly works remotely from her home in Pyhäjärvi, but is also in close contact with colleagues in Finland and abroad.
Laurikkala’s company, All Consulting, conducts quality control of clinical drug trials, and her customers are service providers for pharmaceutical companies.
– My work includes a lot of reporting, which is handled by email. However, I still have to travel. Research centers must be visited on site, as data on patient work cannot be sent outside,” Laurikkala says.
Drug development is international collaboration, and Laurikkala’s work also includes communication around the world. Indeed, time differences are often reflected in working hours. Laurikkala’s working language is English, and her work experience is from her previous career as a nurse and research nurse.
According to Laurikkala, international work can be carried out from Pyhäjärvi. The prerequisites are a high-speed Internet network and smooth traffic connections to other parts of Finland and airports.
Balance Care Oy: Spreading baby massage expertise
Reeta Ylikoski from Nivala and Merja Koivunen from Laihia work as well-being entrepreneurs in their hometowns. Since February 2020, they have also had a joint venture, Balance Care Oy.
Ylikoski and Koivunen have jointly developed Baby Balance® baby massage and related training. The method of treatment also seeks to find the causes of the ailments and bring relief to them.
Course activities began in 2019 for healthcare professionals, and more than 80 healthcare professionals from all over Finland have already been trained. These entrepreneurs have already been asked about possible expansion abroad.
Next, Ylikoski and Koivunen are taking baby massage theory lessons online. The physical work is still being learned in the coming days – baby care cannot be done remotely. The Corona time has hastened the decision, but the online course would have been implemented without it.
“We started to run out of hands with the training, because we also have our own families and companies,” Ylikoski says.
“The plan is that we will stay here in Ostrobothnia, and the new trainers will continue to spread the method to other parts of the country. Online training also serves this goal,” Koivunen continues.
According to the duo, the joint venture runs smoothly from two locations. The company’s transactions are handled electronically, and communication is easy with current technology.
“It’s still nice to sit at the same table sometimes,” the entrepreneurs say.
Anna-Mari Vuorela: International teamwork at the home office
Work delivered via digital platforms has become more widespread in the world in recent years. They typically convey short-term, project-type work in various fields. However, Anna-Mari Vuorela from Nivala found a long-term customer through platform work which ended up as part of the international work community.
For more than two years, Vuorela has worked online for two US companies that market products related to well-being and nutrition. She has been involved in marketing, customer service, new product design and social media advertising, among other things. At the moment, a big part of the job is building and maintaining partnerships.
According to Vuorela, platform work makes it possible to support oneself if one is able to work independently and master the tasks in one’s own field.
Previously, Vuorela worked in another locality, but got tired of commuting. As a nature and wilderness person, she likes Nivala and is pleased to be able to work from home now.
– On the other hand I like to travel, and I have made long trips in such a way that I take my work with me. I also occasionally work at the Nivala Vauhaus, where I get a little variation in my work environment.